A career counselor at a community college works with students to help them decide based on their strengths and experience what are the best and most appropriate career choices. The career counselor also provides information on training and education requirements for specific careers, as well as colleges, universities or other facilities that offer the training both in local areas, out of state educational facilities or even internationally. The career counselor also advises students on transferring credits into and out of the facility and the possible issues or benefits to staying at the current college or transferring to other training centers to complete their educations.
Career counselors use a variety of methods to help students choose career paths. This may include administering career aptitude tests, scoring the tests, and sharing the results with students in a positive and supportive manner. The counselor may also teach classes at the college to help students explore various traditional and non-traditional career options. Sometimes the career counselor may have to work with students with special needs to help them find a career choice that will meet their needs and is something of interest.
Career counselors may also pilot projects such as work experience projects or internships with various businesses in the community. These programs provide a great opportunity for students to actually work in the field they are interested in prior to committing to all the education and training needed. These work programs are found in almost all locations and have great feedback from both the businesses in the community and the students. Excellent knowledge of training programs, transfer policies and market trends is important for a career counselor. Networking and establishing working relationships with professionals in the community is also important.
Common work activities include:
- Scheduling appointments with individual students to discuss issues regarding transferring in or out of the college or setting career plans.
- Meeting with individual student to complete career tests, scoring the tests and sharing results with the students.
- Explaining the training and educational requirements for various professions and vocations.
- Supporting and encouraging students in their academic career choices.
- Assisting students with special needs in finding appropriate and acceptable career choices.
- Networking with local business to set-up and coordinate work and learn projects in the community.
- Teaching classes on career development and career education.