Career Day at Burlington High School

Burlington High Schools extends its gratitude to the Burlington Area Chamber of Commerce for talking with our 500 junior and senior students during "Career Day" about the workforce and answering questions about training, education, and experience needed for numerous fields of work to learn what a "day on the job" is like.

Career day was during STEM Week, and the GM of Microsoft Education, Lydia Smyers talked to students about her experience in the STEM fields. Instead of thinking about careers as "what do I want to do" think "what do I want to learn".  She talked about how she combined her love of art with an interest in chemistry , telling students "new opportunities will present themselves in STEM careers" and encouraging them to follow their interests and try tools like http://www.makewhatsnext.com/careers/   She shared statistics to underscore the need for computer science  - there are 19,470 open computing jobs, but only 1,953 computer science graduates....and 85 of the jobs in 2030 have not even been created yet.

Ready, set, work. At Burlington High School, students are already on a path to their future careers in many ways, and the annual “Career Day” event at BHS, happening Oct. 25, provides them opportunities to learn from professionals from various fields.

It’s all part of the BHS career exploration program, which hosts initiatives like “Career Day” for students to have conversations about training, education, and experience needed for numerous fields of work with industry professionals and learn what a “day on the job” is like.

Shannon Janovitz, an English teacher who serves on the Burlington High School Career Exploration Committee, said students in 9th- and 10th-grade work on self-assessment activities and learn about various employment skills on Career Day, and students in 11th- and 12th-grade sign up for sessions that interest them and speak to their passions. The sessions are run by local professionals, Janovitz said.

“The goal for all aspects of this (career exploration) program is to empower students to make informed decisions about their post-graduation plans. We want students to have a realistic understanding of the career paths and employment opportunities of interest to them,” she said.

Janovitz said, “Our hope is that this experience helps students gain an understanding of what work in different fields is like … Students gain a sense of the scope of opportunities available to them as well as what they need to do to take advantage of those opportunities.”

Many students who participate in Career Day sessions, Janovitz said, go on to complete job shadows and the senior internship program through BHS. Career Day, she said, aims to encourage students to think critically about potential career paths, and begin exploration on their own.

Janovitz said, “Though Career Day is a small moment in our students’ education, seeing them think about who they are and what they want to do with their lives is inspiring. As educators, our work centers on ensuring that students leave BHS prepared to find happiness and success. Prompting them to think about what that might look like for them brings them one step closer to that readiness.”