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Career Planning with O2 and Co-op

You’ve got it all worked out. You’ve thought hard about it, mulled the ideas in your mind, talked to your friends and family about your choices and decided on a career path that is perfect for you.

Or maybe (like many, many others, rest assured), you have thought about all the options, changed your mind 20 times, tripped over your decisions, dusted off old ideas, then finally decided that you have no idea what you want to do after you graduate.

Either way, enrolling in the Options and Opportunities (O2) program or taking Cooperative Education in grade 11 or 12 might be excellent choices.

“Over the past six years we have seen annual increases in the numbers of females enrolled in the Options and Opportunities Program and a wider variety of careers that young woman are exploring through Co-operative Education opportunities,” says John Cochrane, Community Based Learning Consultant at the Nova Scotia Department of Education*. “O2 and Co-op involvement are having a huge impact on how young woman see themselves in the workplace.”

If you think you’ve decided on a career, take advantage of this opportunity to spend some time doing that job. Sometimes, there is more to a career than you might know about; what you come to know might change your mind. For example, when we think about members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, we have an idealized image of people in red uniforms, fighting crime and saving the day. What we don’t think about is the ceiling-high pile of paperwork they do every day.

If you haven’t decided on a career, test out a couple of ideas. Even if you don’t like the job placement, it’s an important factor in decision making. Knowing what you don’t like is just as important as knowing what makes you happy. Sit down with a guidance counsellor or teacher at the end of your course to discuss exactly what you did and did not like about the job to help narrow down your options.

Even better; if after you have finished these programs and chose to stick with a career in one of Nova Scotia’s 61 designated skilled trades, you can register as a youth apprentice through Workit. By the time you are 21-22 you could be a certified journeyperson, earning great money with no student debt.

For more information about Options and Opportunities or the Cooperative Education programs at your school, visit the websites or talk to your school guidance councillor. 

*Techsploration would like to extend sincere thanks and gratitude to The Nova Scotia Department of Education, which has been a strong supporter and sponsor of our program since inception 15 years ago.