4 government websites to help your child discover their dream career

A finger pressing a button marked dream job.

There’s a lot of information out there to assist high school students as they consider, formulate and pursue their dream career. And you want to ensure that your child gets the best information as they make decisions about the shape they would like their professional life to take.

We’ve compiled a list of four government sites that can help your child find their career direction.

1. Job Outlook Career Quiz

This is a great site is your child isn’t sure yet where they want to take their career.

It takes the form of a quiz based on choosing workplace activities that the student feels that they would prefer. There are 15 ‘rounds’, and you choose one of six options for each round. So, one round might give the options as:

  • measure a block of land before building a shed
  • design a propeller for an aircraft
  • compose music for a movie soundtrack
  • arrange appointments for a politician
  • meet and greet visitors at a hotel
  • work in a police station assisting victims of crime.

Based on the answers your child gives, the tool calculates the percentage of the answers that fit into seven different categories of what they call ‘work styles’. These work styles are:

  • administrative
  • creative
  • helping
  • people
  • practical
  • technical.

The tool then lists a series of common job profiles that fall into the work style category in which your child scored highest. So, for instance, if their answers resulted in a high percentage for ‘creative’, the site lists professions such as advertising professional, architect, graphic designer, journalist and visual merchandiser. They can then explore each profession in more detail by clicking on it. This gives access  to outlines of the sorts of work activities and job titles in the sector. It also displays facts such as average salary, projected future job growth in the sector, the number of employees in the sector in Australia, and the level of educational qualification or training required to really succeed in the sector.

They can also go back and explore common jobs associated with other work styles, so if your child scored highly in two or three categories they can compare the sorts of jobs that are available in each.

2. myfuture

The tagline for this resource is ‘Identify your interests, build your career profile and explore occupations’. That’s a pretty good summation of what it’s all about.

There really is a wealth of information – and different ways to navigate it – on this site. Your child can, for instance, explore the different occupations related to a learning area. So if they’re interested in biology at school, they can see what sorts of careers they could pursue with that subject as the focus – from gardener to veterinarian. Crucially, it organises occupations by the education level a student would need to achieve success in that field.

Alternatively, they can explore by industry to see what sorts of careers are available in, say, the arts or construction, as well as key figures about the sector, including average salary, number of employees and the gender mix of workers. There’s also an option to navigate via a specific job title, as well as case studies of people working in different industries.

What’s more, your child can even sign up to create their own personalised career profile, inputting details such as their interests, knowledge, education and training to generate career suggestions.

3. Job Jumpstart

This government website offers advice, hints and tips across the journey into work.

Based around a series of posts and articles, it starts with information and navigation options to find the right type of occupation for the individual. It then offers a number of downloadable workbooks that prompt your child to answer relevant questions – and could be a great starting point for careers advice discussions.

Next, the site explores different education options and the learning requirements for different careers – from working out what to do after finishing school and the possibilities available in apprenticeships, through to choosing a university course.

The site also gives information on making the step into the world of work. It includes advice on everything from cover letters and interviews to setting up a tax file number and making the most of professional networking opportunities.

4. APSjobs

A lot of students are interested in making a difference by contributing to their community and their country. That’s why we’ve listed the jobs portal of the Australian Public Service as a career research tool.

This site provides details of job opportunities at the state and federal level. It also gives your child some idea of the type of government jobs and their associated tasks in different career areas, such as:

Each career area lists the government departments that have a large number of staff in that particular discipline. Students can also search by specific department or by salary range.

If your child express an interest in contributing to how the country is run, this is a great resource.

Making the best decision

Knowledge is power, they say, so giving your child as much valuable career information as possible is the best way to help them find their way to a dream career. And these government websites make gaining that knowledge a lot easier.