Michigan 4-H provides a venue for career exploration

Michigan State University Extension encourages career exploration through 4-H involvement.

Youth looking at flowers and sitting in tractor safety class
Whether learning horticulture or tractor safety, 4-H members have endless opportunities to explore jobs and careers as part of 4-H. Photos by Berrien County 4-H.

Michigan 4-H members coose projects and other 4-H youth development experiences every day. Whatever your aspirations, 4-H provides a venue for career exploration.

Whether 4-H’ers are learning to start a business, bake a cake, be a club officer or plan their next community service event, career exploration can be a part of all of these experiences. Consider these questions to help identify jobs or careers related to the experience 4-H projects, events and programs create.

  • Does this project or program fit with a hobby or interest that I have?
  • As a 4-H club officer, what skills am I learning?
  • What skills am I learning from this project, program or volunteer role?
  • What careers and jobs are related to this project, program or volunteer role?
  • If I take on a new volunteer role, what job skills or careers can I learn about through that opportunity?

Once you have identified jobs or careers to learn more about from the above questions, network with volunteer leaders, fellow 4-H families and the community to learn more about future opportunities. For “X” career or job:

  • What is involved in pursuing this career or job?
  • What is the salary range for this career or job?
  • What types of job options are there in career field “X”?
  • Where are the employment opportunities for “X”?
  • What education is necessary to become “X”?
  • What post-secondary education or training is required for “X” career?
  • Where can I find out more about “X” careers?

And by all means, connect what you have learned back to Michigan’s six career pathways:

  • Arts and communication
  • Business, management, marketing and technology
  • Engineering/manufacturing and industrial technology
  • Health science
  • Human services
  • Natural resources and agriscience

Michigan 4-H has five pre-college programs through the Spartan Youth Programs at Michigan State University to help you learn even more:

Michigan 4-H can help you become more aware of your community and the work world while interacting with diverse people, cultures and interests. As a Michigan 4-H member or volunteer, think about how you can apply more career exploration activities to your 4-H experience starting now.

For more information or resources on career exploration, workforce preparation, financial education or entrepreneurship, contact 4-HCareerPrep@anr.msu.edu.

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