Upcoming Career Expo
Info coming soon!
Attending a Career Expo
Attending a Career Expo is a great opportunity for students to explore education options apart from traditional four-year programs, and consider other pathways towards earning a certification or degree. A career technical education (CTE) can build industry knowledge and expertise, and develop soft skills through hands-on learning and apprenticeships. A Career Expo hosts representatives from trade and vocational programs, information and technology institutes, design and art academies, culinary schools, military enlistments, and community colleges that offer associate degrees and transfer pathways to 4-year degree programs. Many post secondary options are available to satisfy each student's academic, financial and social requirements.
Faring Well at a Career Expo
Before The Expo
- Find out which organizations will be attending and write down the names of the ones you want to learn about.
- If you have time, do some research, especially about organizations you have not heard of or considered before.
- Create a short list of questions to ask the representatives. Plan on asking the same (or similar) questions at each table, so that you can compare options. Questions should be unique to your interests and not easily found with basic research. (See examples below.)
- Both students and parents are encouraged to attend, but make sure the students do most of the talking (or even go around separately from their parents.) It can be helpful to get a second opinion on your impressions of particular organizations and you might ask different questions.
- Bring your list of organizations and questions, a pen, a notebook and a bag (to hold business cards, brochures etc..)
- Consider bringing a few cards/self-adhesive address labels pre-printed with your name, address, phone number, e-mail address, high school, year of graduation, interests. At the expo, save time filling out the same information at each table by giving the representative a card or sticking a label on their information card. (Make sure your email address won’t embarrass you - college admission officers will see it.)
At The Expo
- Look at the map or survey the room and plan your route.
- Visit reps and ask questions.
- Write down your impressions and the answers you were given before you visit the next table, while your thoughts are still fresh.
- Leave time to browse. Don’t just focus on “known” options. You may find one you’ve never heard of that offers exactly what you want, or find something you hadn’t considered before.
When You Get Home
- Ask yourself which options stood out and why.
- Organize the material you collected and review it while it’s fresh in your mind.
- Go over any notes you took during the expo.
- Recycle pamphlets of organizations you’ve ruled out.
- Do more research on those you’re thinking about. Explore websites, contact the organization, or plan a visit.
- If you still have questions, consider contacting your school College & Career Center Specialist and meeting to review your findings and asking additional questions.
Questions to Ask at a Career Expo
- Do you offer my planned career pathway?
- Are there different ways to get into my chosen field?
- How easy is it to change direction?
- What key skills is your industry looking for?
- Are there minimum entrance requirements?
- Are there any fitness or other skills required?
- What high school classes should I be concentrating on that will help me on this career path?
- What's your average class size? (How big is your largest class?)
- How ling will it take to complete training?
- How much will it cost?
- Are there scholarships or financial aid available?
- Do you help students find internships or jobs in their field?
- Do you offer academic counseling and support services?
- How easy is it to get there from the Bay Area?
- Are there housing options?
- How soon will start earning a salary, and what starting salary can I expect?
- What sort of hours will be working?
- Are there options to advance in this career in the future?
- Are there reasons why I shouldn't consider this career?
- What is the best thing about this career?
Helpful Tips When Asking Questions
- If interested in learning the main interests of the majority of students, ask “what are the most popular programs?" rather than “how many people are in the freshman class?”
- If considering a particular CTE program, ask: how many students take that program; what courses you would take your first year in a particular program; and, what and how much technical training does the program offer. You should try not to ask “how good is this CTE program?” Reps will promote all programs.
- Students who are undecided should ask about what services and support are available to help them explore various courses of study.
- Other things you can ask about include: extracurricular activities; what kinds of students the school is looking for; what percentage of students receive financial aid; and other concerns unique to your interests and situation.
Thank you to the CUHSD Ed Foundation for the information above. The page content is adapted from original as written by Jennifer Gross Copyright © 2003 National Association for College Admission Counseling and the College Board.