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Career Exploration Books for High School Students

An updated list is available in the Career Books for High School Students 2019 post.

It’s never too early to have students begin thinking about their future career. Here are our favorite books to help guide students through finding and getting the job that’s right for them.

What Color Is Your Parachute? for Teens

by Carol Christen

Adapted for a younger audience, What Color is You Parachute for Teens draws on the time-tested methods of the original series, but tailors it to high school and college students. The book guides teens through discovering their passions, skills, and related college majors and jobs.

“This book includes great advice about choosing an education that will get you to the career that you love. With the skyrocketing cost of education, it makes so much sense to choose a path that will get you to work that you love so much you’d do for free. The book also shares how to market yourself, the basics of looking for a job, and creating a life you love.” —Victory Girl

Career Match: Connecting Who You Are with What You’ll Love to Do

by Shoya Zichy

Shoya Zichu’s Career Match centers around a quick, but insightful personality assessment. Each chapter then focuses on each personality type, showing readers how to find a career that fits their personality and how to get the job. This book is an invaluable resource for those in need of direction.

“Using a workstyle assessment technique called Color Q, Career Match is probably one of the best career self-testing books you’ll ever run across.” —Mensa Bulletin


Getting Real: Helping Teens Find Their Future

by Kenneth Carter Gray

In Getting Real: Helping Teens Find Their Future, appeals to teens by integrating youthful aspirations with economic realities, to guide them in making practical goals for their career. Gray explains labor markets, exposes misconceptions about careers, and explores a variety of postsecondary options.

“This book is a must-read for those involved in developing futures planning for students in ninth grade through their exit from high school into adult life.” —Kelli S. Kercher, Transition Specialist

Testing the Waters: A Teen’s Guide to Career Exploration

by Alice N. Culbreath and Saundra K. Neal

The authors of Testing the Waters combine their experiences in both business and education to create a thorough and practical guide to help students achieve their college and career goals. This book includes a  directory of over 1,200 part-time and summer jobs, internships, volunteer opportunities, entrepreneurial ideas, educational programs, travel and adventures located throughout the United States and around the world, available specifically for high school students.

Did we miss any? What is your favorite career exploration book for teens?

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