Parents & Families

As a parent or family member, your support counts. Students who make exploring careers a priority often feel more connected to their studies, are more likely to excel academically, and enjoy a heightened sense of purpose. Intentional planning can also help avoid unnecessary debt.

  Review our Career Readiness Checklist (PDF) and Career Conversations for Families (PDF) guide.

Below are simple ways you can support your student with making informed career choices.

  • Help your student think about who they really are. You know your student, and although it may not always feel like it, they care about what you think. Help them reflect on their past academic successes and interests. What were their most and least favorite subjects in high school? What occupies their free time? Can they list their hobbies and passions? Do any themes emerge?
  • Have your student complete a career assessment,or the MY CAREER STORY (PDF) workbook, followed by an interpretation of results by a career advisor. MY CAREER STORY provides guided self-reflection to help your student think about their life story.  Knowing and telling one's story adds meaning to career plans and choices. The workbook activities are designed to help individuals better understand how work can allow them to live out their values, passionate pursuits, and more.
  • Talk to your student about the career decisions you have made. Does your student know what you do at work every day? Do they know what skills and abilities you employ? Share with them what you find rewarding, frustrating, and even earnings, if comfortable. Disclose what you might have done differently and help them understand what it took to reach your goals. 
  • Resist the urge to do everything for your student. While wanting the very best for your student, parents can feel pressure to become over-involved. Instead, help them uncover resources, do the work, and offer support along the way. Find helpful resources at Explore Careers and Majors.
  • Encourage volunteering, interning, and on-campus student employment. Not only will these experiences provide first-hand insight into employment and careers, they can bolster the résumé, be a good networking tool, and demonstrate initiative to prospective employers.
  • Encourage speaking with other professionals about what they do. This can be as easy as taking them to work with you and allowing them to meet with colleagues in positions that interest them. See tips on connecting with your network of contacts and potential questions to ask.
  • Suggest your student talk to a career advisor at Kent State’s Career Exploration and Development. Our staff work with prospective students through alumni and have access to a variety of resources for making informed career decisions and planning an employment search.  According to the NACE 2010 Student Survey, students who utilized career services early and often had a difference in median salary of more than $5,700 compared to students who never went to career services.