By: Mike A. Bryan

Do you know what you want to be when you grow up? Have you ever asked your parents or other relatives if they knew what they wanted to be when they grew up? While this is a very important question, not many young people take it seriously enough. Some adults that are already working don’t even know what they want to be when they grow up. It is a perennial question with myriad answers.

Have you ever heard of the term “Career Awareness?” Well, according to Google, it is “simply an understanding of the various possibilities for long-term employment and the knowledge necessary to begin work in a career field and progress in that job.” In other words, it is “knowing what you want to be when you grow up.” By exploring different subjects in school, a person can figure out what type of career they might like to pursue. If you like to read, maybe you should look into writing or editing as a career. If you like math, there are a ton of jobs that use math like actuaries, economists, and statisticians. If you like science, you could be a botanist, doctor, researcher, or many other things. If you like working with people, you could work in the service and hospitality industry or in sales. If you like computers, there are thousands of interesting jobs from coding to networking to cybersecurity and many more. These are just a few examples of interests that can turn into possibly lucrative careers.

So how does one figure out what they want to do in life? Just how exactly do you gain “Career Awareness?” These are tough questions, with many answers. One is to always be curious and try new things, even if they are intimidating to you. Another could be to follow in the footsteps of a parent or relative who has a career that interests you. You can do an internship or shadow a professional to learn more about that job and decide if it is for you or not. People also analyze themselves to determine what beliefs they hold, what skills they have, and their attitude in order to determine what types of careers they might be interested in. There are a ton of websites that will help a person determine what they want to do in life by asking questions about their likes and dislikes, strengths and weaknesses, their personality, and job history. These types of personality tests have been used for many years to help people not only find a job, but to be successful in that chosen career. If you care to check out a few, here is a list:

Another important task to do when searching for a career is to join LinkedIn. Not only can you find jobs through the website, but you can network and connect with professionals who share similar interests with you. If you’re curious about how to make a compelling LinkedIn profile you can view it HERE and check out what they have to say. Just using the site can land you a job, for recruiters are very active on LinkedIn.

In our opinion, cybersecurity is one of the best career paths that anyone can currently follow. There are tens of thousands of jobs open, and most of them start at a respectable salary of around $50,000 per year. In addition, the industry is only going to continue to grow, so it is one that you can start out in at one point, and progress as far as you like, depending on how hard you want to work and study on your own for certifications. The sky is truly the limit in the cybersecurity industry. If you are curious about cybersecurity careers, check out:

They are in high demand and will continue to be that way for the foreseeable future. So if cybersecurity is on your career pathway radar, you should seriously consider it. One excellent way to get ahead in cybersecurity is participating in Capture the Flag competitions, like the program we just launched, the PowerUp: Cyber Games. It is a series of monthly cybersecurity competitions for middle school and high school students. PUCG is a fun but challenging way to get a start in cybersecurity. 

It is not necessarily an easy feat to decide what career path you want to follow. It takes introspection and an eagerness to learn about careers you’ve never heard of before. But don’t be scared, and don’t despair. With just a little bit of research, careers can be identified that would be suitable. And once you know what you want to do, you can orient your whole life to make th