Sterling Academy Blog

How Elective Courses help you investigate future careers

Posted by Sterling Staff on Sep 7, 2015 7:19:00 AM

Some people know from childhood exactly what they want to “be” when they grow up. For most of us, however, it’s not that simple. Today’s high school students can look forward to jobs your parents never heard of. And there are a lot more career opportunities out there you’ve never heard of, simply because you’re young and haven’t run into them yet.

Whether you go on to college or join the workforce right out of high school, very soon you’re going to need a job. You can mindlessly fall into whatever comes along to pay your bills, or you can make a conscious career choice. But how are you supposed to do that if you don’t even know what’s out there? 

Electives help you uncover career options that are really “you.” 

Don’t say “ugh” until you’ve tried it.

Science, technology, engineering and math – collectively known to your teachers as STEM – are hot these days. Like to draw or design things? Digital arts is technology in action. So is learning computer coding, which could help you create the next must-have phone app. (By the way, only 10% of high schools even offer computer coding, and Sterling Academy is one of them.)

Design is engineering in action that can lead to anything from architecture to space aeronautics to robotics (which also involves technology). And math? You’ll be hard-pressed to find any job that doesn’t require math skills.

You don’t have to develop a cure for cancer to have a totally rewarding career in the health care field. (But you could, if lab research interests you.) And you don’t have to be a doctor, nurse or dentist – taking elective courses like anatomy can open your eyes to dozens of career options in health care.

Electives that teach you about marketing or business basics will help you in any career you choose, whether you’re a prospective entrepreneur or not, because every job out there is at a business of some kind. Even successful careers in government or the military require understanding how things get done in the business world.

Good at languages? Aside from the fact that prospective colleges expect you to take at least two years of a foreign language, electives like Chinese or German can give you a significant boost when it comes to pursuing a career in this global society, where organizations have offices all over the world.  Even if you don’t go abroad, if you work in a multi-national company, colleagues from overseas may come to work with you, and knowing their language can put you at an advantage in your company.


Electives let you try things on for size.

Taking a wide variety of elective courses helps you get a feel for how different fields approach things like problem-solving, and see where you can put your personal interests and aptitudes to work. To be a good fit, the career you choose should match your personality and learning style.

At Sterling Academy, some of our electives not only teach you about career options, they can get you started on a new job. Our Pharmacy Technician course is one example. There is a growing need for pharmacy techs. It’s a job you can make a lifelong career, or it can be a stepping stone to any type of medical career.

You can take electives at Sterling Academy as a full-time student working online to earn your diploma or as a part time student, to take advantage of our broader range of choices than your brick-and-mortar high school offers. We’re regionally accredited, so you can generally easily transfer the credits you earn with us back to your regular school to round out your transcript. (P.S. – it’s easy to blend online electives into your existing school/life schedule, because you can study any time you want from any place with an internet connection.)

Deciding on a career path is a process of learning about yourself. Elective courses can help you discover things you’re good at, or which interest you, or you never knew existed. And that can change the course of your life.

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Topics: online electives

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