How to Take Your Future Career for a Test Drive

Why hands-on learning at a college might give you better insight into your career path.

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How to Take Your Future Career for a Test Drive

Graduate high school, go to college or university, get a good job. That is the goal of many students as they look toward their future. But how do you know if you've chosen the right "good job" to work toward? It's not like you get to take a career for a test drive. Or can you?

One of the many benefits of attending a college is the practical, real-life experience incorporated into your education. Rather than focusing primarily on theoretical concepts, experiential learning is almost like a test drive — you get to try your hand at the skills you are being introduced to, see how they fit with your interests and abilities and gain a better sense of whether the educational path you're on is the right one for you.

At College of the Rockies, some of the opportunities to metaphorically "kick the tires" include:

  • Practicum placements (Health and Child, Youth and Family Studies programs)
  • Projects with industry partners (Bachelor of Business Administration: Sustainable Business Operations program)
  • Co-op experiences (Hospitality Management diploma)
  • Real and simulated workplace experiences (Dental Assistant, Hairstylist, Professional Cook, and other Skilled Trades)
  • Exciting backcountry experiences (Adventure Tourism Business Operations, Mountain Adventure Skills Training)
  • Opportunities to try out newly acquired skills in hands-on field experiences and not compete with hundreds of classmates for lab time (University Arts & Sciences)

There are many benefits to hands-on learning, including:

  • An improved ability to retain the information you're learning
  • Increased engagement with the material
  • Familiarity with materials, equipment and skills used on the job
  • Enhanced critical thinking skills

So why commit to a career without taking it for a test drive? Whether you're looking to enter the skilled trades or to eventually earn a PhD, taking all, or part, of your education at a college can give you the hands-on experience you need to know you've chosen the right path — or can give you time to change paths early on if you find it's not the right fit for you.


Check out programs at College of the Rockies

Modified on March 12, 2021

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