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Who Do You Think You Are?

Book Description

Give your kids their greatest chance at success

Who Do You Think You Are? helps parents, school counselors, and administrators get teens thinking about—and interested in—their future careers. Success in college and beyond relies on thorough prior preparation; by identifying interests and passions early on, young people are better able to plan for the career they want by mapping out the academic path to support it. This book shows you how to guide teens along on this journey, and how to stick with them until they reach the goals they've set. From helping them discover just what it is they're interested in, to finding the institution that will help them flourish and setting out a clear "plan of attack," this book provides invaluable insight from an expert in student success. 

No one expects every student to have a definitive life plan by high school graduation, but having some idea of direction is critical. Nearly 3.3 million students will graduate high school this year, and most will head straight to college—but just 20 percent of those who pursue an associate’s degree complete within four years, and only 60 percent of those who pursue a bachelor's degree complete within six years. Even those who earn a degree may struggle to move from school to work. Those who do succeed have done so because they've planned their work and worked their plans. This book shows you how to help your child to be one of the success stories. 

  • Map out an academic plan to support each kid’s field of interest
  • Identify the best-fit institution to get them where they want to be
  • Balance support and independence throughout your teen’s journey
  • Help your child be prepared for college so they can succeed far beyond


Adults know that success in life comes from plenty of hard work and thorough preparation—but for kids in middle and high school, that lesson is just now beginning to hit home. Who Do You Think You Are? helps you guide them through the transition successfully, so they can come out the other side exactly where they want to be.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. Title Page
  3. Copyright
  4. About the Authors
  5. Acknowledgments
  6. Part I: Who Are You?
    1. Chapter 1: How Do You Get Started?
    2. Chapter 2: What Are Your Interests and Strengths?
      1. Assessing Interests
      2. Assessing Strengths
      3. Strengths versus Weaknesses
      4. Using Interests and Strengths When Exploring Colleges and Careers
      5. Are Careers Inherited?
      6. Future-Proofing Career Choices
      7. Connecting Your Interests and Strengths to High School Courses
      8. Balancing the Ups and Downs
    3. Chapter 3: What Does Work Mean to You?
      1. Having the Tough Conversation
      2. Setting Expectations
      3. What Role Does Work Play in Your Life?
      4. Finding Meaning
  7. Part II: Where Are You Heading?
    1. Chapter 4: Are You Ready for a Career in Science, Technology, Engineering, or Math?
      1. STEM Pathways
      2. Middle School Conversations
      3. High School Conversations
      4. Superskills
      5. Sample Earnings Outlook
    2. Chapter 5: Can You Have a Good Career with a Degree in the Liberal Arts?
      1. What Are the Liberal Arts?
      2. Liberal Arts as a Practical Choice
      3. Career Pathways for Liberal Arts Majors
      4. Famous Liberal Arts Majors
      5. Short-Term and Long-Term Salaries and the Impact of Career Choice
      6. Sample Earnings Outlook
    3. Chapter 6: Can You Have a Career Helping Others without Sacrificing Your Own Needs?
      1. What Are the Helping Professions?
      2. Educational Preparation
      3. Long-term Career Growth
      4. Practical Challenges
      5. Emotional Risks
      6. Sample Earnings Outlook
    4. Chapter 7: Do You Want to Work in Business or Be in Business?
      1. Educational Preparation
      2. Early Experiences
      3. A Word about Automation
      4. Entrepreneurship
      5. Sample Earnings Outlook
    5. Chapter 8: Can You Make a Living as an Artist or Musician?
      1. Art for the Soul and Art for the Sale
      2. Art Education
      3. When You Disagree
      4. A Final Thought
      5. Sample Earnings Outlook
    6. Chapter 9: Should You Consider a Career in Law or Criminal Justice?
      1. Criminal Justice
      2. Criminal Law
      3. Noncriminal Law
      4. Law School
      5. Sample Earnings Outlook
  8. Part III: How Will You Get to Where You Want to Go?
    1. Chapter 10: How Can You Try On Your Career Interests?
      1. Informational Interviewing
      2. Sample Phone Introduction
      3. Sample Email Introduction
      4. Informational Interview Questions
      5. Job Shadowing
      6. Internships and Part-time Jobs
      7. Online Communities
    2. Chapter 11: Is College Right for You?
      1. Why College?
      2. An Important Warning
    3. Chapter 12: Can You Afford College?
      1. What's the Real Price of College?
      2. Can You Afford College?
      3. Applying for Financial Aid
      4. Build Your Dream Team
      5. Other Ways to Pay for College
      6. A Balancing Act
    4. Chapter 13: Does It Matter Where You Go to College?
      1. What Is Fit?
      2. Questions to Determine Fit
      3. Building a Smart College Application List
      4. Applying to College
      5. Making the Decision
      6. Making the Most of College
    5. Chapter 14: Is Community College a Better Place to Start?
      1. Upsides of Community College
      2. Potential Downsides
    6. Chapter 15: Closing Thoughts
  9. Additional Resources
  10. Index
  11. End User License Agreement