How to get to your dream job

You’ve been thinking about your dream career. You know exactly what you want to do. But there’s one problem – how do you get there?

It would be nice if you could just wake up one day and magically have your dream job. Unfortunately, you’ll need to put in some work first.

So just how do you find your options?


First step: research


Let’s say you’re in Year 12. You’ve decided you really want to be a Data Scientist. Great! What next? How to you get from A to B?

First, you’ll probably need to do a little research. Here are some handy resources you could use:

Here’s some info you might like to find out:

  • Do I need any qualifications for this job?
  • Will I need any prior work experience?
  • Where are most of the jobs located?
  • What skills do you need for the job?

After you’ve done your research, you’ll be ready for step two.


Second step: compare


Now that we have the info we need, we can start looking at our options.

You’ve discovered that to work as a Data Scientist, you’ll probably need a university-level qualification. Now that we know this, we can start to think of pathways.

Maybe you’ll go straight to university once you leave school. Or, if you don’t get the results you need, do a VET course first and then use that to apply to uni. Don’t want to go straight into study? Take a gap year first, and maybe get some data science-related work experience.

Weigh up the pros and cons of each option you find. For example, if you go straight to university, you might graduate and find a job sooner. On the other hand, taking a gap year can help you reset, and you might find something else you want to do even more.

You can have a look at the pathways available to you here.

Once you’ve done this, we can move on to the last step.


Third step: plan


You know where you want to go, and now you know how to get there. So let’s write it all out and make it as clear as possible.

Continuing with the above example, your plan might look a little something like this:

  1. Finish Year 12
  2. Apply to university
  3. Study a Bachelor of Computer Science
  4. Study a Master of Computer Science
  5. Find a job as a Data Scientist

Now you have clear steps you can take to get to your dream job.

But you might also want to consider thinking of a Plan B as well. Sometimes things happen that are out of our control, and you might not be able to follow the path you wanted. Say your ATAR isn’t high enough for entry into your chosen degree. You might be able to take this path instead:

  1. Finish Year 12
  2. Study a Certificate IV in Science at TAFE
  3. Use your VET qualification to get into uni
  4. Study a Bachelor of Computer Science
  5. Study a Master of Computer Science
  6. Find a job as a Data Scientist

As you can see, you’ll end up in the same place as the first pathway, it’s just how you get there that’s a little different.


When things don’t go to plan


You might find that a few extra steps are added to your plans along the way.

Maybe you decide to take a break and travel between getting your undergraduate degree and starting your postgraduate degree.

Maybe while you’re studying, you discover you love programming, and decide to become a Software Developer instead.

Maybe you can’t find any jobs where you live, so you need to move to another city.

Whatever happens, you always have options. It doesn’t matter if things don’t go exactly to plan (and they rarely ever do). And if your plan changes along the way, that’s okay too.

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