Career Counselling for High School Students

Career Counselling for High School Students

You’ve worked hard for your education since kindergarten, and you’re now in high school or you’ve just graduated. Your life up until now was pretty much laid out for you. And now what happens after grade 12? There is an endless list of possibilities, given there are over 15,000 educational programs in Canada (EduCanada 2021), and literally tens of thousands of careers to choose from. Where do you even begin?

Why is career counselling during high school so important?

You are at the ideal stage in life to benefit from career counselling. This is likely the biggest decision you will make at this time of your life, and at such a relatively young age. Career counselling increases your self-awareness, so you are making this decision with courage and confidence, which is backed by the solid rationale and information that comes from this process. You want to get your life off to the right start in the right direction, and career counselling certainly helps with this complex decision.

Have you had a negative experience with career testing or career planning at school?

I often hear this complaint, and it is one of the reasons that students are reluctant to come for career counselling. One student said she was told to become a garbage collector. Another student was told to become a school bus driver. It’s not these are necessarily bad choices, they were just poor options for these students. People are always pleasantly surprised to see how accurate my interpretation of their reports can be. The reason is I have years of experience with career counselling, I am passionate about what I do, and I am committed to helping people find the right education and career path.

How has the world of work changed in the past few decades?

The world of work has changed so rapidly recently, and as a result there are many jobs that have become obsolete, and many new jobs that have been created. Many new careers are the result of changes in technology, globalization, and Canadian demographics, as well as changes in legislation. And to make the world of work more complex than ever before, we’ve now had a pandemic that has compromised many career alternatives. It is believed that the majority of jobs that young people will hold over their lifetime haven’t even been invented yet (Mekouar, 2019). This means that choosing a career is more challenging than ever before.

What can happen to high school students who don’t do career counselling?

For some students, they select the right education and career, and they do just fine. For others, there is a lot of self-doubt or wondering if they’ve chosen wisely. Some students can start to question their own decision-making abilities, and self-esteem often drops. And some students can end up wasting a lot of time, energy and money pursuing an education or career path that isn’t suitable for them. This can result in a lot of needless stress, anxiety, and regret, and having to start this process all over again, often in their 30s.

How many sessions does career counselling usually take?

Typically 3-4 hours and 4 tests work really well for most students. Some people may benefit from more sessions if they require further clarity with their career decision, if they are looking at various educational routes, or need to overcome any obstacles standing in their way of their career success.

How do I get started?

Please call or email to begin your career counselling journey!


EduCanada (2023). A world of possibilities.

Mekouar, D. (2019). Most of 2030’s jobs haven’t been invented yet.

Susan MacDonald

Dr. Susan MacDonald Ph.D. Registered Psychologist

Calgary-based Dr. Susan MacDonald is a Registered Psychologist with 20 years of experience offering career and personal counselling services to both organizations and individuals.

Ready to Take the First Step?

Fees can be reimbursed by your extended medical plan or health spending account (and also through your partner’s plan).