Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Career Exploration: Why it is important


The South Dakota Week of Work will take place April 19-23. This exciting week is an opportunity for 10th and 11th grade students to explore career opportunities across the state, with many activities being held virtually, including live panel discussions with a wide variety of business and industry professionals. Registration information is now available on the 2021 Schedule page of the South Dakota Week of Work website.

Marcia Hultman is the Secretary of Labor and Regulation. Here she shares her thoughts on why career exploration is so important.

Hi, everyone. I’m Marcia Hultman, Cabinet Secretary of the Department of Labor and Regulation. As a former teacher, I’ve long known the importance of helping students make connections between classroom learning and the world of work.

I want to help students like yourselves understand WHY career exploration is so important. What you study in school sets an important stage for effective education and your future success.

While I was teaching English, I watched many students as they explored career options and made important decisions about their future. Their choices were not always for the right reasons or based on the best information.  

Now, as a leader of workforce development efforts, I continually see examples and hear stories underlining the importance of making informed career decisions.  

Employees in well-matched careers who enjoy their work and find personal value in it are generally more productive. Turnover resulting from employees discovering too late a field of work is not for them is difficult for employers who’ve invested time, money, and resources hiring and training them.

For young people and others choosing a career path, the investment in education and training is often costly. While there is always value in education, the return on investment is certainly better the more direct the path is to related employment.  

Our state’s employers need workers in many occupations. They offer great opportunities for youth and others in our great state of South Dakota.  

Resources to learn about these opportunities and make realistic, informed decisions about careers are invaluable. Our Labor Market Information Center has several career resources readily available. I encourage you to check out the Career Exploration and Planning Tools available on our website atdlr.sd.gov/lmic.  

The tools include: 

  • Age-appropriate K-12 materials for downloading or printing, including fun career awareness booklets and activities.  
  • A career interest survey with extensive online resources for learning more about occupations of interest.  
  • Exploration of occupations by career cluster.  

All resources are available at no charge online. I encourage parents to check out what’s available too. 

Making informed career decisions is a win-win for South Dakota employers and individuals. It is vital to your success to make a positive impact on our communities and economy as both workers and citizens. Please visitdlr.sd.gov/lmicto learn more about our career planning and exploration tools.  

The South Dakota Week of Work is sponsored by the South Dakota departments of Labor and Regulation and Education, the Governor's Office of Economic Development, the South Dakota Retailers Association, and the South Dakota Chamber of Commerce and Industry.