Start Planning

Middle and High School is the perfect time to start thinking about careers.  Learn about the advantages of thinking about careers at a young age.

Career development and Career and Technical Education (CTE) courses help you plan and gain skills for success in your future career. Learn about CTE, Internships, and more from your CDC.

Learn about the services and assistance your school counselor provides and how they can help you with your career planning.

Gain skills and career experience through CTE. Learn about courses, clusters, work-based learning, student organizations (CTSOs), NTHS, industry credentials, free college courses and more.

Learn about how these NC Community College staff members can help.

NCWorks has programs that can help with career planning and more…

Next Step

Find out what’s next in line on your career journey, or find out where to start your new journey.

Find out what’s next in line on your career journey, or find out where to start your new journey.

This tool can help you understand a next step in your career journey. The circle at the bottom left represents your current job. The circles on the right of the chart are jobs that have similar job skills and job duties but typically pay more. They may also require you to gain additional education or skills.

First Step

Click on a bubble to learn more about an occupation or to compare it to others. Additional information including comparison data are displayed in a table below.

How to use First Step

This tool can help you understand a potential pathway to a goal career. The circle at the top right represents your goal job. The circles on the left are jobs that have similar job skills or job duties to your dream job but typically pay less. They may also require lower educational attainment or skills.

  • By placing your cursor on the circle, you can learn what these occupations do.

  • If you click the “Compare” box on multiple occupations and add them to the “Compare Occupations” table at the bottom of the screen – you may need to scroll down – you can see the difference in education, experience, knowledge or skills needed.

  • From there you can determine what occupations could prepare you best for your goal job. If you hover over the circle and click “Add to Career Journey,” the occupation you selected has now moved to the top right and additional occupations appear on the left side.

  • You can continue this process as far as you desire and if you add your chosen occupations they will remain on the “Compare Occupations” table and provide you a potential roadmap to your ultimate career goal.

  • You can click on the occupation title to view its full occupation, including education programs to help you qualify for a job in that field and a short occupation video.

Compare Occupations
Median Annual Wage
Experience Needed
Knowledge Needed
Skill Needed