skip to content

Why You Need to Talk to Your Student

Does your student know BRAC is coming to Maryland? Does your student have skills needed to enter today's workforce? This website provides pertinent information to various career choices and industries that may offer your teen employment -- from High School Diploma, to Certification Programs, to College Degrees, there is a multitude of future workforce needs for the State of Maryland.

As parents we strive to discuss with our kids important issues such as getting good grades, safety awareness, sexual activity, and avoiding drugs and alcohol; but just how often do we talk to them about another issue that's just as important -- their future career choice.

Oftentimes the "career talk" doesn't happen until they start filling out those college applications or their high school graduation date approaches and they get ready to enter the job market. It is imperative to communicate with your student today, not only regarding getting the skills necessary to enter today's workforce, but also about how the choices they make today in their youth can impact their tomorrow. The earlier the talk begins -- the better.

Throughout life, your student will have many tough decisions to make. The decisions they make as teens can have tremendous impact on their future. Helping them to understand how the past can shape career opportunities is critical. With national security being our government's top priority, whatever career paths they choose may require some type of background check. Many of the jobs in our region are associated to the defense industry, some coming to this area as a result of the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC). So, whether it's a janitorial position or a senior staff position, many jobs will in fact require some level of security clearance.

According to the 2008 Maryland's Workforce Indicators, bioscience, aerospace, construction and healthcare have shown the fastest job growth in the past 5 years. Being aware of the trends and knowing about the 60,000+ BRAC-related jobs coming to the region may be a great conversation starter in finding out about their interests, their likes and dislikes, as well as strengths and weaknesses.

Skilled workers with strong science, technology, engineering and math backgrounds are in high demand. Also needed is a skilled labor workforce to build, maintain and support new infrastructure. For this reason, the Maryland State Department of Education is doing its part by ensuring the schools are BRAC-ready. Help our student to become career-ready by stressing upon them the need to have the skills required to compete in today's workforce as well as the ability to obtain and maintain a security clearance (whether they need it or not) and also the benefits of having a clearance such as higher pay and job security.

Although your student may not know exactly what they want to be, knowing what their interests are, what jobs are out there and what it takes to get hired could put them one step closer to the career of their dreams -- which could be right her in their backyard.

Tips for communicating with your teen about their future:

  • Listen to what your teen has to say about their interests, then offer advice.
  • Find out what their interests are and help them find out about the programs their school may offer.
  • Be supportive and try not to judge -- they may have a different concept of a dream job than the one you were thinking about for them.
  • Help them research possible jobs that suit their interest.
  • Understand that they cannot usually define their future in one day -- some teens change their minds overnight.
  • Have a discussion with your teen about how having a clearance can benefit them and encourage your student to remain security clearance eligible (Be sure to talk about the dangers of the Internet and the impact it can have on a clearance. For example, posting inappropriate content to their MySpace page that could come back to haunt them later on).

Visit our Student Section for more information to help your teen.

back to top