Research questions

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Topic: Your Future – (A rationale for where you hope to go from here in terms of a career or field of study) “What problems do you want to solve?”
Jaime Casap (self-described Google Global Education Evangelist) says this:
“Don’t ask kids what they want to be when they grow up but what problems do they want to solve. This changes the conversation from who do I want to work for to what do I need to learn to be able to do that.”
• What interests you?
• What issues do you see in this world that you want to do something about?
Research Questions
This assignment asks you to consider these (and other related) questions. You actually will come up with your own research questions focusing on this topic about your future career or field of study. Here are a few questions that might help you get started:
• What skills do you already possess?
• What skills do you need to develop?
• Where/how can you develop the skills you need?
• How will your educational choices pave the way for your future?
• What types of opportunities will be available for you following (or during) your educational pursuits and where might these opportunities be available to you?
• How much can you expect to earn by pursuing the particular path that you envision?
• How well will your chosen path meet your needs? (Be sure to consider the range of needs from financial to personal fulfillment)
You need not answer all of these questions in your essay; however, you will conduct research to try to figure out which path is right for you at this time (or to rule out a particular path if that’s what you determine, or to affirm a path you are currently pursuing).
By the end of this unit, you will draft an essay that describes what you discovered in terms of a plan for your education and your future career after graduation (or completion of studies). By exploring your options, identifying specific objectives and capturing the steps necessary to meet those objectives in this essay, you are already moving yourself in the direction of shaping your future (and your future fulfillment).
Take an inventory
To explore your options, you will first need to take an inventory (just as many businesses do to see what changes they need to make or what products they need to order, etc.). So, you will take an initial assessment: The MyPlan Assessment (which consists of four sub-assessments—a Personality Test, an Interests Test, a Skills Test, and a Values test). Continued…
Based on your results and your personal reflections (after all, you know yourself better than anyone else), you will identify the particular option(s) you wish to explore in depth. You will identify the personal, unique steps of your education plan (i.e., coursework, cultural experiences, extracurricular activities, internships, etc.) that will prepare you for the specific future that you envision. Beyond the education plan, you will explore your particular chosen field of study and/or specific career path. You’ll do everything from reading about it to talking to people with experience in that particular field or career. Ultimately you are trying to determine whether or not the identified field or career is right for you. (And if you are already sure about your plan, you are researching and identifying as many details of the plan as possible to ensure its success).
Note: If, early on in your investigation, you realize that this particular choice is not right for you, you may still have time to select another option and explore that new choice. However, if you do not make the discovery that the path won’t work for you until later, just continue to explore this path so that you finish the assignment. You may even decide to write your essay from the perspective that you had thought this path was right for you, but you’ve determined that it is not. The essay will introduce the career option and show why it is not appropriate for you now (or perhaps ever).

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