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Exploring Careers

Throughout his/her time at St. Mary’s and beyond, your son/daughter will have to make many important decisions in terms of his/her future career pathway.

As your son/daughter makes choices and plans for the future, particularly at each transition stage, you will play a significant and influential role in ensuring that he/she is making informed and considered decisions. It is, therefore, important that you, as a parent/guardian, are in a position to advise, guide and support your son/daughter in terms of his/her career choices.

This section of our website contains information, resources and links to assist you in supporting your son/daughter as he/she makes important career decisions.


  • Encourage, guide and support your son/daughter to research and explore his/her career options from an early stage.
  • Discuss your son/daughter’s personal skills, abilities, qualities and interests with him/her and consider the career areas to which he/she may be best suited.
  • Discuss your son/daughter’s career interests/aspirations with him/her and determine how much he/she already knows about the areas that interest him/her. Help him/her to identify anything else he/she needs to know about particular career areas.
  • Help your son/daughter to research information about current trends and future employment opportunities and to consider these against his/her abilities and aspirations.
  • Be aware of the choices your son/daughter has to make at each transition stage e.g. GCSE subject choices, post-16 study opportunities, further and higher education options.
  • Be prepared to listen to what your son/daughter has to say about their career interests and be careful not to only ‘encourage’ your son/daughter to pursue the pathway you want him/her to follow.  Be open to exploring new career pathways which interest them.
  • Remember that it is important to allow your son/daughter to make his/her own decisions in terms of his/her future.
  • Listen to what your son/daughter’s teachers have to say about his/her interests, strengths and areas for improvement and consider how these relate to his/her career aspirations.
  • Explore opportunities for your son/daughter to engage in work-related learning over and above that required by the school’s Work Shadowing Programme. Where possible, use your own network of contacts to secure work experience for your son/daughter or to engage him/her in discussion with someone who works in an area of interest to him/her.
  • Discuss your own career journey/experience with your son/daughter.
  • Explore the careers information videos provided by the school.
  • Attend the Information Evenings provided by the school as these are intended to equip you with the knowledge and information to support your son/daughter in his/her decision-making at key transition stages.
  • Where possible, attend careers events, exhibitions and open days with your son/daughter.
  • If you have any questions or concerns, make an appointment to speak to a member of the Careers Department in school or contact Careers Service NI.