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If we rewind back to the first grade, most of us are able to recall the answer to what every primary teacher asked us: What do you want to be when you grow up?

For me, I dreamed of becoming a teacher, while others held on to the thoughts of one day becoming chefs, doctors, and astronauts. At the time it was easy to dream, but today with big-time career decisions just a few years away, the days of playing pretend are nearing its end.

Whether our career aspirations may or may not have changed over the years, it's crucial for students to be familiar with labour market trends when they head to school and search the job boards. Faith Cameletti, project coordinator at the Career Education Council, is taking her efforts to schools in the Guelph and Wellington, Ontario areas for her current project: Hot Jobs - Work Here.

Students really increase their chances of employment when they consult labour market trends and really use that as a factor in deciding what their ideal job is, says Cameletti. They'll be putting themselves in the sector that really has jobs versus one that doesn't.

Promoting the data

Speaking at schools, Cameletti aims to educate and inform students, parents, and teachers of the importance in making career decisions and keeping labour market trends in mind. During her presentations, she stresses the idea of over-saturation in certain industries.

When students are doing their career planning, they're thinking about their interests when they're picking a career, she says. They're not necessarily thinking about how many jobs are in that specific field. They end up going to university or college, graduate, and don't necessarily get a job in that field.

Cameletti also explains how students should look beyond employment and unemployment numbers in their desired industries and start taking cultural factors into consideration. How do social, economic, and political factors affect the market? asks Cameletti. We look at our local region'so Guelph and Wellington'and the four sectors that are growing here: advanced manufacturing, health and wellness, information technology, and agrifood.

Pursuing hot industries

For Cameletti, what she found most interesting in her presentations was the response from students. What was really surprising to us was that 45 per cent of the students'after learning about labour market trends'were actually inspired to pursue one of those in-demand, hot jobs.

We know, it's challenging to potentially have to ditch a dream you had since you were six years old. But finding a field that'll offer stability is important to consider. Sometimes when we talk to students about specific fields that are growing, they're not really interested or they have some sort of preconceived notion of why that field isn't good for them, explains Cameletti, stressing the importance of taking the time to learn more about the trends. The manufacturing industry, for instance, hires more than just labourers, but also people in engineering, sales, and finance'positions students may not have previously considered.

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