MARSHALL COUNTY, W.Va. (WTRF) – Soon the sounds of pomp and circumstance will soon fill high schools as the seniors get ready for graduation day. 

As far as what lies ahead, the options are endless. 

With the college and career field so broad, what are students gravitating towards?

Maybe more importantly, what fields are in need of employees?

It may not be what you do, it’s how you do it. 

As the counselors at John Marshall High School help students prepare for future careers, they say a lot of fields are searching for employees. 

So, being hard-working and dedicated is key. 

For their up-and-coming students, the health science are proving particularly interesting. 

We have hospitals that reach out and are interested in seeing who our students are, getting them into the local hospital and tour and just seeing what they offer.

Mika Ward, Senior Counselor, John Marshall High School

Students at John Marshall have the opportunity to work in their field of interest years before they put on the cap and gown for graduation. 

They’re getting that entry-level knowledge so that when they go out they can more confidently jump right in. Hopefully the employers are seeing that they have this knowledge already.

Heather McCord, Coordinator of Vocational Services & Testing for the Adult Education & CTE Programs

John Marshall’s CTE program can help students work toward careers in culinary, technology, health sciences, welding and so much more. 

With this type of access to possible career paths, it’s not surprise that it’s popular with the students.

They also leave with practical experience, which sets them apart whether they choose college or to jump right into the workforce. 

Many of these students go to the trade unions and we have people come in and talk. They’re able to join apprenticeships and they really get a chance to be involved in those skills and they’re prepared as well.

Heather McCord, Coordinator of Vocational Services & Testing for the Adult Education & CTE Programs

In the CTE program, students simulate the workforce and even practice owning their own company.

They graduate with a portfolio and a resume that could help them land a job or move on to the next level of education or certification.

John Marshall also makes sure students get the opportunity to job shadow or see what a real-life day is like in a field they are considering. Before that, the school takes them to visit colleges.

While the senior class is ready for the next step in their professional journey the junior class is starting those tours, but conversations about the future happen early here. 

As the senior counselor, I’m getting my students ready for graduation at this point of the year. However, at the same time I’m working with my eighth graders at the same time getting them set up. 

Mika Ward, Senior Counselor, John Marshall High School

Students meet with a counselor before they even start classes at John Marshall. 

That same counselor is with them all four years, guiding them towards a career they’ll love. 

We know that may change over the course of four years and honestly it’s a good thing to change. They’re growing as a person, finding out where their skillset is, what they enjoy doing.

Mika Ward, Senior Counselor, John Marshall High School

Marshall County Schools also offer adult education classes. So, it’s not just the younger students planning for their career. They say it’s never too late to find what you’re passionate about.