Career Exploration, Jobs & Apprenticeship

Just as you may begin your college research earlier than senior year, you should begin doing research on interesting career fields even in high school. Naviance offers a Career Interest Inventory (in the “About Me” tab), and also allows you to search various career fields, noting the education requirements, salary, occupational growth outlooks, and associated tasks. Knowing what you enjoy academically, as well as what type of thinker/learner/worker you are, can help you think about potential careers. Remember that it is rare to KNOW what you want to be, or do, early on - and most adults end up switching and changing careers in their lifetime. What you learn and experience in one field may end up helping you in a completely different one. Be open minded! Do research to gain an understanding of what’s out there (and think beyond! Many jobs don’t exist yet that will exist by the time you enter the workforce! Think: technology and entrepreneurship!) and what you may be interested in. And remember, your college major does not necessarily have to be “directly related” to your field of interest - you make the connections!


Get involved even in high school… whether that’s through volunteering or a job, real-life experience in the work-force is critical! You learn so much about yourself and gain valuable experience that will help you along the way. Use the resources below to help you both research and/or gain employment while in high school or post-graduation.


Career Research & Planning

ONet Online
Detailed descriptions on various careers and career clusters, the hot technologies.

Career One Stop
Resource for career exploration, training, scholarships, and jobs.


US Department of Labor

(Bureau of Labor Statistics)
Career exploration site. The Occupational Outlook Handbook (in English and Spanish) contains information on jobs, what it takes to get into the field, and the future of the job market.

Virginia Education Wizard
Information on Virginia community colleges, guaranteed admission, and what to do to prepare for careers.



The College & Career Center sends  emails for job and volunteering opportunities. Make sure to check these out, or stop by the Career Center to view the Job Opportunities notebook.

If you are a student who is planning to enter the workforce after college, stop by the Career Center and check out the resources on this page to do research on apprenticeships, jobs, and other career opportunities.

Browse the links below for Some helpful online job search tools.

Employment Opportunities


Under 16 and need a work permit?  Visit


Many job fields offer direct learning- to- career field opportunities through apprenticeships (ie. carpentry, electrical, HVAC, car repair and detailing, and many more). Many pay for your education to secure your training and certificates in the field, and may also guarantee a job after training. If you’re looking to enter the workforce after highschool, consider an apprenticeship.

For more information on apprenticeships, visit


Check out the HELP WANTED signs, or HIRING signs around the area.  From restaurants and retail to outdoor ice skating rinks - jobs are a plenty!  And don't forget to check out the Career Center Updates emails for employers that have reached out to Oakton High School.


1.  Dress Appropriately and Be Well Groomed

2.  Walk Into An Interview With Confidence

3.  Greet Your Interviewer(s) Immediately

4.  Open Your Interview By Thanking Them For the Opportunity

5.  Be Ready To Tell Them About Yourself And Your Qualifications

6.  Be Prepared To Explain Why You Want The Job


Need a few service hours?  
Check out X2Vol on Naviance! 

Also check out:

Volunteer Fairfax

Volunteer Match


Do Something

Corporation for National and Community Service

Fairfax County Government Volunteer Opportunities



Information on Internships


Many students seek “Internships” while in high school. An internship is a great opportunity to see what it would be like to work in a particular field or with a specific company. Some are paid and some are unpaid. Although the word internship sounds fancy, it really at its essence is just a job or volunteer opportunity! Don’t miss potential opportunities just because they don’t have the word “internship” in the title!


Some tips on landing an internship:

  • Be looking well before your potential start date. There are sometimes set internship programs (ie. NIH, Smithsonian) with an application process and hard deadlines. (Many deadlines occur in January & February!) Make sure to read Oakton Career Center updates emails and check Naviance’s Enrichment programs for various programs.


  • Ask around - ask your parents, your friends’ parents, local businesses. Many businesses don’t have a set program so may initially say they don’t offer an “internship”, but remember, that’s just a word! Offer to job shadow for a few days or a week; offer to do volunteer work, or just ask if they have any job openings!


  • Sometimes you can take a job shadow opportunity and then it can become a job or internship. Always look for opportunities to expand your experience in a place where they are already know your work ethic and interest.


Oakton High School is fortunate to participate yearly with the Tysons Chamber of Commerce Job Shadow program (The Career Center typically sends sign up information out in October/November. Students will participate in the job shadow program in January/February with local businesses in a field of interest. This program is open to juniors and seniors.


  • Many companies and non-profits offer internships and prefer undergraduate/college students for these positions, however, sometimes these positions go unfilled and in this case, a motivated high school student may be a great candidate (especially if you can provide your own transportation). Check out the Washington Post job listings.


Some places Oakton/FCPS students have interned locally:


  • Jones Robb, PLLC - McLean

  • Cofense - Leesburg

  • RazorX2 - Ashburn

  • Valador Inc. - IT, Herndon

  • Lepton Global - satellite technology - Fairfax

  • Navy Federal Credit Union


Some of the companies students have job shadowed at through the Tysons Chamber of Commerce Job Shadow Program:

  • American Prime

  • Ategra Capital

  • Clear View Homes

  • Cloudburst

  • Convene

  • CST Accounting

  • Diva Nails


  • Falls Church Animal Hospital

  • Fairfax Public Access

  • Fairfax Water

  • Food for Others

  • Grossberg

  • Impact Business

  • Intelsat

  • Jiffy Lube

  • Literacy Council

  • Office of Delegate Mark Keam

  • Office of Senator Mark Waner

  • Merritt Academy

  • Navy Federal Credit Union

  • StraTac Marketing

  • The Arc of Northern Virginia

  • Vienna Animal Hospital

  • Wildfire

  • Yext

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