Career Guide for Students with Disabilities
The above picture is of a woman sitting in her wheelchair at a desk with a man standing next to her appearing to assist her.
Life after college can be daunting for any student. On the one hand, you're excited about graduating and leaving the troubles of college behind. On the other hand, you're anxious about building a career and finding a job after school. For disabled students, it's even more challenging because of the challenges connected with discriminatory hiring practices.
So how do you scale through these hurdles and land a career that you actually love? Well, if you're a student with a disability, the following tips will help you choose and build a stable career after college.
Career preparation in college
Although college life can be overwhelming, it's actually the best time to lay a foundation and start building your career. Here are some tips that can help you prepare for your career while you're in college:
Consult a qualified career counselor
The first step to preparing yourself for a career after college is to speak with an expert who can show you the right path. A career counselor can walk you through the entire job application process and even provide strategies for interview preparations. They can also provide the proper techniques for discussing your disability with interviewers to ensure that each interview will be non-discriminatory and centered on your qualifications.
But where do you find a career counselor without having to pay through your nose for each session? Well, it's pretty simple. As a college student, you'll have access to your college's career center. This means that you can speak to career counselors and discuss your future with them free of charge.
Try out extracurricular activities
For any student, participating in extracurricular activities is a powerful move. Not only do these activities prepare you for the real world but they can also improve your interpersonal skills and will look good in your resume.
While in school, focus on extracurricular activities that will strengthen your career-related skills. This way, when it comes to job applications, you won't be yet another greenhorn that just stepped out of college. You'll have the necessary skills and experience guaranteed to impress any recruiter.
Participate in work-based learning
Asides from extracurricular activities, internship programs are also great avenues for identifying relevant career interests and skills. As a student with disabilities, internship programs can help you gain relevant work experience, skills and even build relationships for future employment.
Here are some examples of suitable internship programs for students with disabilities:
Apprenticeship: An apprenticeship is an excellent choice for students looking for a long-term system of training. It's a hands-on approach that typically involves both academic learning and occupational training. This means that as an apprentice, you get to learn the theoretical aspect of the profession and develop the required skills at the same time. What's more, you'd be learning from a team of seasoned experts. Although apprenticeship can be draining, especially for college students, it's certainly worth it in the end.
Shadowing: Job shadowing is an excellent and less rigorous choice for students who want to explore a particular profession or occupation. Here, you'll get to work with an expert for a short while and familiarize yourself with all aspects of the job.
Career paths for students with disabilities
So, we've arrived at the big question: what career paths are available for students with disabilities? If you're a disabled student, the good news is that there are several career paths that can complement your specific disability.
Here are some of them:
Computer-related jobs: IT or computer-related jobs are an excellent choice for students with limited mobility. These jobs typically require little to no movement and, as such, are completely safe. For instance, if you're physically disabled, you could easily work as a statistician or computer support specialist.
Communications careers: With the rise of social media platforms, most companies are constantly on the lookout for content creators and marketers to boost their brand's image. With a degree in communications, you'll be a great fit for these roles. What's more, most jobs in communications are usually flexible and even allow for remote working.
Where to find jobs as a student with disabilities
If you're a disabled student, there are tons of online career sites where you can easily find job opportunities. Monster, Indeed, and Totaljobs are some popular choices.
However, for best results, it's advisable to use disability-specific platforms such as our site disABLEDperson.com. We receive thousands of new jobs daily from employers looking to hire from our community.
A lot of students with disabilities often get anxious about the opportunities that await them after college. With the right resources and opportunities at hand, you can make the most of your life after college. Utilize your career prep resources in school and try out disability-specific job platforms when you get to the job-hunting stage. Here's to a fulfilling career!
Jenny Stiller is an artist and essay writer at HandMadeWriting. She specializes in creating high-quality academic papers, dissertations, and essays for students who need academic help. When she's not writing, Jenny likes to go on adventures and trips with her family.