Using YouTube to Explore Colleges and Careers

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May 20, 2023

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Unlock this lesson to learn how students can use YouTube to help with college and career prep

What parents, teachers, & students will learn in this course

  • How can YouTube help with college applications and career planning?
  • Can YouTube provide insights into different careers and industries?
  • Are there resources on YouTube for researching colleges, majors, and taking virtual campus tours?
  • Can students find scholarship information and application guidance on YouTube?
  • How can YouTube help create an impressive video resume for college applications?

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This is great info, thanks for giving me some ideas on how to start a dialogue with my teen!


Sharon M.

Parent VIP Member

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Josh's presentation about social media was unbelievably fantastic. Our students learned so much about what kids should and shouldn't be doing. The fact that it is such a thoughtful process made it all worthwhile.


Director of College Advising

Educator Webinar Attendee

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Table of Contents

YouTube is a fantastic educational tool. While many students use it to research subjects they are interested in by watching educational videos, YouTube can also be used to give them a significant advantage in the college application process and their career planning. We’ll explore some of the great ways students can use YouTube for college research to help them understand the college application process, simplify scholarship applications, and explore colleges and majors that would benefit them the most.

Up to 80% of college students change their major at least once. This can cost upwards of $18,000 in extra tuition and other expenses, making it an expensive way to learn if you jump in before fully exploring how you want to use your degree. Taking the time to evaluate strengths, weaknesses, and passions, as well as evaluating the job market for the majors you are considering, can help you make more informed decisions while saving time and money in the process.

How can YouTube help with college and career planning?

  • YouTube videos allow students to explore careers that interest them and discover what an average day in the field looks like
  • Universities offer virtual tours on YouTube as well as interviews with current students, exploration of majors offered, and information on housing options
  • A virtual resume can help students stand out by creating a more three-dimensional view of their accomplishments

Download this worksheet to follow along with the videos.

What do students think of YouTube? (video)

(This student-friendly video can be shown in the classroom or at home)

SmartSocial TEN Step Plan for Your Future 

  1. Take a personality test
  2. Discover what you are passionate about
  3. Look at career options that fit your personality and passions
  4. Use YouTube to explore potential careers
  5. Explore college majors that will help you get there
  6. Tour those colleges virtually using YouTube videos
  7. Research scholarships to help you pay for school
  8. Use YouTube to explore the local area, including city events, local weather, and housing options
  9. Watch YouTube videos about the college application process so you can be successful
  10. Apply to your dream college

Using YouTube to Explore Colleges & Careers (video)

(This student-friendly video can be shown in the classroom or at home)

Take a personality test

  • Visit to find your unique skills and personality traits (or scan QR code)
  • Take the 10 min test and print your results 
  • Take another 10 minutes to read over the results of your test - pay special attention to the “Strengths and Weaknesses” section and the “Career” section

What does your personality test tell you?

  • Would you be happiest in a job working directly with people or independently?
  • Would you do best at a desk job or at a job that keeps you moving around? 
  • Do you want a job that is high-risk and exciting or low-risk and stable?
  • What industries would be a good fit for you?
  • What tasks/roles energize you?
  • What tasks/roles wear you down, even if you are good at them?

Evaluate your strengths, weaknesses, and passions

  • Are the strengths in your test accurate for you? 
  • Do you feel like there are some that are wrong or missing?
  • Do you feel like the weaknesses are accurate? 
  • Knowing our weaknesses helps us to turn them into assets…but analyzing our results to see if they are accurate is important

Find careers that fit your personality 

  • After reviewing results, paste personality test results into ChatGPT and ask for recommended careers (for more information on ChatGPT visit our ChatGPT guide here)
  • Use the prompt, “I’m an [personality type] in my personality test. What careers might be right for me?”
  • What career choices do you like in the results?
  • Go to YouTube and search for: “A day in the life of [career field]”

How to use YouTube to plan your college major 

  • Not sure what to major in? That’s okay. Exploring can be fun and help you discover new things you are passionate about
  • Ask ChatGPT, “What are the best college majors to help me succeed in [pediatric nursing]?”
  • Go to YouTube, and search for YouTube videos from the college programs you are considering attending 
  • Search for YouTube videos from students who have attended the program or school you are looking at to see what their experience was like

Will your college major give you a good return on your investment?

  • Some careers may not require a college degree
  • You may find more success with certifications, licenses, or trade degrees
  • Consider calculating the total cost of your college education (include housing, food, and books minus any scholarships you receive)
  • Determine what your estimated salary will be once you graduate
  • How many years will it take you to pay off your degree?
  • Work with a trusted adult to determine if this is a good investment of your time and money

Worried about paying for college?

30% of students pay for part of their education with a scholarship. Use YouTube to research and create a plan to apply for scholarships 

  • Go to YouTube and search “Scholarships for [major]”
  • Look for success stories on YouTube from students who received scholarships
  • Watch YouTube videos about how to write scholarship application essays successfully
  • Keep in mind what they are looking for, so you can mold your passion projects and resume to tell your story
  • Learn how to stand out from other applicants

Building a College Application Video Resume Using YouTube (video)

(This student-friendly video can be shown in the classroom or at home)

Create a YouTube video resume to stand out to college admissions officers   

  • College admissions can be very competitive. Finding ways to stand out from other applicants is essential, and YouTube videos that demonstrate strengths are a great way to do that
  • To build a 3D version of your resume, consider creating a video resume and posting it on YouTube using your real name so colleges can find you
  • Feature any awards you have received, skills, certifications you have finished, and any notable accomplishments
  • Include photos or videos demonstrating your projects and talents

Hear from a college prep expert

The Psychology of YouTube

More resources for parents, students, & educators 


YouTube offers so many opportunities to help students navigate the college exploration process and help jumpstart their future career planning. By taking advantage of the wealth of YouTube videos available, students can gain valuable insights into their strengths, weaknesses, passions, and potential career paths. 

YouTube can be a powerful tool to research colleges, learn about different majors, find scholarships, and even create a standout video resume for college applications. With a little preparation and research, students can gain a competitive edge that sets them up for success in their college and career journeys. 

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