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Using YouTube to Explore Colleges and Careers

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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 webinar is a very helpful eye-opener on the apps that are popular with my students.

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Full Replay - Using YouTube to Explore Colleges & Careers (Video)

Parents and Teachers: View the full VIP Facilitation Guide Here

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

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

Take a personality test

  • Visit 16Personalities.com 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

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

More resources for parents, students, & educators

Conclusion

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.

Full Replay - Using YouTube to Explore Colleges & Careers (Video)

What Do Students Think of YouTube? (For Students, Parents & Educators)

Questions to prompt discussion with students:

Parents and Teachers: View the full VIP Facilitation Guide Here

Elementary School Students (SEL Questions):

Exploring Your Interests

  • What are some things you might like to learn from YouTube videos?

YouTube as a Learning Tool

  • Can you name a topic where an instructive YouTube video might be more helpful than a book, or where YouTube is a good way to add to what you learn from a book?

Managing Your Time

  • What are some ways to prevent spending too much time mindlessly watching YouTube?

Middle School Students (SEL Questions):

Looking Ahead

  • What can you start exploring now on YouTube that might help you consider possibilities for your future?

Career Planning

  • Why or why not do you think YouTube is a good place to find out about different careers?

Making the Most of YouTube

  • How can you make spending time on YouTube more productive?

High School Students (SEL Questions):

Educational Benefits

  • In what ways could YouTube enhance what you’re learning in high school rather than serving as a mindless distraction?

College Searching

  • What are some things you could learn about a prospective college from YouTube videos?

Exploring Potential Careers

  • How can YouTube be a useful source of information when considering a future career?

More resources for parents, students, & educators

Conclusion

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.

What Do Students Think of YouTube? (For Students, Parents & Educators)

Building a College Application Video Resume Using YouTube (For Students, Parents & Educators)

Questions to prompt discussion with students:

Parents and Teachers: View the full VIP Facilitation Guide Here

Elementary School Students (SEL Questions):

Positive Impressions

  • In the YouTube videos that you watch, what are some things you look for to decide if the person in the video is someone you’d want to know?

Starting Early

  • Why could it be smart to start as early as elementary school learning how to make YouTube videos that show positive things about you?

Showing Your Strengths

  • What are some things you’re good at that you could teach others in a YouTube video one day?

Middle School Students (SEL Questions):

Knowing What to Trust

  • What are some ways you gauge if a YouTuber is authentic and knows the subject they’re discussing?

Getting Started

  • How could it help you to start making positive YouTube videos now as practice for building a future college application video resume?

Passion Projects

  • What skills or interests do you have that you might show in a YouTube video to impress college admissions officers in the future?

High School Students (SEL Questions):

Benefits of a College Application Video

  • What can a college application video resume show that’s hard to convey in a traditional application?

Using Technology to Get Noticed

  • How can you make it more likely that admissions officers will see your YouTube college application resume?

Beyond Your Application

  • What are some positive aspects of your character and life you could showcase in YouTube videos that a future college/employer might notice in addition to your video resume?

More resources for parents, students, & educators

Conclusion

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.

Building a College Application Video Resume Using YouTube (For Students, Parents & Educators)

"Pursue the thing that you're excited about" with College Prep Advisor, Breanne Boyle (Video)

Questions to prompt discussion with students:

Parents and Teachers: View the full VIP Facilitation Guide Here

Elementary School Students (SEL Questions):

Finding Your Passions

  • Why would elementary school be a good time to start finding out more about hobbies, topics, and skills that interest you?

One Day I Hope to Be…

  • What careers seem exciting to you, and how could you learn more about them online?

Video-Making Ideas for the Future

  • What can you learn from online instructive videos that might give you ideas for making videos featuring your interests in the future?

Middle School Students (SEL Questions):

Keeping It Real

  • Is it more important to get involved with things that sound impressive or things that genuinely excite you, and why?

A Digital Footprint that Lasts

  • If you’re on social media, why is now a good time to think carefully about how the things you post could impact your future?

A Time to Explore

  • Why might it be a good idea to explore a lot of different hobbies and interests while you’re still in middle school, even if you end up not liking all of them?

High School Students (SEL Questions):

How to Stand Out

  • What are some tips for making the most of online portfolios, social media, and even a college application video resume so admissions officers will take notice?

Matchmaking with Colleges

  • Why did the college advisor in the video suggest researching schools that are likely to be a good match for you—not just the best-known colleges and universities?

Choosing a Major

  • If you don’t know yet what major you want to pursue in college, what are some good ways to start exploring your options?

More resources for parents, students, & educators

Conclusion

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.

"Pursue the thing that you're excited about" with College Prep Advisor, Breanne Boyle (Video)

The Psychology of YouTube, Media Consumption, & Addiction (Parent and Educator Video)

Questions to prompt discussion with students:

Parents and Teachers: View the full VIP Facilitation Guide Here

Parents of Elementary School Students (SEL Questions):

Role Modeling on Social Media

  • What are some things you could learn from YouTube yourself and set an example for your kids of productive YouTube use?

Engaging as a Family

  • What are some ways your family could engage with YouTube together?

Educating Kids about Addiction

  • How can you help your kids understand that YouTube is “gamified” to keep them glued to the platform beyond what you consider a healthy time limit?

Parents of Middle School Students (SEL Questions):

How Much Is Too Much?

  • How much time are you comfortable with your student spending on YouTube?  

“Nutritional” Videos vs. Negative Content

  • What kinds of videos are you comfortable with your kids watching, and what videos do you wish they would avoid?

Addressing Difficult Topics

  • How can you start a dialogue with your student about inappropriate content they may have seen, or may see in the future, on YouTube and other sites?

Parents of High School Students (SEL Questions):

YouTube as a Tutor

  • How can YouTube help your student master a topic they’re studying at school?

YouTube for Parents

  • Do you use YouTube yourself to learn new skills and share that with your student to offer an example of active versus passive watching?

Striking a Balance

  • Where do you draw the line between your student spending an acceptable amount of time on YouTube and watching it obsessively, which could be a sign of addiction or avoidance?

More resources for parents, students, & educators

To learn more about YouTube Kids, visit our YouTube Kids Guide for Parents

Apple Parental Controls (iPhones and Other Apple Devices)

Android Digital Wellbeing and Parental Controls: Complete Guide for Parents

Google Play Parental Controls: How to Block Mature Apps & Media

Google Family Link Guide for Parents & Educators

Family Media Dialogue Guide and Agreement Templates

Parental Controls on Student Devices: What Parents & Educators Need to Know

Conclusion

YouTube can give students a platform to learn and to Shine Online by showcasing their personalities and talents. But YouTube can also give students a window to watch all kinds of content - good and bad - created by all sorts of people.

If you plan to let your student of any age use the YouTube app or website to watch or share videos, SmartSocial strongly suggests that you closely monitor what they are watching and how much time they spend on YouTube.

The Psychology of YouTube, Media Consumption, & Addiction (Parent and Educator Video)

Using YouTube to Explore Colleges and Careers

., you're logged in!
Enjoy this resource and share our programs with your school district to send these resources to your whole community
Tell Your School District About Our Program
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Share this resource with a parent at .
., you're logged in!
Enjoy this demo pass. Click the button to share access with leaders in your school district (or visit our new sharing center)
Share Your Demo Pass With School District Leaders

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 16Personalities.com 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 

Conclusion

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. 

Logged in and still not seeing content? This course may not be part of
your membership plan. Click here to join.

Become a member or login to learn more on this topic

Superintendents, Directors and Principals: Request a partnership on this page to unlock our resources for your whole community.

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?

Preview this Resource

Log in or join the VIP membership today to view all SmartSocial.com resources about YouTube!

Become a member or log in to learn more on this topic

Superintendents, Directors and Principals: Request a partnership on this page to unlock our resources for your whole community.
Quotation marks

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

StarStarStarStarStar

Sharon M.

Parent VIP Member

Quotation marks

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.

StarStarStarStarStar

Director of College Advising

Educator Webinar Attendee

Quotation marks

This webinar is a very helpful eye-opener on the apps that are popular with my students.

StarStarStarStarStar

Irene C.

Educator Webinar Attendee

Learn more

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