As most students enter college without a specific career path in mind, choosing a career is a multi-stage process that the majority of college students go through. For a student who is planning to include Aliyah in his or her future, there are additional considerations that are inherent in the process which often play a significant role in the outcome.
The first step of the process involves assessing your skills, interests and abilities, and is universal to all students who are trying to find professional direction. This is done through:
- finding interest in courses that you’re taking
- ruling out areas that you are certain do not interest you
- seeing where you have the potential to excel
- involvement in campus activities
- discussions with friends and faculty
- being exposed to and trying out different ideas and experiences.
Once you’ve identified your strengths and interests and you begin to explore majors and career options, Aliyah starts to play a role in your decision making. It is important to do market research and find out which of the careers that match your skills are marketable in Israel. Keep in mind that some careers don’t exist in Israel or are not easily transferable from North America. It is also important to determine whether a certain career will enable you to live the type of lifestyle that you envision. See https://www.nbn.org.il/life-in-israel/employment/managing-the-job-search/career-guidance-for-students-managing-the-job-search-employment/.
In order to get the “facts on the ground”, it is a good idea to speak with professionals in those fields in Israel. Draw on the resources of family and friends in Israel as well as the NBN Employment Department to find these professionals. We maintain a database of “employment buddies” in a wide range of fields who are happy to provide Olim and prospective Olim with professional guidance.
Many students also find it extremely helpful to do professional internships in Israel. In addition to keeping you connected to the country generally, doing an internship can work to your advantage in a number of ways: it will give you a good idea of what it is like to work in a particular field, expose you to the field in Israel, and provide work-related experiences to include on your resume. For more information about volunteer and internship opportunities in Israel, please see the following articles about Volunteer Programs as well as Internships.
When choosing an appropriate career for Israel, keep in mind that it will be necessary to feel comfortable with Hebrew in order to get ahead in almost any field. Even in a field such as hi-tech where knowledge of Hebrew is not needed for the work itself, your job interviews will likely be with Israelis, and, once you’ve secured a job, you will want to be able to communicate effectively with colleagues, customers and management. For a language intensive field, such as social work or psychology, a higher degree of fluency is demanded in order to open up a range of work possibilities.
The NBN Employment Department is an invaluable resource for information about careers in Israel. Please contact us at: [email protected].
* Last updated on May 31, 2023 *