Job shadowing helps students make decisions on future careers

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BISMARCK, N.D. - College isn't just a big strain on your mind, it's a strain on your wallet, too. On average, a four-year degree costs more than $20,000 in North Dakota, according to

The Bismarck-Mandan Development Association coordinates Job Shadow Week for North Dakota high school and college students.

Throughout the week, 167 students from 12 schools participated in more than 200 shadowing opportunities.

Hannah Schmitz and Cassie Funk are still looking for their dream job.

"You want to know what the job is like, if you like it or not," said Funk, a junior at Legacy High School.

They decided to job shadow with Bismarck State College's marketing team.

"I just wanted to explore some different options and see what this was really like," said Schmitz, a freshman at University of Mary.

The students spend the day learning how the professionals use creative ways to get the school's name out.

"Job shadowing is a really excellent and hands on way to learn more about a future career. It can help a student to confirm a career choice or to become more aware of different career options," said Kate Millner, BSC counseling director.

With college costs always rising, the students say they appreciated the opportunity.

"I think it's really important when you're thinking about what you want to do for a job, what you want to major in to have some real world experience, seeing what they actually do, hearing from the real people," said Schmitz.

"I think it's important to have these opportunities because, if you go to college and spend all this money and you don't like it, then you have to switch. But here you can see for free and the school offers it. It's really nice to have," said Funk.

Both said shadowing helped give them an idea of how they'd like to use their educations moving forward.

More than 30 employers hosted students throughout the week. ​