Career Goals Essay For Scholarships (With Examples)

By Chris Kolmar - Jan. 8, 2021

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Earning a scholarship means competing with other hopefuls to paint yourself as the applicant who will make the most out of the financing. The scholarship application process asks candidates for various materials that allude to their character as a person and student.

One way they measure a student’s eligibility for a scholarship is by asking for an essay about their career goals.

What Is a Career Goals Essay?

A career goals essay is a personal and written explanation that gives insight into your background, why you’re interested in participating in the program, and the career that you’d like this degree to launch you into. The essay functions to explain why you want to achieve your professional goals and how you intend to get there.

A career goals essay shows a scholarship committee why the program you’re seeking funding for is a critical step on your path towards success in the field.

In almost every application process, a portion asks the candidate to answer an essay question. When applying to an educational program, like an MBA, the essay prompt usually relates to your career goals.

Why Scholarship Essays Ask About Career Goals

Many people are deserving of having a portion of their tuition covered, but the few that are chosen are those who articulate why they are a worthwhile investment to spend a scholarship fund on.

When selecting which individuals are worthy of receiving financial assistance to further their education, the admissions board wants participants who have a clear plan in mind for the trajectory of their related careers.

Unlike with an undergraduate application that usually asks for educational intentions, people applying to an MBA program or similar already have a lot of that experience behind them. They are well on their way to their career, and the admissions essay is more specified. This goes for scholarship essays for these kinds of programs as well.

Example Career Goals Essay Prompts

While some scholarships might come right out and simply ask, “What are your career goals?” most will rework the question into something different that still accomplishes the same goal.

Below are some examples of career goals essay prompts that a scholarship program could pose to its applicants:

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  1. Discuss your career goals. Many scholarships prefer the most direct approach when giving an essay prompt to their applicants. This type of question gives the candidate a lot of wiggle-room to discuss their passions, motivations, and career goals.

  2. Where do you see yourself in 10 years? This question is often used as a prompt for a career goals essay because it gives the applicant a timeline to describe their aspirations. It forces them to be realistic in where their career will be and how they will accomplish this within the next ten years.

  3. How will this scholarship contribute to your professional success? A scholarship committee wants to be sure that the money they’re giving will contribute to a student’s overall professional success. This question asks about the applicant’s game plan in the long-term and evaluates how this program is going to assist in their future.

  4. What is your dream job? Since a dream job is often categorized as a person’s career goals, this is a common question phrasing on scholarship essays. Asking about a candidate’s dream job answers whether this program aligns with the student’s long-term career goals.

  5. What matters most to you and why? Sometimes, a scholarship essay prompt won’t ask about your career or future at all. Instead, they’ll ask a question like this that assesses your motivations, values, and character.

    It’s important to a committee to award the scholarship to a candidate who demonstrates career planning and drive, but it’s also crucial that they display a positive character.

6 Tips for Writing a Scholarship Essay About Career Goals

  1. Write about goals relevant to the scholarship. Although you may have many different kinds of goals for your personal and professional future, a scholarship essay only discusses objectives that are relevant to the program you’re applying for.

    If you’re applying for a scholarship specific to the field you’re pursuing, it’s simple to stay on track and only discuss career goals relevant to this discipline. For broader scholarship packages, stick to goals and accomplishments that are relevant to your educational major.

  2. Be honest. Applying for a scholarship is stressful because the applicant’s education is usually reliant on receiving these funds in one way or another. Even though it’s tempting to exaggerate your skills or pretend you’re more passionate about something than you are to make yourself a more competitive applicant, it’s a bad move.

    Scholarship personnel is looking for genuine answers in career goals scholarship essays. Being honest about your prior experience and future goals in a personal statement essay betters your chances of being awarded a scholarship.

  3. Use your own, unique voice. The essay portion of a scholarship application is your chance to stand out by using your voice. Nobody else, regardless of their academic or professional achievements, is you. Make this clear in your career goals scholarship essay by keeping your unique written voice engrained in the words you produce.

    While you want to maintain a professional tone in any application essay, it’s a wasted opportunity if you don’t dazzle them a little with your personality.

  4. Be specific. A big reason that scholarship committees ask applicants to write a career goals essay is to determine how prepared they are in planning their long-term professional goals. They aren’t interested in providing a scholarship to students who aren’t going to follow through with their career plans.

    To better the possibility of being viewed as one of these well-planned applicants, be specific in describing your career goals. Make it clear that you know what you have to do to achieve your goals and plan to do so.

  5. Explain long and short-term goals. Even if the essay prompt asks you to describe where you see yourself in ten years, you still need to tell them the steps leading towards this picture of success.

    Include the short-term goals that add up to your larger career objectives in your essay response. Explain how accomplishing the smaller goals puts you at an advantage when tackling long-term ones.

    Including both long and short-term professional goals make your essay more comprehensive.

  6. How will the program and scholarship help you? Before writing your career goals essay, consider how this program and scholarship will help you in your career. The answer to this question is essential.

    The goal of providing students with a scholarship is to help them through the finances of an education. Your essay should be clear in how it will do this for you.

3 Examples of Career Goals Essay Responses

Example 1 – Discuss your career goals.

When I was six years old, I was riding bikes with my older sister around our neighborhood. She had just taught me how to ride, and I was excited to have to freedom to explore with her.

When she was rounding a particularly difficult bend to see around, a car happened to be coming along at the same time. It struck her. That bike ride changed our lives forever. Over the next year, I went with my sister every Tuesday and Thursday to her physical therapist’s appointments to help her regain walking strength.

Watching her physical therapist patiently assist my sister back to becoming herself awoken something in me. A passion for helping others in the same way eventually turned into a career goal of becoming a physical therapist myself.

I decided to get my bachelor’s degree in exercise science. After graduating in 2019, I knew that the next step for me was to attend a graduate program for physical therapy. I was accepted to Lassell University Master of Science in Rehabilitation Services.

This presented me with my latest goal towards my career, which I’m eagerly waiting to start. This scholarship would help me afford the wonderful opportunity to be a part of the Lassell University class of 2023, allowing me to continue work towards my ultimate career goal of becoming a physical therapist and helping others to become themselves again.

Example 2 – Where do you see yourself in ten years?

In ten years, I will have been successfully running my own construction business for about five years. I’m currently a second-year student at the University of Texas, pursuing a master’s degree in business administration. I decided to get my MBA because I knew it would be a positive asset towards my long-term career goal of owning a construction business.

In my high school years, I worked as a construction apprentice for a local business. I loved a lot of aspects of the business, such as building something from nothing. I knew that I wanted to incorporate this work into my long-term career, but I didn’t’ want to work as an apprentice. This led me to pursue business.

In ten years and with the help of this scholarship, I will have graduated with my MBA almost a decade prior. After graduation, I plan to take a business administration internship with a carpentry business to help myself get a footing in the field. After about two years of this, I will have started my own construction business.

Example 3 – What matters most to you and why?

The people I surround myself with matter most to me. Whether it be my relatives, friends, or professional acquaintances, I always care the most about the happiness of the people around me. Making the people around me happy matters the most to me because I truly because we find our own happiness through others.

I believe that this drive to make a positive impression on the people around me is what drove me towards a career as a nurse. I always thought of hospitals as places where people need someone to support them and make their day a little happier. I wanted to be one of those who spend their careers positively impacting people in need.

This scholarship will enable me to finally afford nursing school and go after my dream job full force.

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Chris Kolmar

Author

Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar is a co-founder of Zippia and the editor-in-chief of the Zippia career advice blog. He has hired over 50 people in his career, been hired five times, and wants to help you land your next job. His research has been featured on the New York Times, Thrillist, VOX, The Atlantic, and a host of local news. More recently, he's been quoted on USA Today, BusinessInsider, and CNBC.

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