Introduction. High school students are expected to define themselves in terms of vocational preference. Having estimated their readiness for self-determination, it is possible to allocate different groups, with specific psychological and pedagogical support for each group. Aim. To identify differences in readiness for professional self-determination between finalists of professionally-oriented contests and their peers not participating in analogous events. Methods. Quantitative data analysis on the basis of the test kit “Professional readiness” (or “How I Choose a Profession”) developed by the team of researchers of the Center for Testing and Development “Humanitarian Technologies” was applied. Results. The level of psychological readiness for professional self-determination among adolescents-finalists of the WorldSkills contests of professional competence and among the adolescents-finalists of The National Technology Initiative Contest by many indicators is higher compared to their peers, students of 8–11th grades of secondary school, who did not participate in these contests. Scientific novelty. The adolescents, finalists of professionally-oriented contests, compared with their peers who did not take part in such competitions have higher scores on self-esteem and independence scales; they know more about professions and the Russian education system; they have fewer stereotypes and misconceptions about choosing a profession; they took more steps towards professional self-determination. Practical significance. The results of the study can be applied by psychologists, class teachers, tutors, teachers of additional education in career guidance, consulting and educational work with schoolchildren and their parents.