Career Planning Activities for Students

Instructor: Kerry Gray

Kerry has been a teacher and an administrator for more than twenty years. She has a Master of Education degree.

The career planning activities in this asset support students in multiple grade levels as they embark on the daunting task of choosing a future career. Students will examine, explore, and plan their career options.

Career Planning

As students consider their future, there are many things to think about. Students need to determine their interests, talents, and priorities before matching these factors to career opportunities. From there, students need a plan for learning additional skills and breaking into their preferred field. The following activities provide developmentally appropriate options for students at a variety of grade levels to contemplate and design a personalized career path.


Grade level: PK-2


  • career costumes/hats


  • Assign each student a career to act out.
  • Students will select a costume and role play things a person in their assigned career would say or do.
  • The other students will try to guess which career the student is pretending to do.

Concept Map

Grade level: 3-5


  • chart paper
  • computer/internet/printer
  • glue
  • markers
  • scissors


  • Students will choose one career of interest to put in the center of the chart paper to create a concept map.
  • Students will add the following stems to their map:
    • What skills or training does a person with this job need?
    • What clothing or uniform does a person with this job wear?
    • Where does a person with this job work?
    • What does a person with this job do?
    • Why is this job important?
  • Students will create lists under each stem that answer the questions.
  • Students will cut and paste or sketch pictures related to the chosen career around the concept map.
  • Students will present their work.

Career Outlook Slideshow

Grade level: 6-8


  • computer/internet


  • Students will access the current Occupational Outlook Handbook from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics to answer the following questions:
    • What are three of the highest paying jobs? What is the average salary for each of these jobs?
    • What are three of the fastest growing jobs? What is the projected growth rate for each?
    • What occupation groups are most interesting? Why?
  • Students will choose one occupation to further research. Students will summarize the job, determine entry-level education required, identify median pay, and examine the job outlook.
  • Students will create a slide show that demonstrates what they have learned.
  • Students will present their work and discuss what criteria is most important when determining a career path.

Goal Setting Interviews

Grade level: 9-12


  • computer/internet

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