Career Exploration is the second stage of career development within the K-12 Career Connected Learning Framework. This stage should be emphasized particularly during middle and junior high school years, although the process of discovery and investigation never ends.
The goal of Career Exploration is to connect students with industry and business professionals through school activities in order to expose them to a wide array of career opportunities. These activities could include Career Related Learning Experiences (panel discussions, job fairs, speed networking events, guest speakers, etc.) as well as more in-depth, career focused project-based learning (PBL) experiences, such as a flipped internship.
During this stage of career connected learning, students should be encouraged to examine their own particular set of abilities and preferences related to the various career paths they are presented with. Even the discovery that a particular career path is not a good fit is success for the student.
Benefits of Career Exploration
Allows students to explore career options for personal “fit”
Links students to career role models that may be under-represented in their lives
Connects academic content to real-world work experiences
Empowers students to envision themselves in industry roles
Immerses students in industry vocabulary