This week’s #STEMCTEFridays post is all about career exploration!

How young is too young to start thinking about careers? For us at the Mid-Valley STEM-CTE Hub, you can never be too young to begin career exploration. We believe career exploration is a critical part of every child’s education and development. As the only STEM Hub in Oregon with CTE (Career & Technical Education) in our name, we believe strongly in career-connected learning. One of our priorities is to develop STEM & CTE opportunities for students so they can help build our region’s workforce and economic prosperity.

Ways to Help Your Children With Career Exploration

  • Read About Different Careers: You can find information online about every career imaginable. When your child expresses interest in any occupation, encourage him or her to research it to learn more.
  • Talk to People In Different Occupations: Ask people about their jobs when you see them engaged in work with which you both are unfamiliar. Find out what training they needed and if they like what they do.
  • Use Your Network: When your child expresses interest in learning about a particular career, access your professional network to find someone who can talk to him or her about it.
  • Help Your Child Learn About Himself or Herself: When your student gets into middle school, he or she should do a self-assessment to discover his or her interests, values, personality, and aptitudes.

Activities & Resources for Further Exploration

K-5 Students: A variety of activities and resources to get younger students engaged in career exploration.

  • My Children’s Future – Explore this page for a more detailed look at the career development process and steps that are important for your elementary age child.
  • Activities for Elementary Students – Check out this page of activities from My Children’s Future.
  • Career Family Tree – Take a look at the careers chosen by your grandparents, parents, aunts, uncles, and other relatives.

Middle School Students: More in-depth career exploration resources and activities to engage middle school students.

High School Students: Activities and resources for high school students that allow for in-depth exploration of careers and post-secondary options.

  • Bureau of Labor and Statistics – See information on hundreds of jobs at their full Occupational Outlook Handbook. Get the CareerInfo app for the Handbook (Available for iOS and for Android devices.)
  • Interactive Periodic Table of STEM Careers – Instead of elements, BLS has used Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) occupations. Hover over an “element” or group to highlight that discipline. Download a PDF version of the table.
  • O*Net Interest Profiler – The O*NET Interest Profiler can help you find out what your interests are and what kinds of careers you might want to explore.
  • My Next Move – Explore careers sorted by interest. Your interests can help you find careers you might like to explore. The more a career meets your interests, the more likely it will be satisfying and rewarding to you.
  • Holland Code Career Assessment Test – This is the career assessment we give to students when we do presentations at schools.

We are also a great resource for career exploration: