High School Career Exploration
What does your teen want to be when they grow up? Help them discover their answer through interest-based exploration with career and college prep.
Help your teen discover their career path through exploration.
Career Awareness and Exploration Courses
When your teen is asked what they want to be when they grow up, do they have an answer? A career readiness education can help them start finding the answer as early as 6th grade.* By the time they reach high school, they can dive deeper into their interests or keep exploring, all while developing their professional skill set.
To help your junior high student uncover their calling, K12-powered schools offer Middle School Career Explorations I & II**, where students:
- Explore jobs in more than 15 occupational areas, from healthcare to agriculture
- Examine how their interests could lead to a career path
- Develop skills like time management
- Learn how to successfully navigate job markets
- Begin to map their path to a job they'll love
In high school, students take courses in career fields of interest, such as Healthcare Explorations or IT Explorations, to take a deeper dive into opportunities in those industries.
Full and Part-Time Programs
Career exploration is available at K12-powered tuition-free and tuition-based schools across all 50 states.* Alternatively, K12 Private Academy offers a tuition-based option for students to take a part-time, more flexible approach to career and college prep. Students can stay at their home school and supplement their regular curriculum with career-focused courses, preparation for industry certification exams, † career clubs, and more.
Career Exploration, Beyond the Classroom
Online career readiness education makes it easy for your teen to discover their dream job. With the help of teachers, counselors, club advisors, and industry experts, there are countless resources for teens to explore different industries.
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Career and Technical Student Organizations
Career Counselors and Teachers
Frequently Asked Questions
Curious about careers or exploring education options? Get answers to some of the most commonly asked questions.
Why is career exploration important?
Career exploration is key to helping your teen discover and get excited about potential professions. The earlier you can encourage exploration for your teen, the sooner they can discover their dream job. Students in our career and college prep program can explore pathways before graduating high school. Finding a dream job takes trial and error, which is why career exploration as a teenager can be very useful. By allowing students to figure out what they like and don't like in middle and high school, they can narrow their paths before entering the workforce or college.
How do I help my teen find a career they love?
The best way to help your teen find a career they love is through exploration. Showing them the many options available can help spark interest and passion for a particular profession. Focus on their interests and strengths, so they can dive deep and feel confident in associated paths. Be supportive of whatever this might be. There's no better job than the one you love doing.
What is involved in career exploration?
Career exploration can take many forms but mostly follows the same format: learning about a wide variety of jobs, exploring a particular area deeper, and then trying a hand at the job itself. In our career and college prep program, high school students choose classes that follow this plan. All pathways start with exploration classes to see the variety of occupations in a field. Then students can take courses that dive into a particular path and start learning the hands-on skills needed in that profession.
*Opportunities vary by school; please visit your school page or check with your school counselor.
**The career and college prep program is offered to eligible high school students. Some schools also offer career exploration in middle school.
†Many Microsoft®️ Office certificates can be earned after completing one course. Other certificates require more classes to be better prepared, and students who participate in the program for at least two years will have further preparation for certification testing.