6 Fun Career Exploration Activities for High School Students
by Get Career Guidance on Jul 25, 2023
People always ask young people what they want to do when they grow up. Fast forward to high school, and all of a sudden, they don't just need an answer. They need a plan.
Career planning for high school students is a serious undertaking that can feel overwhelming and stressful for kids and their parents. But there are a lot of fun career exploration activities out there that are educational and fun. Keep reading to learn more about why career exploration in high school is so important and get inspired with some fun virtual and in-person activities your student can try to gain some hands-on experience.
Why High School Career Exploration For Teens Matters
Career awareness activities help them figure out what they're interested in and good at. It also empowers them to make smart choices about their education and future jobs. By setting goals, picking relevant classes, and going after internships or part-time work that aligns with their dream career, students can set themselves up for success.
The Benefits of Fun Career Exploration Activities
Career exploration activities are great for getting students excited about career planning. They promote active learning and engagement through hands-on experiences. They'll also be having fun while learning, which can help them discover new interests and talents they may have otherwise overlooked. And, of course, the memories and connections they make through these experiences can have a lasting, positive impact on students' lives.
Fun Career Exploration Activities for High School Students
1. School Clubs and Student Organizations
These groups offer a supportive and collaborative environment where students can learn from their peers, gain hands-on experience, and get involved in activities that align with their passions and career interests. Is your student into engineering? They could join a robotics club. More interested in healthcare? They should check out HOSA. By joining these groups, they'll develop valuable skills, expand their network, and deepen their understanding of their chosen field.
2. Virtual Job Shadowing
Many high schools, school boards, and non-profit organizations like Junior Achievement offer virtual job shadowing programs where students can check out different careers from the comfort of home. Students can watch videos or live streams of professionals in various fields to learn what the day-to-day work is like, what challenges they face, and what makes the job rewarding.
3. Career Fairs and College Expos
These events are great for connecting with professionals and learning about different fields. Students can network and chat with industry experts, get inspired, and start building their network. For example, the College Foundation of North Carolina hosts a virtual career fair in May and Student Life Expo hosts an annual post-secondary education career fair every fall in Toronto. Research to see when the next event is coming to your area and share articles to help them prep and make a strong impression.
4. Conferences and Summer Enrichment Programs
These programs often include hands-on workshops, seminars, and even mentorship opportunities where students can learn from industry experts at the forefront of cutting-edge research and emerging trends. Many universities offer summer enrichment programs — just be sure to start your search early so you don't miss any enrolment deadlines. Organizations like National Student Leadership Conference and Envision offer different conferences and summer programs tailored to specific career fields.
5. Career Exploration Games and Apps
There are some innovative activities and apps out there that gamify the career exploration process. Claim Your Future is a game that helps students understand the future return on investment of their post-secondary education and training. There's also Roadtrip Nation's Roadmap tool — a simple, interactive matching tool that provides personalized career, education, and story recommendations.
6. Career Aptitude Tests
Many high schoolers don't know their passions or strengths or what they want to do after graduation— and that's okay! A career aptitude test can offer some much-needed clarity. Plus, isn't it always fun to learn more about yourself?
We provide a personalized Career Guide for high school students to help them understand which career directions make the most sense. All they have to do is complete a simple assessment, and your student will receive a report with insights on recommended career paths, how to maximize their top strengths, working style, ideal work environments and more. It's a great tool to help your student get some guidance and feel more confident about their future.
College and Career Planning for High School Students Doesn't Have to Be a Drag!
Picking a career path (and the post-secondary courses, programs, and schools that go with it) is a huge, life-changing decision, and your student probably feels a lot of pressure to get it right.
Make the process more fun by encouraging them to check out these career exploration activities (or use our career guide tool). These experiences will get them more engaged in figuring out what they want to do with their lives.
They'll gain valuable experience and insights into different industries and job roles and develop essential skills like communication, problem-solving, and teamwork that will help them no matter their career path.
Happy career exploring!