Career Development Activities For Middle School Students

While you’re in middle school, you’re likely wondering what career guidance activities you can engage in with students.

Start Taking your Career Goals Seriously

The good news is that there are plenty of options available for you to start taking your career goals seriously.

Here are some ideas to help get your students started.

For example, you can have them brainstorm a list of careers and write about them in a poster.

Display these posters around the classroom or provide them with stickers to wear to school.

Visiting local businesses or museums can help them learn about what kinds of jobs they might like to pursue.

Another great career guidance activity for middle school students is a mix-and-match quiz.

You can have students answer a series of questions about their interests, skills, and lifestyle.

The result is an interesting way to build base knowledge and confidence. In this way, students will know what they really want and how they can go about getting it.

Ultimately, this activity can help students determine what they want to do in the future.

Some career awareness activities for middle school students are based on tests. Students can also create interest profiles and choose what career would be the best fit for them.

Career awareness activities can also include visiting businesses or hiring a local speaker.

You can even invite speakers from the local chamber of commerce or business advisory council to speak to the students.

You can also use graphs from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics to provide valuable insight into the field.

Other career-related activities for middle school students include interviews with professionals in the industry.

Interviewing family members or friends about their careers can help students identify their own interests and abilities.

If they have the time, students can try out the different jobs that they like to do by talking to real professionals.

Some even make the experience of interviewing someone they know interesting, such as their boss. They can even interview a family member, a teacher, or a neighbor.

Career Development Activities for Your Middle School Child

Career exploration is an ongoing process. Career exploration begins in early childhood and continues throughout life.

Career providers should recognize this and create career exploration activities that will engage young people in the process.

They should encourage them to consider all kinds of careers and options that are suitable for them.

By the time they graduate, they should be well-equipped to make informed decisions about their future. The next step in career exploration should be to find out what their interests are.

In addition to traditional career exploration activities, you can conduct fun, hands-on activities for kids that help them explore different options and identify their interests.

Incorporate a little bit of fun into the activities and they’ll be more engaged in exploring their options. Students will be more comfortable with career exploration and development the more they practice.

If you’re unsure where to start, consider these career exploration activities for middle school students.

There are several ways to engage students in career development activities. You can customize worksheets with pictures and keywords and ask them to answer questions about their interests and strengths.

You can also record a desired lifestyle for each student. Students can then use their worksheet to brainstorm careers and write down what they think they’ll do when they get older.

Once the worksheets are completed, students can begin to consider what they want to do once they graduate from middle school.

Interest And Preference Questionnaires

Using interest and preference questionnaires for career development activities for teens can help your students identify their interests and put them on paper.

The results of these surveys may surprise you.

Middle school students often have no idea what their interests are, and you may be surprised to see what they find interesting!

To get started, consider taking a short aptitude survey to assess student aptitudes for specific career paths.

This information will help you tailor career exploration activities to the interests and skills of each student.

One great way to test student interest is to use the RIASEC Inventory.

This four-page survey uses John Holland’s RIASEC coding system and O*NET job titles to identify interests.

After completing the questionnaire, students identify which occupations they like and dislike.

Based on their scores, these lists will reveal the areas of interest for the student. They can then make connections with the list of possible careers.

The O*NET Interest Profiler is another useful tool for assessing vocational interests.

This questionnaire has 60 items that measure six types of Holland occupational interests: realistic, investigative, artistic, social, and enterprising.

The questionnaires help educators connect students’ interests to specific career fields.

Students can then connect their interests with those occupations by doing job shadowing.

When using this tool, make sure to have a balanced gender distribution and diversity of interests.

While there are several interesting and useful tests out there, you might not want to use them in your classroom, even if you’re using them for career exploration.

These surveys don’t tell you everything, and they should be used sparingly.

Middle school students are notoriously flighty and distracted.

But if they can relate to a role model, they’re likely to engage with career exploration activities.


One of the best ways to introduce middle school students to careers is to use the CareerVillage  website.

This online tool will allow students to discover what interests them and how to achieve their goals.

Thousands of professionals from many industries and professions will answer your questions and connect you with other students and parents who are interested in the same things.

Students can even create their own careers by posting questions and answers on the website.

The most important part of developing a career exploration program is for students to be engaged in the process.

Creating an activity that helps them learn about themselves is important, and will allow them to critically reflect on their interests and associated realities.

A student’s interest in the career exploration process will be increased when they’re engaged in the process and excited about participating in it.

The more excited they are about the activity, the better prepared they’ll be for the rest of their career journey.

While middle school students are still developing their identities and identifying their place in the world, career activities are an ideal opportunity to discover their potential.

These activities can give students insight into careers, which is particularly important since many of their future jobs do not exist yet.

Middle school career activities should focus on developing essential skills and building a student’s self-image.

They should also focus on exploring the possibilities of different careers and discovering their true talents and interests.

Once they’ve decided what profession they want to pursue, they can begin investigating careers within their community.

By visiting job sites, students can learn about the fastest-growing occupations in Ohio.

Ask them to explore the job requirements and educational backgrounds for these occupations.

Using the CareerVillage website to explore careers is an ideal way to connect with students and employers.

These activities can also be used to expose students to all types of careers.

Another way to explore career options is to try a virtual reality game. This game is free and features two teenagers who are starting a small business.

By presenting them with various challenges and rewards, the game also encourages students to think about careers from several angles.

For example, they can learn that salaries are not equal to commissions – they need to sell something in order to receive a salary.


The Ignite program is designed to provide students with career development activities.

Its focus is on STEM (science, technology, engineering, math), inquiry-based learning, and hands-on activities.

The program teaches students how to build positive self-esteem and overcome barriers to their future success.

Ignite activities are designed for middle school students, and can be delivered in a classroom setting by PSHE tutors and teachers.

A variety of career-related speakers can be brought in to speak to the class.

Career-related experts can talk about the different types of careers they’ve held and how they got started.

Several educators assign poster projects to students, where they can illustrate different professions with colorful images.

Students can also take notes on different career options while on a field trip.

If the student chooses to share his or her experience with the class, the speaker can be asked questions about their own experience and how they came to be in this particular career path.

Ignite Career Development Activities For Middle School Students

Students can participate in capstone projects, which are designed to help them practice common employability skills that will help them find employment in the workplace.

These skills include communication, teamwork, and problem-solving.

The instructors’ guide for each IGNITE course contains a flow chart that guides them through the course materials. Instructors can also use their own creativity to tailor the program to the interests of their students.

The Ignite Career Development Activities For Middle School Students are a unique way to make your classroom come alive.

Creating a comprehensive career exploration program for middle school students will take time.

Educators must match a middle school student with an employer to create an effective career exploration activity.

The activities developed with the funds of this grant are expected to become models that can be replicated in schools throughout the state.

Some of these activities may include guided discussions, simulations, and videos.

This program is open to both public and private sector participants.

Final Thoughts

There you go. We’ve share various ideas to consider for your career development if you are a middle school student.

If you are parent, the ideas shared here are helpful for your child and for the parenting role you  need to play in picking the best career development activities for your middle school child.

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October 2023


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