Choosing a Career


This activity is designed to encourage students to begin thinking about their futures. Students will research careers from among the 580 occupations listed in the Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH).


Students select one or more occupations and prepare a report and/or presentation addressing the following questions:
  • How does the occupation fit your skills and interests?
  • What will you be doing in the occupation?
  • What is the necessary education and/or training?
  • How many jobs are there in the occupation currently?
  • Is the occupation projected to grow, decline, or remain unchanged? Why?
  • How much does this occupation pay? What do the top 10 percent earn? The bottom 10 percent?
  • Find someone with a job in the occupation you are interested in, and interview him or her. The interviewer should find out

o What kind of work the person does.

o What the person likes and dislikes about the job.

o What advice the person would give to someone interested in a career in this field.

Additional Resources: Students can use the National Centers for Education Statistics’ College Navigator to find out almost anything they want to know about the nation's colleges—all in one place. Students can search for institutions by using broad criteria such as school name, geographic location, and programs and majors.

The Department of Labor’s Career One Stop webpage is an excellent source of career information and includes career assessment tools to help job seekers identify jobs that match their skills and interests.

The Occupation Outlook Quarterly (OOQ) is a quarterly magazine that provides detailed information on careers.

The Education Pays chart helps students to understand the value of an education.

For more classroom materials, visit The Gateway to 21st Century Skills and Council for Economics Education.