Career Awareness (Elem)

Elementary School Career Awareness is to introduce K-5 students to the many types of careers that exist, different working environments, foster a positive attitude toward work and to help students understand the connection between academics and their future career


As it applies to School Counseling, Career Awareness is a recommended stage in the Career Development process for Elementary level students.  The focus of Career Awareness is to introduce K-5 students to the many types of careers that exist, different working environments, foster a positive attitude toward work and to help students understand the connection between academics and their future career . Career Awareness also introduces the idea that a career is more than a job. Career Awareness is usually taught through guidance lessons, classroom or school speakers and activities where students can learn more about different types of tasks related to careers and expand their knowledge of different types of careers.


  • Most often applies to Elementary Level (K-5) students.
  • Self-Knowledge as it relates to career choices is a component of Career Awareness, i.e., identifying interests that relate to careers.
  • At this level, students should have knowledge of how habits such as attendance, punctuality, and completing schoolwork on time transfer to the workforce.


Computer science professional development guide How education leaders can build teacher, school counselor and administrator capacity to support equitable computer science education

Computer Science Is for Everyone: A toolkit for middle and high schools to increase diversity in computer science education

NCWIT Tips: 8 Ways to Give Students More Effective Feedback Using a Growth Mindset


  • Q: Looking for online career resources for elementary school?
    • I have used Paws in Jobland with students, and here is a corresponding worksheet that I give the kids when they are completing the activities. Also, I’ve found some great paper/pencil surveys and sorts on TPT.  (click on the link in the middle of the page)
    • I used books a lot especially K-2 to expand knowledge of the large number of jobs. We also played Career Bingo. In 2nd grade I used How Santa Got His Job to talk about how interests and skills are important in choosing the job that is the right fit. In 3rd-4th I started talking about career clusters and how they help to narrow down the huge number of possible jobs in the world. We also did interest inventories and research on careers, learned about postsecondary options, took a virtual tour of a college. In 4th grade they took their career research and did a student-led career fair for the rest of the school. I paired with their classroom teacher and what they did covered some of their LA standards.  Tools I had them use for exploration were Virginia Career View ( which gave the multiple ways to search. We also used the BLS site ( which is tailored to younger students. I made a booklet for them to record their interest inventory results, the clusters they matched with, and information they found on jobs they thought looked interesting.  ASCA has some great webinars associated with the College Admissions Specialist ASCAU PD that has some great ideas on career exploration in elementary school.
    • Julia cook has a book with an activity book called What Shoes Will You Wear.
    • We’re using the Kuder Galaxy program (Kuder also does Indiana Career Explorer).  So far, it’s been great!  The kids work through 6 different planets (that correspond to Holland’s RIASEC codes) on their own online, but there are lesson plans, etc. that you can do as a whole group, too, to make sure they’
    • Career Exploration Sites
    • Everfi (fee involved)
    • Kuder Galaxy (fee involved)
    • Paws in Jobland (fee involved)
    • – Interest assessments, job families, specific careers, what training is needed, budgeting, and much more
    • – career videos discussing the typical day, qualifications, best and worst part of the career, and advice.
    • – career matches to interests, to clusters, and specific career review
    • – self assessments, career planning, career search, high education exploration
    • – O*NET Interest Profiler has 60 questions using a Likert Scale.  Provides a colorful graph with results and links to explore careers in that area
    • Interest Assessment with 30 questions gives Holland Codes and career suggestions to explore
    • Interest Inventory for military careers
    • – Photo interest assessment gives the top interest areas and allows career exploration; based on Holland Code
    • – Holland Code career test
  • To build a college and career ready culture in schools, you must minimally begin with career awareness at the elementary level.
  • From Counselortalk, April 2018: When I was looking into career topic lessons, I stumbled upon this on a counselor’s page. Click on the first link (towards the bottom of the page) and you can have access to Jobland. Really happy I found this so I could explore it myself!
  • Lesson idea: On or around President’s Day (3rd Monday of February), I hosted a group of five presidents (local bank, local community college, non-profit, Springfield Thunderbirds (local American Hockey league) and the Big E (New England’s State Fair) who spoke to the entire 5th grade at an assembly in the auditorium about what it is like to be a president of something. When we hear the word president, most of us go to the President of the country but there are plenty of other types of presidents out there. The panelists were awesome and did a fabulous job talking to the 5th graders about how they became a president of a business, something they never thought would have been possible when they were in 5th grade. They also shared the attributes that the students would need to become a president of something someday. It was the perfect age group – old enough to appreciate the conversation and begin to think about their futures but not too old. Confession – I got this idea from an ASCA conference two years ago. (from ASCA Scene, July 2020)


If you have suggestions, feedback, or resources, please email and let us know.