Career Fairs/Events are a great way to introduce our students to a variety of options they might not have previously considered. It can be the first step in empowering a student to visualize a positive future for themselves. A variety of set ups work for Career Fairs, from tables in gymnasium with one employer/occupation per table (like a College Fair set- up), to a rotation of different career speakers in classes. Career Days are typically more of the latter, with students going from room to room to hear different speakers or students following their regular schedule and having different speakers in each classroom. Some Career Events in schools are a combination of a “fair-style” event and different classroom speakers. Career Fairs have traditionally been held at the high school level, but are now being held in middle schools and elementary schools with more frequency.
- Be sure to include careers from all the clusters and a variety of levels of required education.
- Be mindful of including people who have chosen non-traditional jobs related to gender.
- Q: Anyone have ideas on how to coordinate a virtual career day?
- A: Kuder has created a guide and resources for you to use as you plan a Virtual Career Fair event for your middle or high school students: Planning a Virtual Career Fair for Middle or High School Students.
- A: I brainstormed a few quick ideas of how you can use Indiana Career Explorer (INCE) to host a virtual career fair for middle school (or high school) students, either in conjunction with other resources, or alone:
- Step 1: Have students make INCE accounts (free and available for 6-12 grade students)Step 2: Students take the Kuder Career Interest Assessment (9 minutes)Step 3: Students explore their Kuder Career Interest Assessment results and watch one occupational description video from each of their 5 top career interest pathways (5 videos)Step 4: Students read the Person Match informational interviews on the “Person Match” tab in their Kuder Career Interest Assessment reportStep 5: Students use the “Search for Occupations by Title” tool to enter the occupations of their Person Matches and watch the video on the occupation description page for each occupation.
- To assist students in navigating the virtual career fair through Indiana Career Explorer, you could record a short video of each step and tell them when to “stop” and go into the INCE system to follow the instructions you just demonstrated. Bonus: you’d be meeting some of the Indiana requirements of the 8th grade career exploration legislation by using INCE in this way! We have several fillable PDF lesson plans that might be helpful if you plan to use Indiana Career Explorer for something like this: https://www.kuder.com/webres/
File/Landing%20Pages/ADMS_ LessonPlans_fillable.pdf. I could see the CTE lesson plans being something you could use in this capacity. There are four CTE lesson plans and they are close to the top of the page- the lessons are in alphabetical order by subject area. (Mary Pouch, Certified Career Advisor, Kuder, Inc.)
- DreamWalkers Daily video series – very short videos from professionals in various fields
- Nepris – live Virtual Industry Chats and Video Library (for a virtual career fair)
- I work with 7th and 8th graders and we had students participate in their homeroom the last 2 hours of the day. We had 4 activities with discussions in between each one, the activities were:
2. Career Videos -they can choose which careers they want to explore https://www.kqed.org/
education/18675/50-videos-for- career-path-explorations3. Students watched a video of different vocation programs offered at the Vocational School we feed into4. Career Jeopardy -we played each class as a team and the top 3 classes won prizes. You can make your own from a template https://jeopardylabs. com/
Obviously it’s not as good as when we have different people in the community come in to talk about their careers, but each activity was no more than 20 minutes with a class discussion in between to keep students engaged. I think the students really enjoyed the discussion from Reality Checker and playing Career Jeopardy.
- Prepare the students ahead of time by generating a list of questions they might ask the visitors (What is your favorite part of your job? Biggest challenge? How do you dress? What kind of training or education? Do you need a license or certification? How do you advance in your career? What do you wish you knew before becoming a ____?).
- Hands-on activities go a long way in holding students’ attention and engaging them in the activity.
- Prepare signs for each employer so they can easily find their table when setting up and be sure to send a “thank you” note to your employers and speakers, after the event.
- Provide students with a map with employer/occupation tables marked by name if you have a lot of tables. If your students don’t have a lot of time to spend in the fair, they can easily find who they most want to speak to.
- Be sure to invite parents, too!
If you have suggestions, feedback, or resources, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know.