Middle school students and high schoolers often think about what they want to be when they graduate and get out into the real world, but for many of them, it can be difficult to figure out what their best career path is with so many subject areas and such a wide variety of jobs. Fortunately, in today’s technologically advanced world, there are resources they can utilize to help them, and many of the resources are in the form of interactive games, career pathways quizzes, or fun career exploration activities. In fact, teens can often go online and find these career exploration tools and activities, and below are 14 career exploration games for high school students that you may want to look at yourself.
This is similar to the well-known game called Fishbowl, and it is fit for students at every grade level (as young as elementary students) to gain exposure to various career fields and identify the best options for their future success based on their natural skills and interests. Career Card Grab has descriptions of 54 careers across the labor market, as well as the ability to add six more of your own. The kids split into two teams and participate in three different fun career activities. The first involves looking at the cards and describing each career with both words and actions. The second involves acting out the job title without using any words, and the third involves using only one word to describe the career, which is easy because by that time, they’re pretty familiar with it.
The most interesting thing about the career bingo game is that it highlights some very unique and unusual jobs and obscure career opportunities that many student players might not have thought of at that point. These include coroner, genetic counselor, and many others. It is truly a very unique (and helpful) career exploration game for young people.
This site requires a small fee, but it accommodates teens of all ages and even adults who are looking for the perfect career paths. It is a little unique because the site contains tons of apps that use virtual reality (VR) to make them extremely realistic. Even better, many of the apps are completely free, and the areas that explore include the moon landing, well-known tourist attractions such as Hoover Dam and the Anne Frank house, and even apps describing Pearl Harbor, Mount Everest, and locations all around the world.
When it comes to career exploration, each app and digital game on this site offers an educational but fun activity to teach teens all about a particular occasion, location, or job experienced by real-life professionals. It can also become a little addictive thanks to its VR capability, so this is definitely a fun way to facilitate the process of career exploration for students who like apps and video games.
- Skills Matcher by Career One-Stop
With this game, there are a total of 40 workplace skills, and for each one, the student can choose either the beginner, basic, skilled, advanced, or expert level. At the end of the game, the site matches them with either jobs they’d be good at or jobs they’d like to be good at, so it’s a very versatile game in the end. When it comes to the importance of career exploration, this game is a good one because it gives teens possibilities for jobs they’re merely interested in, even if they have no experience in them, thus opening their eyes to uncovered options.
Further, this game actually assesses the student’s career readiness and specific skills (applied to a variety of careers) to identify which best-fit options of interest may provide the most meaningful career. Therefore, this game doesn’t just expose students to career research, but rather demonstrates different ways their current skills, talents, or interests could be applied to diverse career plans, helping guide the student to a fulfilling future job and encouraging them to further explore the essential skills it requires. This site also gives you information on different jobs and even has resources for different groups of people, such as ex-military persons and those over the age of 55, to name a few, so it really covers the world of work in a robust and unbiased way.
This game is a bit different than the others because it helps players go on a virtual road trip in order to explore different careers to eventually find their dream job, which is arguably one of the most important factors in choosing which extracurricular activities to engage in, which role models to look after, and which technical skills to amass through middle school, high school, and post-secondary education en route to a student’s first real job. To get started, they simply click on “Start Your Roadmap,” and it brings them to three different questions they have to answer. Afterwards, they get sent to another page that provides them with actual job ideas, including the current trend on that job (growing, not growing, etc.).
The game also provides a list of “leaders” and “majors,” which describe exactly what some of these people did in different scenarios to get into their particular career field. Included are some of the milestones that they accomplished to get the job they’re doing today.
One of the things that makes this game a little different is that the jobs are listed in career clusters, which means, for example, that if you are interested in something in healthcare but you’re not sure of the exact job that will suit you best, you can explore a variety of healthcare professions to determine which one is right for you. In these days of the gig economy – an economy highlighted by short-term, freelance, and contract jobs – it’s good to explore jobs that have a better track record when it comes to longevity and a more predictable job outlook, which this game does.
Some of the options included in the Mapping Your Future game include Match My Career Interests, Visit the Featured Career, and a Career Search feature. It is a fun and productive game that teens, especially older teens, will get a lot out of in the end to help them answer the age-old question “What do I want to be when I grow up?”.
Created by a teacher and featured on the teachers pay teachers online marketplace, this is just one of many teacher-created easy-to-use career awareness activities games that’s structured with step-by-step directions that work great for friends and families at home or at career days in the classroom. The game is similar to Jenga, but themed around career choices. You can either buy the game from the online marketplace or (if you’re a parent or teacher) make one yourself, using a cheap game at a second-hand store and taping pieces of paper on the blocks with sayings on them. These sayings can include, “what is your career goal?,” “name a career that someone in your household has,” “how do you plan on determining what you want to do for a living after you graduate?,” and anything else you can think of that will make the players think about their careers.
Not only is this game a great way to think of some creative ideas when it comes to future professions, but it’s a game that is exciting, loud, and of course, a lot of fun. The kids won’t even realize they’re doing something educational, so it’s the perfect career game for tweens and teens. In fact, if you’re looking for other similar teacher-created, printable, or make-them-yourself career development games, you may want to peruse the vast listings across the teachers pay teachers platform, as they have no shortage of creative, stimulating, educational games that have probably never graced your school district.
While you don’t typically think of Princeton Review as a provider of games, their career quiz is a great game-like free resource that makes planning students’ futures and lives fun and inspiring. The career goals quiz begins with a set of 24 questions, and each set gives the student two possibilities. With each set of questions, students choose the answer that best suits what they want out of life, from time freedom to financial preferences. Once they complete the questions, they receive a color-coded description that helps students decide what to do with the rest of their lives, which is a great resource custom-tailored to that student’s ideal future. Your style and interests are broken down into four areas: red, which stands for expediting; green, which symbolizes communication; blue, which stands for planning; and yellow, which symbolizes administration.
These four colors help students determine what they’re best at and what careers might work best for them. Even better, accessing the test (and your results) are absolutely free, and since it comes from the Princeton Review, you know you can likely trust the results, so it’s a great place for teens to start.
There are 35 tests on this website, and they test things such as life skills and critical thinking to find something you are likely to love doing for a living. The site is unique because it specifically tests for a wide variety of areas such as financial, environmental, service-minded, technical, nursing, cultural, communications, and artistic. It essentially steers teens to the careers it thinks will work out best for the users, but it’s all based on the inputs they provide (which generate the best-fit results of the test).
One of the things a lot of users like best about the test is that they can get their results right there on the screen as soon as the test is done. There’s no clicking on additional tabs and no waiting for the site to send the results to their email. It is fast and simple every time. Furthermore, it might broaden a student’s career exploration process by suggestion a profession they hadn’t previously considered; for example, a service-minded student might be matched up with a health care profession, even if they never considered pursuing a medical degree.
For students with a nagging curiosity who want the nitty gritty truth behind hard-to-ask questions or little-discussed taboo topics (like salaries or bonuses), Career Village is a great option that invites them behind the curtain and sheds light on the highs, lows, and secrets of diverse jobs, divulged by real professionals. Simply put, Career Village is a forum that allows teens to ask questions that go directly to adults already working in that particular area. They can find out how much a particular professional makes, what’s the best way to enter the field, and what the average daily workday is like for that professional. Since they are asking the questions of real professionals, they’ll get honest answers that they can learn from and which can help them decide if that job is right for them.
The Q&As are divided into unanswered questions, newest questions, and all questions that are still being utilized. It is also a good site if you’re an experienced professional and you’d like to share your expertise with others.
Though this one isn’t exactly a game or a quiz, it is a great informative and intriguing website populated by real-life interviews with professionals in lots of different fields. These are people actually working in these professions, so the teen can learn first-hand what it’s like to be in that particular career. There are hundreds of available interviews in hundreds of professions, and students can even search for certain interviews using criteria like jobs that pay a certain amount of money or jobs that allow people to work in certain environments. In other words, it’s a way for teens to get the answers to job-related questions they’re too afraid or shy to ask.
One of the things that makes this resource so unique is that there are a lot of jobs that people have never heard of because they are so unique. If a teenager doesn’t want to do “whatever everyone else is doing,” they can find lots of jobs that are very unique and at times, even a little unusual.
While it’s a sad fact, even today, many career-related quizzes are somewhat gendered or geared towards boys, which can make it harder for female high school students to be aware of the breadth of options available, especially considering the growing number of STEM-related job opportunities and the underrepresented female talent pool. That’s why the quiz created by Career Girls is different, as it consists of a total of 35 characteristics that, if you’re interested in them, you can put a check by them on the list. With these characteristics, which are essentially personality traits, the test gives you a list of careers that you are very likely to be good at, whether it’s a social worker or fitness trainer, or anything in between – and it includes today’s modern and technologically advanced and evolving employment opportunities.
After checking off traits they know apply to them, students get a list of potential good fit careers, so they aren’t boxed into one or just a few opportunities, but rather shown the gamut that fit their traits, skills, interests, and strengths.
With Day in the Life, it’s easy for teens to get practical information on the careers they’re interested in learning about. It’s mostly in written form, but it’s written by people who are working in these fields and therefore, teens get practical and realistic information that they can count on being reliable. Some of the career areas include law, consulting, financial services, internships, technology, and numerous others. There are also different blogs on tons of topics that help you learn even more about your potential career choice.
There are also guides that help with getting a job, improving your resume, professional development, and even information on going to graduate school. Regardless of what you need to improve your chances of being successful at your career of choice, as well as what you need to figure out what you’d like to do, you can find it at this website.
This site allows you to enter answers that they will match with a certain career choice. There are 60 questions total, and for each of them, you get a total of five choices, ranging from Strongly Like to Strongly Dislike. There are no right or wrong answers because you’re just describing yourself and what you like or dislike to do. Once you finish all of the questions, the site gives you some suggestions of jobs that you might enjoy doing for a living.
The test is based on six different areas, known as RIASEC, which stands for realistic, investigative, artistic, social, enterprising, and conventional. The questions are not difficult, and you can feel free to answer them any way you like without the fear of judgment.
This isn’t a game or interactive website, but it has tons of information not only on each state’s Department of Labor services, but information such as the minimum wage in that state, how to apply for unemployment benefits, OSHA offices and locations, district offices for mine safety, and all of the services available to veterans. It is a one-stop shopping opportunity to learn anything related to working and getting a job in that state.
Forall things job- and career-related, the Department of Labor can provide you with the information you need, and their website gives you links to all of the resources you need to get started.