Kids as young as kindergarten think about what they are going to be when they grow up. Starting in elementary school, students can learn how their interests can lead to different jobs in different fields.

Career Explore is not just for students, however. Even young people who have already started working can benefit by talking to professionals in the field.

These programs tend to be one-time events, rather than long commitments, and are a good way for young people to learn a lot, quickly.

All ages can, and should!, explore careers. Many programs are school- and community-based; check out our directory for more options.

Search the Directory for Career Explore Opportunities:

Spotlight on Success: Program Examples

Greater Wenatchee Area Technology Alliance

The Greater Wenatchee Area Technology Alliance, with support from Microsoft Techspark, produced a great look at the cooperative, regional approach to career connected learning. The Workforce Alliance was created to build relationships with educators, students and parents through real-life experiences to communicate career opportunities and required skills that provide a meaningful life and family-living wage in the Columbia Basin and beyond.

Business Afterschool

Business Afterschool is a series of industry skill workshops providing on-site awareness of Spokane’s high-demand industry sectors by highlighting new technology, research, development and innovation. Greater Spokane, Inc. brings students, parents, educators and local businesses together to see these industries in action.

Energy Pathways to the energy and sustainability industries

Avista provides Energy Pathways for students to explore career in energy industry (KXLY). Students are in classroom sessions, then do hands-on activities including designing, planning and performing actual utility tasks. This helps high school juniors and seniors learn more about alternative and emerging energy including wind, solar and battery technologies; energy efficiency and sustainability; engineering; and maintenance and operations of the energy system.

Washington STEM

Washington state ranks second in the concentration of STEM jobs. Yet many young people don’t have access to experiences such as internships, job shadowing, and technical training programs that position them for these careers. Washington STEM works with business leaders and educators to develop a coordinated approach to link Washington students with STEM careers. Read more about Career Pathways and other essential work here.

Even teachers need time to learn about emerging careers

On August 1, 2018, MacDonald-Miller hosted 20 teachers from the West Sound STEM Network for a day of intensive learning and engagement to discuss how computer science skills, including computational thinking, coding, and design thinking, are used daily at MacDonald-Miller, one of the top mechanical contractors in the Pacific Northwest. They design, build, and optimize mechanical systems and other building system solutions for some of the coolest building projects in the area. Read a great blog post about it from Dr. Kareen Borders, Director of the West Sound STEM Network.

Manufacturing Day

Manufacturing Day event at Clark College brought together about 200 students from 11 Southwest Washington high schools who spent half of the day learning about life as welders, machine operators, design engineers, semiconductor processors and other jobs in the industry. Read more in The Columbian.

Health Sciences Career Day

All high school students are invited to Health Sciences Career Day. Held twice a year, representatives from programs at EWU Spokane, WSU Spokane, Spokane Community College Allied Health, Whitworth Athletic Training, and UW School of Medicine will host panels about getting into their programs. Students participate in a tour of a chosen lab space, and have hands-on experiences. Read more here.

Health Science Career and Technical Education (OSPI)

Healthcare is the largest and fastest-growing industry in the United States. In the Health Science Career Cluster, students can prepare for a career that promotes health, wellness and diagnosis, and treats injuries and diseases. Read more here.

Microsoft Imagine Academy

Microsoft Imagine Academy provides up-to-date curricula and resources to train and certify students and educators on Microsoft products and technologies. Students gain valuable skills for college and career that will help them succeed in an increasingly digital global economy. Read more here.

Museum of Flight Education Programs

The Boeing Academy for STEM Learning is where students chart a path in air and space by engaging in camps, classes and programs. Read more here.

Project Biotech Summer Camp

Shoreline Community College’s Biotechnology Lab opens its doors to high school students for week-long explorations of biotechnology and DNA sequencing. Read more here.

Project Lead the Way

Project Lead The Way is a nonprofit organization that empowers students to develop and apply in-demand, transportable skills by exploring real-world challenges. Through our pathways in computer science, engineering, and biomedical science, students not only learn technical skills, but also learn to solve problems, think critically and creatively, communicate, and collaborate. We also provide teachers with the training, resources, and support they need to engage students in real-world learning. Read more here.

ACE Mentorship Program (Architecture, Construction, Engineering)

For ten years, Washington’s ACE affiliate in Seattle has brought high school students together with local building industry professionals to explore the opportunities available in architecture, engineering, and construction careers. Working in teams, the students and mentors complete a design project that simulates real-world situations. The teams take field trips and tour professional offices to help them in the design process. Read more here.


Learn about careers featuring BIPOC profiles through Informational Interviews without all the hassle. Explore the video library here.

Do you have a program you want featured?

If you are a business or educator with a program you believe qualifies as a Career Explore program. You can submit your program online.