Career Programs

Last updated: September 5, 2023

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Career education

From Kindergarten to graduation, Career Education offers students many opportunities to explore and develop their:

  • Personal interests
  • Strengths
  • Confidence
  • Knowledge
  • Competencies

Through experiential learning, students make connections to career-life possibilities and post-graduation opportunities. Career Education helps students succeed in personal, educational and workplace contexts throughout life.

Career Education, through the guidance of teacher-mentors, recognizes the importance of experiential learning and personal reflection, and community involvement. The provincial Career Education K-12 Curriculum provides more information about the rationale and goals of provincial Career Education.

Through a collaboration between the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training, the Ministry of Education and Child Care and the Career Education Society, WorkBC offers Career Education Resources. Discover lesson plans, learning activities, tools, and resources to support career education for classrooms and online learning environments. This resource was developed to complement the valuable work that educators already do.

Kindergarten to Grade 9

Career-life development from Kindergarten to Grade 5 is largely about the expanding sense of self, positive community engagement, and a greater awareness of their personal interests and strengths. In Grades 6-9, students are introduced to increasingly diverse experiential learning opportunities and ways in which family, mentors, and community networks support their continued career-life development.

In partnership with SkilledTradesBC, the Ministry of Education and Child Care supports the delivery of programs and events that help students in Kindergarten to Grade 9 discover technical trades career possibilities. SkilledTradesBC’s Discover programming includes:

  • Youth Discover the Trades
    Events intended for students in grades 5 through 10 and provide insight into career opportunities in the trades
  • Youth Discover the Maker Way
    A hands-on learning activity in which students of all grades work in small teams to build a creative solution to a design challenge
  • Youth Discover Lions in the House
    An annual one-day event for students in Grades 6-9 to learn about opportunities in the trades sector

Grade 10-12 programming

Career-life interests and possibilities start to become meaningful considerations for many students during Grades 10-12. The Ministry of Education and Child Care supports students in exploring and considering their preferred futures through two courses that are required for Graduation, as well as several elective courses and programs.

Grade 10-12 courses required for graduation

Career-Life Education and Career-Life Connections are required courses in the provincial Graduation Program. They provide the structure within which students learn about the importance of

  • Ongoing career-life exploration and reflecting
  • Career-life options and decisions
  • Inter-personal relationships
  • Work-life balance
  • Lifelong learning

Career-Life Connections includes a requirement that students complete 30 hours or more of career-life exploration, a process of engaging in and reflecting on direct experiences beyond traditional classroom settings.

Grade 10-12 elective courses

Building on K-9 Career Education and with Career-Life Education and Career-Life Connections, the Grade 10-12 elective programs below offer students the opportunity to get first-hand work experience or training in real-world settings. These programs can help students in two key ways:

  • By giving them the confidence to focus their efforts on getting the specific training and skills required for transitioning to their career choice or preferred futures
  • By identifying the need for further academic or technical education to meet their career goals or preferred futures

Youth Explore Trades Skills 10-12 is a Ministry-authorized course jointly supported by the Ministry of Education and Child Care and SkilledTradesBC. Through participation in Youth Explore Trades Skills, students have an opportunity to engage in hands-on exploration of a variety of possible trades related skill, while earning credit towards secondary school graduation.

Youth Explore Trades Sampler is a 12-week (300 hours), a Ministry-authorized program that gives students in Grades 10 to 12 the opportunity to explore up to five trades while accruing as many as 12 elective credits. Training providers and school districts can offer the Youth Explore Trades Sampler program on a full-time or part-time basis.

Ministry-authorized Work Experience elective courses provide students with opportunities to further explore career areas and to develop or practice job readiness, employability, or job-specific skills. The Work Experience Program Guide (PDF) (Guide du programme d’expérience de travail (PDF) provides additional information about Ministry-authorized Work Experience programming.

Students in Grades 10-12 can start formal trades training through SkilledTradesBC and earn credits towards Graduation. Youth Train in Trades program provides students with access to industry training and are usually offered through partnerships between school districts and post-secondary institutions. Students who successfully complete a Youth Train in Trades program earn credit towards both high school Graduation and a post-secondary credential.

For students in Grades 10-12, Youth Work in Trades (PDF) (Jeunes au travail dans les métiers (PDF)) provides skill development through practical, hands-on work experience. Students enrolled in these courses go to work as trades apprentices and attend high school at the same time. Students formally register with the Industry Training Authority as Youth Apprentices and in addition to earning 16 Graduation credits, some may also qualify for a Youth Work in Trades Award.


Applied Design, Skills and Technologies (ADST)

Applied learning is an integral part of all provincial curricula in Grades 10-12 and is reflected through the provincial Applied Design, Skills and Technologies (ADST) Curriculum. ADST is rooted in experiential, hands-on learning through a focus on design thinking principles.

It includes skills and concepts from

  • Business Education
  • Home Economics and Culinary Arts
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Technology Education
  • Other new and emerging fields

ADST fosters the development of the skills and knowledge that will support students in developing practical, creative, and innovative responses to everyday needs and challenges.

Career resources for administrators, teachers and students