Using the Internet to Learn About Occupations
To help students become familiar with how to find occupational information on the Internet and to know what type of information is helpful in comparing occupational choices
Handouts: “Career Exploration on the Internet” Versions A, B, or C
websites, Internet, licensure, certification
Basic Skills: Reading
Technology: Applies technology to task
Thinking: Seeing things in the mind’s eye
Instructions for Conducting the Activity
This activity can be conducted by having them write down 2–4 occupations they are interested in learning more about and use that list as the basis for the Internet search.
Websites for career exploration:
- Occupational Outlook Handbook – www.bls.gov/oco
- Next Steps (see “Career Profiles”) – www.nextsteps.org
- America’s Career InfoNet – www.acinet.org
- World-of-Work Map – www.act.org/wwm/index.html
- Massachusetts Career Information System – www.masscis.intocareers.org
- New York Career Zone – www.nycareerzone.org/graphic/assessment/index.jsp
We highly recommended that you review each of the websites listed above to determine which site provides information in the most accessible manner for the students’ language level and familiarity with the Internet. There are three versions of the “Career Exploration on the Internet” handout.
Version A: Pre-GED/GED students
Version B: ESOL students
Version C: College Transition students
Choose the version that best meets students’ needs.
Day of Activity:
Students can do this activity in pairs or by themselves depending on their familiarity with the computer and the Internet.
Tell students that they will be learning more about the occupations they each identified through the CDM. Ask them to choose at least two occupations to research on the Internet. Select and distribute a version of the handout “Career Exploration on the Internet” that is appropriate for your students. Explain that these are common questions that people have when researching occupations. These questions are just a guide. The students should add other questions that are important to them. Review the handout with the students to make sure that everyone understands the questions.
Brainstorm other questions the students might want to have answered.
You can then model how to look for the information on the website that you have chosen ahead of time. Choose an occupation not listed by the students and walk the students through the “Career Exploration on the Internet” on how to find the information.
Note for ESOL classes: We recommend that you select two occupations to use as examples. Using the “Career Exploration on the Internet” handout, one occupation can be completed by you before the lesson. Then to introduce the lesson to the class, the teacher can take the students through the information gathering process using the completed sample handout.
Next, as a class, the students can look for and fill in the information on the second occupation. After this, the students will be better prepared to research information on their own. Then have students log onto the website and find information about their occupations. If possible, have students print out information for review later.
Note for College Transition classes: These students may have already chosen a career and educational pathway. Version C of the “Career Exploration on the Internet” handout allows them to focus on one occupation and educational pathway in more depth.
This activity can be expanded upon in a follow-up lesson to help students compare the amount of education needed and the expected wage for different occupations. This will encourage students to begin to think realistically about whether a career path is right for them or not.
Have students bring their completed “Career Exploration on the Internet” handouts to class. Post four large sheets of paper around the room with the labels: “High School or GED,” “Certificate Program or Associates Degree,” “Bachelor’s Degree,” and “Graduate Degree.” Ask students to list their career choices under one of the four sheets based on education needed.
Ask them to also mark the wage of the career choice next to it.
Facilitate a discussion based on the following questions:
- Were they surprised by how much or how little education was needed for some jobs? Which ones and why?
- Were they surprised by how much or how little the wage was for some jobs? Which ones and why?
- Is there a relationship between how much education/training a job requires and the wage of the job?
• Why do some jobs require a BA degree but pay less than a job requiring an AA degree ?