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Curriculum ForumBusiness Education Standards


Career Development

CAREER DEVELOPMENT differs from other curriculum areas in that it encompasses an individual’s total lifestyle—education, occupation, social responsibility, and leisure activities. Consequently career education is best integrated into the entire curriculum rather than being viewed as an isolated unit of instruction studied at a specific time. When students begin career exploration at an early age, they gain a developmental understanding of their own strengths and weaknesses, the ever-evolving requirements of the workplace, and the relationship of lifelong learning to career success.

Because businesses increasingly view career development as an employee’s rather than a company’s responsibility, learning to conduct a career search and to identify career pathways has become an important part of every student’s education. Profound business and economic changes now underway in the United States and other industrialized countries are radically altering the workplace, including how workers shape their careers. For example, rather than charting a career path toward a single, long-term goal, individuals will explore multiple career paths and their interrelatedness—the traditional “career ladder” in effect becomes a “career lattice.” Workers will make career choices across the lifespan. Many of these career choices will be in virtual work environments.

This shift from the career ladder to the career lattice model will enable individuals to meet the needs of employers who are assembling workforces that are not only technically skilled and cross-trained but flexible and cost-effective. In this framework an individual who wants to enjoy a quality standard of living must be prepared to make wise career transitions and to continuously learn new skills.

The Career Development Standards accordingly focus on the following skills:

Whether the methodology includes informational interviewing, Internet searches, mentoring, job shadowing, school-to-career initiatives, or cooperative education, these career development standards are appropriate for all students and all program areas and play an increasingly important role in the entire educational system.

I. Self-Awareness
Achievement Standard: Assess personal skills, abilities, and aptitudes and personal strengths and weaknesses as they relate to career exploration and development.

II. Career Research
Achievement Standard: Utilize career resources to develop a career information database that includes international career opportunities.

III. Workplace Expectations
Achievement Standard: Relate the importance of workplace expectations to career development.

IV. Career Strategy
Achievement Standard: Apply knowledge gained from individual assessment to a comprehensive set of goals and an individual career plan.

V. School-to-Career Transition
Achievement Standard: Develop strategies to make an effective transition from school to career.

VI. Lifelong Learning
Achievement Standard: Relate the importance of lifelong learning to career success.

From the National Standards for Business Education © 2007 by the National Business Education Association, 1914 Association Drive, Reston, VA 20191.