Project Based Learning: Exploring Your Future Career Opportunities

Educator engages students in explorations of future career opportunities.
Made by GFLEC
Earn Graduate Credit
Graduate-level credit is available for this micro-credential. You can apply for credit through one of our university partners after successfully completing the micro-credential.
Learn More About Graduate Credit

About this Micro-credential

Apply for a micro-credential before December 22nd, 2017 for a $75 Amazon gift card!*

*Offer valid until 12/22/2017. To receive a gift card, participant must complete all portions of the micro-credential application including the optional survey. Gift cards will be awarded in the form of Amazon eGift Cards emailed to the account specified by the participant. Each participant can receive maximum one gift card. GFLEC reserves the right to withdraw this offer at any time.

Key Method

The educator facilitates student exploration of future career opportunities through project-based learning

Method Components

What is project-based learning?

Project-based learning (PBL) is a student-centered instruction that occurs over an extended time period, during which students select, plan, investigate, and produce a product, presentation, or performance that answers a real-world question or responds to an authentic challenge.

Components of project-based learning:

  • Students are provided with learning goal(s) and grading rubric
  • Students are presented with a challenging problem or driving question
  • Inquiry is sustained over time and is academically rigorous
  • The project involves real-world tasks and tools
  • Student choice is given on important matters, and students have opportunities to work independently
  • Students are provided with regular, structured opportunities to give and receive feedback about the quality of their work
  • Students present their findings

Suggested Implementation:

  1. Provide students with a learning goal(s) to explore future career opportunities, and select a career to research extensively. Distribute grading rubrics to guide the process of exploring, researching, and then presenting findings. (Note – as this method is used increasingly in the classroom, more gradual release of responsibility could be possible as it becomes a more natural part of the curriculum and classroom).
  2. Present students with the following driving question: “If you had to select a career for yourself now, what would it be and why it is relevant to your lives now?”
  3. Provide students with a timeline of tasks to complete independently to meet the project deliverables.
  4. Share with students the interactive online U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook to explore factors such as anticipated pay, education required, projected number of new jobs, and projected growth rates.
  5. Allow students to select what careers to research. Consider exposing students to skills and interest assessments prior to this project to give them direction.
  6. Provide students with regular, structured opportunities to give and receive feedback about the quality of their work.
  7. Students present their findings using an activity guide, multimedia, or in-class presentation.

Research & Resources

Supporting Research

Exposing students to future careers helps them identify and follow through on an education path that leads to a desired career, and encourages them to strive academically. The project-based learning (PBL) method is most suitable for this topic for a number of reasons. Above all, students are active, not passive; a project engages their hearts and minds, and provides real-world relevance for learning. Also, after completing a project, students understand content more deeply, remember what they learn, and retain it longer than is often the case with traditional instruction.

Rationale for the application of using project-based learning to teach personal finance topics. Included are turnkey PBL lessons for various personal finance topics:

  • “Making Finance Personal: Project-Based Learning for the Personal Finance Classroom.” Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. Web. 20 Apr. 2016.


Career Exploration

  • “Home : Occupational Outlook Handbook: : U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.” U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Web. 17 May 2016.

Project-based learning design and rubric tools and examples

  • “Why Project Based Learning (PBL)?” Project Based Learning. Buck Institute for Education. Web. 17 May 2016.

  • “Fastest Growing Occupations : Occupational Outlook Handbook: : U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.” U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 17 Dec. 2015. Web. 20 Apr. 2016.

Submission Requirements

Submission Guidelines & Evaluation Criteria

The items in this following section detail what must be submitted for evaluation. To earn the micro-credential, you must receive a passing evaluation for Parts 1, 3 and 4, and a “Yes” for both artifacts submitted for Part 2.

Part 1. Overview Questions

(150-word limit):

  • How did you help students gauge potential career matches prior to the project-based learning assignment?

Part 2. Work Examples/Artifacts

Educator must submit the PBL guide from the lesson.

Part 3. Student Reflection

Please include reflections from three students who completed the activity submitted in Part 2, using the following questions as guidance for the students (300-word limit each):

  • What career fields did you spend the most time exploring, and what career field did you select?
  • What resources did you use to help you connect your personal interests and talents to the career field you selected? You can cite resources from this project, and a past activity.
  • What factors did you consider when selecting your future career field?

Part 4. Teacher Reflection

Provide a reflection of what you learned, using the following questions as guidance (150-word limit):

  • What resources did you allow students to use to explore future career opportunities?
  • If you use project-based learning to teach this topic again in the future, what lessons did you learn that would improve the implementation of the teaching method?
  • Which other personal finance topics can this teaching method be used for in the classroom?

Part 5. Survey (Optional)

Please answer a brief survey about your experience teaching personal finance. Your responses will:

  • help us understand barriers personal finance teachers face;
  • and help us improve the resources being offered to personal finance educators

We appreciate your help.

Except where otherwise noted, this work is licensed under:
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)


Download to access the requirements and scoring guide for this micro-credential.
How to prepare for and earn this micro-credential - in a downloadable PDF document

Ready to get started?