Career Education


The Career Education curriculum supports students in the process of becoming successful, educated citizens by providing them with opportunities to explore a variety of careers and options for their future. Career Education helps students to discover a bridge between classroom learning and workplace and post-secondary realities, and is intended to make their learning meaningful and relevant.
Career Education K–12 is a redesigned provincial curriculum that focuses solely on the competencies and content required for career development. In the past, Career Education was part of the Health and Career Education (HACE) K–9, Planning 10, and Graduation Transitions programs. The review of all curricular areas has resulted in the health curriculum being combined with physical education to create a new, holistic Physical and Health Education curriculum. The career components of Health and Career Education, Planning 10, and Graduation Transitions have been re-envisioned as the Career Education K–12 curriculum.
Career Education is a process that recognizes three major phases of career development—Foundation and Awareness, Exploration, and Experience and Application. The connection between grade levels and phases is one of emphasis—many high school students will still need to focus on awareness or exploration for example. Students will transition through each phase based on their personal development and community context. Career Education helps students discover the bridge between classroom learning and post-graduation life, and is intended to make their learning meaningful and relevant to their next steps after school.

K–5 Foundation and Awareness

In K–5, students develop an awareness of their personal interests and strengths, and the roles and responsibilities of family, school, and community. 

Grades 6–9: Exploration

In Grades 6–9, students explore concepts such as identity, leadership, personal planning, and transferable skills. As students build on the foundation developed from their experiences in K–5, they begin to explore in greater depth their skills and passions, and begin to determine possible routes to their goals. 

Grades 10–12: Experience and Application

As students move through Grades 10–12, they further refine their understanding of the links between personal development and their career decisions. They consider regional and global trends to reflect on career possibilities, refine their understanding of safety requirements associated with occupational areas and related technologies, and further develop and refine their understanding of career possibilities through planning, practice, and application of competencies and knowledge.
Students may explore and experience various career options before they discover the most appropriate and meaningful direction for them. For some students, a successful transition will involve a direct path to further education, while for others it will involve a direct path to the world of work. During these years, students develop their transition plans, which include workplace experience and a final capstone project.

Design of the Career Education curriculum

Big Ideas

The Big Ideas represent what students are expected to understand as a result of their learning — the “Understand” component of BC’s learning model. Collectively, the Big Ideas progress in both sophistication and degree of connection to the lives of students throughout the curriculum. The examples below show how the Big Ideas about personal development and connections to community advance as students progress through the curriculum.
K-3 4-5 6-7 8-9 10-12
Learning is a lifelong enterprise. Exploring our strengths and abilities can help us identify our goals. New experiences, both within and outside of school, expand our career skill set and options. Reflecting on our preferences and skills helps us identify the steps we need to take to achieve our career goals. Successful career and education paths require planning, evaluating, and adapting.
Strong communities are the result of being connected to family and community and working together toward common goals. Family and community relationships can be a source of support and guidance when solving problems and making decisions. Our attitudes toward careers are influenced by our view of ourselves as well as by our friends, family, and community. The value of work in our lives, communities, and society can be viewed from diverse perspectives. A network of family, friends, and community members can support and broaden our career awareness and options.

Curricular Competencies

Curricular Competencies are action-based statements that reflect the “Do” component of the curriculum model and identify what students will do to demonstrate their learning. The Curricular Competencies have been written to promote as much flexibility and creativity as possible, enabling students to explore and find multiple ways to demonstrate their learning.

The Curricular Competencies connect to the Core Competencies—Communication, Thinking, and Personal and Social. Identified and developed through provincial consultation, the Core Competencies are the intellectual, personal, social, and emotional skills that will contribute to lifelong learning. The curricular competencies in the Career Education curriculum focus particularly on the Personal and Social Competencies.
The Curricular Competencies are designed to address four themes that run through the curriculum:
  • self-awareness
  • working with others (collaboration and communication)
  • career knowledge and awareness
  • career planning


K-3 4-5 6-7 8-9 10-12
Identify and appreciate their personal attributes, skills, interests, and accomplishments Identify and appreciate their personal attributes, skills, interests, and accomplishments and their growth over time Recognize their personal preferences, skills, strengths, and abilities and connect them to possible career choices  Use self-assessment and reflection to develop awareness of their strengths, preferences, and skills Create a personal integrated post-graduation plan articulating choices related to: Career, Education, Finances, and Health and well-being

Working with others

K-3 4-5 6-7 8-9 10-12
Share ideas, information, personal feelings, and knowledge with others Recognize the intersection of their personal and public digital identities and the potential for both positive and negative consequences Question self and others about how their personal public identity can have both positive and negative consequences Recognize the impact of personal public identity in the world of work

Re-assess and refine personal digital presence considering current and future impacts

Career knowledge and awareness

K-3 4-5 6-7 8-9 10-12
Recognize the importance of learning in their lives and future careers Demonstrate respect for differences in the classroom. Appreciate the importance of respect, inclusivity, and other positive behaviours in diverse, collaborative learning, and work environments Recognize and explore diverse perspectives on how work contributes to our community and society

Demonstrate professionalism and respect for all peoples and an on-going openness to learn

Career planning

K-3 4-5 6-7 8-9 10-12
Set and achieve realistic learning goals for themselves Set realistic short- and longer-term learning goals, define a path, and monitor progress Set realistic short- and longer-term learning goals, define a path, and monitor progress Recognize the influence of curriculum choices and co-curricular activities on career paths

Design, assemble and present a culminating project to an audience, that demonstrates personal learning and achievement (in and out-of-school), growth in the core competencies, and reflection on the post-graduation plan


The Content learning standards reflect the “Know” component of the learning model and are stated as topics. The Content acts as both a supporting structure intended to assist students in demonstrating the Curricular Competencies and a foundational element leading students to the Big Ideas.

The content of the Career Education curriculum is organized under two headings in K-5: Personal Development and Connections to Community. Starting in Grade 6, a third heading is added to focus on the development of graduation plans: Life and Career Plan. 

Important Considerations

Grades 10-12

The Career Life Education and Career Life Connections courses are the final phase of career and life learning and focus on the experiential and applied learning that support students in determining their next steps, post-graduation. Through numerous learning experiences within and outside the classroom, students are expected to develop an integrated post-graduation plan that is connected to a capstone or culminating project, which demonstrates their learning in an area of personal interest. Ideally, the capstone or culminating project will be linked to an area that students are passionate about and anticipate they will be pursuing further education and learning and/or a career in.

Integrated Plan for Post-Graduation

An integrated plan for post-graduation is a personal plan that articulates student choices related to:

  • Career: possible pathways and directions based on student’s passions, skillset, contribution to society, employment and where these intersect
  • Education: formal (e.g., school based), informal (e.g., life learning), non-formal (e.g., workshops), and on-the-job training (e.g., apprenticeship, work experiences)
  • Finances: determining a budget and financing options for post-graduation plans
  • Health and well-being: choices that support a healthy lifestyle that include self-care, balance, stress management, maintaining healthy relationships, resilience for transitions, coping mechanisms

Students will create their plans drawing from other areas of learning and courses, educational and/or life experiences, and through information gathering and research. The articulation of this plan begins in Career Life Education where students are required to ‘create an initial career and education plan, considering financial implications’, and the refinement of the plan happens in Career Life Connections.  The integrated post-graduation plan is a key component linked to the culminating project. See Capstone Project, for the description and criteria for the capstone project. 

When the 10-12 Career Education curricula are revised, based on feedback, and finalized, it is intended that samples of Capstone Projects, which are created by teachers, will be added to highlight the personalized opportunities present within these courses and the choice and flexibility for course delivery.

Delivery of Grade 10-12 Career Education Courses

The new Career Education courses for grades 10-12 Career Life Education and Career Life Connections—are intended to provide a personalized, flexible approach to career and life learning as students determine their next steps, post-graduation. Delivery models for these courses should enable flexibility and choice and match the school, students, and context.

As Career Life Education provides the foundation for Career Life Connections, school districts and schools should determine a mechanism for the integration of learning between courses during the graduation years.

It is highly recommended that these courses include classroom instruction, mentoring, community and work experience, and independent learning and the balance of these components should be determined at a local level. The proposal is that both courses are to be graded (no longer ‘requirement met’ but resulting in a letter grade).

Career Education learning should connect to learning in other curricular areas and interdisciplinary connections should be encouraged for students. Likewise, teachers should look for opportunities to work collaboratively with colleagues and with community in interdisciplinary ways. Whole school involvement is encouraged and professional development focused on career education may be helpful for teachers in supporting their students.

The personal, integrated post-graduation plan and capstone or culminating project will require on-going support for students and this should include multiple teachers, mentors, community and family participation. As reflection is a key learning strategy for students, this competency will require nurturing over time. The culminating project should be presented to an audience to allow students to share and celebrate their learning within their community.

Context based examples

The revision of Career Education courses at the secondary level, including Career Life Education and Career Life Connections, is one focused on flexibility and choice that is supportive of local contexts. The new courses are focused on providing students with opportunities to consider their next steps, post-graduation, in meaningful ways. To best support this, consideration of the delivery of Career Education courses, the roles of students, teachers, mentors, schools and communities, and collaboration opportunities must be well thought out.

Aboriginal perspectives

Aboriginal perspectives are embedded in all grades in the Career Education curriculum to build a greater understanding of First Peoples Principles of Learning. The Big Ideas, Curricular Competencies, and Content support exploration of one’s identity, the roles and responsibilities of the community, and the value of well-being of the self, the family, and the community.

Focus on problem-solving and decision-making

Throughout the Career Education curriculum, students explore the relationships between personal choices and decisions, examine how family and community can support problem-solving and decision-making, and investigate career options so they can make informed decisions.


Safety is an important consideration at home, at school, in daily life, and in the workplace. In the BC Education system, safety is addressed at all levels. The School Act, under “Safe and Caring School Communities,” speaks to policies, procedures, and practices that promote school safety.  Beyond the provincial policies, safety is addressed specifically at various levels and in various areas of learning within the BC provincial curriculum.

  • In the BC K–9 curriculum, learning standards at several grade levels in Physical and Health Education and Science support safety education.
  • The renewed Career Education K–12 curriculum includes safety in curricular competencies, content, and big ideas at various levels.
  • Courses for Grades 10–12 developed to educate students in a specific occupations will include safety standards specific to that area of learning.