Career Exploration

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GIS StoryMap

The Michigan MiSTEM Network and Advisory Council are working to build a robust STEM culture in Michigan that is focused on providing STEM learning experiences that move forward workforce talent development and significantly contribute to the vibrancy and vitality of Michigan communities.

The MiSTEM StoryMap provides an interactive map to explore where various STEM career opportunities are in the Greater West Michigan region. This free resource is designed to help students, educators, parents, and the community locate STEM industries, businesses, and careers in Allegan, Kent, Montcalm, Muskegon, Newaygo, and Ottawa counties. The tool gives users a spatial view of the location of STEM industry clusters, apprenticeships, internships, and job opportunities. 

The image below is an example of the MiSTEM Greater West Michigan StoryMap for the Agriculture Industry cluster. To access the full Greater West MichiganStoryMap, visit

image of the agricultural map in West Michigan with an image of a farmer and cows

Career Exploration Resources

Explore the resources below to learn more about the many STEM careers.

Discovery Education

STEM Careers Coalition   
In recognition of Women’s History Month, Discovery Education and the STEM Careers Coalition are celebrating the STEMinists changing the face of the future. Introduce your students to incredible women working in STEM careers across industries like aviation, technology, manufacturing and more, and learn how they are improving the world we live in. Using a robust collection of career profiles videos and accompanying activities, your solution seekers will have opportunities to connect their skills to real-world occupations and see themselves as the next generation of STEM leaders. Explore now!  


Financial Literacy  
Celebrate Financial Literacy Month by venturing into the world of money management, from counting your coins to investing in your future. Help students understand good financial choices and the tools available to help them manage money well and become wise consumers. Find incredible content from Discovery Education and partners like the Pathway to Financial Success program or Cha-Ching Money Smart Kids (including a contest to win $10,000 for your school!).   

Fueling Education  
Use Fueling Education’s comprehensive suite of classroom resources to bring STEM to life in the classroom! These digital lessons from Discovery Education and CITGO are created to make teaching and learning a fun, interactive, and inspiring experience. BONUS: all the content is aligned to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Learn more here and start exploring today. 


Conservation Station  
Discover the connections between energy and water to see how the internet used in our everyday lives can be used to conserve natural resources, protect ecosystems, and create safer, more sustainable communities in this virtual field trip from Conservation Station, a program from Itron and Discovery Education.  

STEMx Virtual Conference

X-STEM All Access – presented by AstraZenecaDoD STEM, and the U.S. Air Force – is a virtual interactive speaker series designed to inspire students, teachers, and parents.  Moderated by science educator and communicator Justin Shaifer, X-STEM All Access will be presented as a series of four daily live stream events featuring an exclusive group of visionaries aimed to empower students about careers in STEM.  View all the speakers here.  Educators and parents with students can learn from home or in the classroom and can utilize X-STEM All Access as a fun educational resource for kids.

X-STEM All Access will take place on April 20-23 at 1:00 pm ET daily.
Save the dates and register today!   Learn More & Register Here.

Here are just a few of the inspiring STEM role models joining us at X-STEM All Access: 

Virtual Interactive Speaker Series
Tracy Fanara

Dr. Tracy Fanara 
She's an environmental engineer on a mission to extend humanity's time on earth by making it safe for all living things! Tune in to learn about her diverse background from storm chasing to designing aquaponics for wastewater treatment in space, and more! 

Tamara Robertson

Tamara Robertson 
Check out this engineer, TV host, and Superhero Scientist who uses her special powers to mentor more women into STEM. Tamara will discuss the importance of working together to solve world problems and her outreach comic, Seekers of Science, that she co-wrote with Dr. Tracy Fanara.  

Dr. "Kaf"

Dr. Kafui Dzirasa 
Learn about the electricity behind emotions from this renowned psychiatrist and neuroscientist. Dr. "Kaf" Dzirasa will discuss how his research shows the connection between electricity and our emotions and how we can use it to understand and treat mental illness. 

Chris Fischer

Chris Fischer 
Join this expedition leader and founder of OCEARCH live from his research vessel as he and his team study great white sharks. Chris will introduce his team and take viewers on an intimate look into OCEARCH’s expeditions, where STEM can be found in virtually every job onboard the MV OCEARCH.   

Kent ISD

Career Development Activities from Kent ISD

Meet the Recruiter Event – Local Health Care Employers
Tuesday, March 30, 2021, 3:30 PM – 4:30 PM 

This is a golden opportunity to get job search information directly from local recruiters!  Join this event to get the inside scoop on what their organizations are looking for in candidates, along with valuable information on the application process, tips for successful interviewing and even their "pet peeves". For more information and to register, click here! 

Careers In Business 
April 13 – May 20, 2021
Tuesdays/Thursdays, 3:30pm – 4:00pm 

This series will provide you the opportunity to meet 12 different professionals in a variety of business careers through 30-minute Zoom career conversations called Career Chats. You will hear about their career paths, ins/outs of their daily work, and valuable information about their education path. Our career mentors will give you valuable "inside scoop" information to assist you in your career exploration journey. Examples of featured occupations include: CEO, Investment Banker, Consulting Manager, Human Resources, Event Planning and Hospitality, Entrepreneur, and MORE.  Registration is now open here.
Want to get news directly from the  source?  Click here and sign up to receive regular Career Development opportunities from the Career Readiness Team and Kent ISD.

Careers and Projects in Citizen Science

Citizen Science Association 

Want to learn about a career in citizen science but not sure how? Citizen science is the involvement of the public in scientific research – whether community-driven research or global investigations. The Citizen Science Association unites expertise from educators, scientists, data managers, and others to power citizen science. Explore the Citizen Science career pathways to becoming a Citizen Science and learn from the experiences of those building careers in this dynamic field. 

Citizen Science Association
Citizen Science Association

United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) 
What does a citizen science do? How does a citizen science help the EPA? Citizen science offers a unique opportunity for the public and EPA to connect on environmental science and protection. It uses the collective strength of the community to identify research questions, collect and analyze data, interpret results, make new discoveries, and develop technologies and applications – all to understand and solve environmental problems. Visit the EPA for Citizen Science Basic Information and for examples of Citizen Science Projects.

National Geographic Citizen Science Projects 
Did you know snapping mountain-top photos of smog and listening for frog calls can help scientists? Get ideas for how you can participate in citizen science—projects in which volunteers and scientists work together to answer real-world questions and gather data. Use these National Geographic Citizen Science resources to connect with your community and find projects.  

National Geographic Citizen Science Projects

STEM Career Videos

Dr. Kit Career Videos

Are you looking for a career in Health Sciences, Information Technology, Aerospace, or Biochemistry? 

Watch Dr. Kit's Career Videos and hear from hundreds of professionals in fields and occupations like Agriculture, Healthcare, Manufacturing, Information Technology, Finance, and more!  Employees discuss their typical day, the qualifications for a job, the best and worst parts of the job, and advice for students who may be interested in that line of work. 

Are you already considering a specific major in college? Learn about what careers you can do with degrees in various areas and what it takes to get those degrees in the Career Fields & College Degrees area.

Examples of STEM Career Videos available:

New Career Tools in the LearningExpress Library

In need of a new job?  New career? The LearningExpress Library has plenty of options to assist in the changes you are seeking for the new year! Whether your interests are geared toward a career in technology or working on environmental issues, there are new resources in LearningExpress that can help you get started.  

Green Economy, Hot Technologies & STEM Occupations  
New search options have been added to the Job & Career Accelerator, and the occupation card information has been updated substantially. Users can now search through a curated list of hot technology, green economy, and STEM occupations. You need to register as a new user to view this content. Each occupation card lists the knowledge, skills, and abilities to perform the job as well as the required education, wage trends by individual state, current open positions in the field, and a video clip describing and showing a person working in that position.     

Check this video out on Aerospace Engineers at  


STEM Flights in MI

STEM Flights in Michigan

Are you interested in a career in aviation? Would you like to take flight with a pilot mentor?  

 STEM Flights is a non-profit organization that provides customized aviation education and flight experiences to facilitate learning in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. STEM Flights' mission is to create positive experiences in general aviation, and inspire America's youth to pursue STEM careers. 

More than just a flight, this FREE STEM Flights program will introduce students to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math as it relates to aviation. STEM Flights' unique program starts online and continues into the cockpit. Volunteer Pilot mentors are paired with a student (& guardian) through the website application. Once approved, students select a STEM Mission in advance and are required to complete mission related studies prior to the flight experience. Pilot Mentors fly STEM Missions for individual students.  

Visit and explore STEM Flights and discover how to become a STEM Flights student! 

STEM Flights introduction

STEM Flights introduction

Junior Achievement Volunteers and Sponsors Needed

junior achievement

Junior Achievement (JA) delivers in-school programs on financial literacy, workplace readiness, and entrepreneurship to thousands of students. These hands-on, activity-driven programs are taught by hundreds of volunteers. Volunteers are essential in delivering these programs and events.  

On May 6, 2021 (8:30 AM – 10:45 AM) Junior Achievement is hosting the JA Passport to STEM: A Virtual Experience  for hundreds of 7th and 8th grade students. This FREE 2-hour virtual event introducing boys and girls to women STEM leaders to show them how powerful women in STEM are. Boys and girls from all over Grand Rapids, Lansing, Lakeshore, Battle Creek & Kalamazoo, and Northern Michigan will have a chance to experience this virtual event featuring over 100 women STEM leaders. 

Junior Achievement is looking for volunteers and sponsors to help sustain and expand STEM opportunities to students. Volunteer commitments are one hour for a training pre-event and one hour for the day of the event.

Choose from one of these training time frames:

  • Tuesday, April 13, 2-3 p.m.
  • Wednesday, April 14, 8-9 a.m.
  • Thursday, April 15, 4:30-5:30 p.m.
  • Friday, April 16, 12-1 p.m.

If you are interested in volunteering for this event, please take a moment to fill out this volunteer registration form and someone from JA will contact you with additional details.

If you are interested in becoming a sponsor or have any questions, please contact Diane Miller at [email protected].

Discover Engineering Careers Workshop

The Inspire Innovation: Discover Engineering Careers Workshop  and Toolkit is anchored by videos from current engineering students. Your students will meet six engineering undergrads and hear what they wish someone had told them about engineering. They'll get an overview of the engineering profession, see what engineers are like, and be encouraged to consider pursuing an education and career in engineering. This toolkit is made possible by the generous support of the United Engineering Foundation (UEF). 
Explore Workshop and Educator Toolkit


Annie Cheng

Women and Drones Network

The Women And Drones Network brings together women from around the world to help them connect and succeed in the drone industry. 

Check out the featured Women in the Unmanned aircraft system (UAS) industry on their Success Stories website.

Marine Careers

Students thinking about careers in the marine sciences often picture themselves working with whales. Within the marine science fields, however, only a few scientists specialize in that area. Visit Marine Careers: A Sea Grant Guide to Ocean Opportunities to explore a wide range of marine career fields and read career profiles from people working in those fields. In addition, it will give those men and women a chance to tell you what they like and dislike about their careers, what they see for the future in their fields, and much more. 

Be sure to check out Marine Career's resource page to explore internships, summer opportunities, volunteer opportunities and much more! 

sea grant

stem AVSED

Careers in Aviation

Do you know what you want to be when you grow up? Are you still figuring it out?  If you love science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), then consider a career in aviation or aerospace!  

The Federal Aviation Administration's STEM Aviation and Space Education (AVSED) program offers lots of ways for you to explore this exciting world through STEM-based activities. Check out their STEM Aviation and Space Education (AVSED) programs for elementary, middle school, and high school students: 

Elementary (Grades K-4)
Middle School (Grades 5-8) 
High School (Grades 9-12)

Careers and Opportunities in Meteorology

Meteorology is a fun and exciting career choice! Meteorologists across the world get to predict some of mother nature’s wildest weather. From hurricanes to tornadoes and from heatwaves to blizzards, this is one career choice that will keep you on your toes. Visit Weather Wiz Kids career corner to learn about how to become a meteorologist, the fascinating world of weather, explore weather related experiments, and play games on Weather Wiz Kids.  

weather wiz kids

Are you considering a degree in meteorology and want to dig deeper? Whether you're a high school senior or a midcareer professional looking for a change, take a look at the American Meteorological Society's Career page where you will find valuable resources that include career profiles; job outlook; interviews with weather, water, and climate scientists; a list of colleges that offer degrees in meteorology; mentoring opportunities, internships opportunities and more. 

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration NOAA Student Opportunities 

Find information about educational student opportunities like virtual Science Fairs, workshops, camps, internships from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). 


National Girls Collaborative project

Careers in Sustainability, Engineering, and Renewable Energy

Led by young women on the NGCP Girls Advisory Board, the Town Hall: Energize your Creativity last December focused on hearing the voices of women and girls as they explore exciting careers in cutting edge fields of environmental sustainability, engineering, and renewable energy, that require creativity and imagination. Role model experts from CS Energy shared their stories of nurturing their interest in STEM into rewarding careers.  

Watch the recording on the NGCP YouTube channel. 

Agriculture Careers and Virtual Field Trips

Career Profiles

The Career Profiles are a resource to increase learning and understanding around the great variety of opportunities in agriculture and food. Search more than 250 Career Profiles and then select a pathway of interest to you. You can also explore a Career Profile title you would like to read more about. Each Career Profile contains an overview, job responsibilities, required education, recommended high school courses, potential employers, job outlook, and professional organizations to join.
Explore Your Career

Explore careers in Agriculture

National FFA and Discovery Education have joined forces to create a robust, comprehensive career resource to help you explore the broad range of careers within the industry of agriculture. Agriculture has a variety and abundance of careers that fit within nine exciting career focus areas. Careers may have you using advanced equipment, creating new hybrid seeds, raising animals, managing people or designing new products and packaging. Visit AG Explorer to see what careers might be best for you.  

Agriculture Virtual Field Trips

Transport your students beyond the walls of your classroom into leading agricultural organizations to gain a firsthand account of the diverse career opportunities within the agricultural industry. Visit AG Explorer Virtual Field trips and classroom activities that include companies like John Deere, Ford Motor Company, Cargill's Innovation Center, and more!  

AG explorer

cybersecurity career awareness

Cybersecurity Career Awareness

Two numbers underscore the urgency of efforts to grow the pool of students willing to consider a career in cybersecurity: 

  • 3.5 million – The number of unfilled cybersecurity jobs projected around the world by 2022. As an absolute figure, that represents a bounty of jobs for cybersecurity workforce entrants to consider. 

  • 1.8 – The ratio of cybersecurity workers to job openings now, compared to 3.7 workers to 1 job opening in the workforce overall. As a relative figure, that means there is about twice as much “opportunity” in cybersecurity as in the overall job market. 

You can read more about Cybersecurity Career Awareness in this free e-booklet from Start Engineering here. 

Careers in Healthcare

According to the STATE OF MICHIGAN Department of Technology, Management and Budget Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiatives, employment in the Healthcare cluster has grown 24 percent since 2000. Healthcare employment continued to grow throughout the Great Recession in contrast with the contracting statewide economy. The cluster now employs over 675,000 people in the state, which is almost 16 percent of all employment and has become the biggest private-sector employer in Michigan.  

Visit and explore Michigan vocational schools, community colleges, two and four year universities for educational and training programs, articles, and healthcare pathways for Paramedics, Medical Assistants, Pharmacy Technicians, Dental Assistants and many more!

Illumina Career Profile: Genetic counselor Alicia Scocchia

Illumina Career Profiles

Genomics will change everything – from how we diagnose and treat cancer to how we feed the world's population. Visit Illumina to explore resources and helpful links about genomics and its possible applications in the real world. Be sure to check out their Career Profiles to learn more about this growing and exciting career.  

Careers in Renewable Energy

Are you passionate about green energy and protecting our planet? Are you looking for a career you can be proud of that offers possibilities we aren’t even aware of yet? Look no further than the renewable energy industry. 

You could be working in wind or solar power in no time with the right education and tools to get you set on this exciting path. Here are some of the best degrees to pursue and the career choices that may come your way. 

Renewable Energy Jobs Are Booming! Clean Jobs America estimated that more than 2.5 million people in the U.S. work in clean energy jobs.  

Visit the National Geographic Society's Resource Library to explore Careers in Renewable Energy. 

Careers in Renewable Energy
Careers in Renewable Energy



If you look at a weather satellite up close, you can tell it’s a pretty complicated piece of hardware. What you can’t see are the hundreds of algorithms—math equations written in computer language—which allow the satellite to collect weather information, send it down to Earth and transform the information into products for weather forecasters. 

Visit NOAA's SciJinks and learn all about the weather, satellite meteorology, earth science, and the people that support the weather industry. Meet a Systems Engineer, an Algorithm Engineer, a NASA Research Pilot, and more! 

Explore games, videos, scavenger hunts, classroom resources and more on today!  

MCAN Career Connections

Michigan has many high-demand, high-wage jobs available that require a certificate or an associate degree to get started. These fields offer entry level and ongoing educational opportunities that could increase your potential for professional growth, promotion, and higher wages over time as well as lead to a meaningful career. 

Check out Michigan College Access Network's career series, Roadmap to Opportunity. Explore videos and information sheets on careers like Physical Therapy, Dental Hygienist, Respiratory Care, and much more!  
To see flyer.


Five Reasons Engineers Are Awesome

So, what do engineers do? 

1. Engineers solve problems. 

Let’s face it: we are not short on problems in this world of ours. Engineers are the folks who take the basics of science, along with the principles of engineering, and apply them to the world around us. They identify and analyze problems or needs, and then search for ways to meet these challenges with new solutions. The problems that need solving could be large in scale (like designing a new system to deliver safe drinking water to a city) or small in scale (like how to make an adhesive bandage hurt less as it is pulled off your skin). 

2. Engineers create new tools. 

In the process of solving problems, engineers often have to design new tools to create solutions. A plumber just visited my house today to investigate a problem with a drain. He used several tools to attack the problem, but the coolest was the camera he put in the pipe to see what was causing our chronic back-ups. An engineer designed that amazing camera which was small enough to fit in a pipe, installed on a flexible tube and waterproof. Amazing! 

3. Engineers create products that we use every day. 

Nearly every human-made object that we come in contact with was designed by an engineer. Think through all the things you use during a day – your cell phone, a dishwasher, your car or bike. An engineer designed them all. Take a walk through your home and see how many things you can identify that were designed by an engineer. You’ll be amazed! 

4. Engineers use the engineering design process to guide their work.
The engineering design process is cyclical and continues until an effective design is created. It is not rigid as engineers may start at different points in the cycle or move back-and-forth between steps. Here is what is involved:  

engineering design process

5. Engineers use many skills to tackle the problems they are trying to solve. 

Being good at science and math is not the only skills needed to be a successful engineer. In addition to using the engineering design process and basic science, math and computer skills, engineers also use many other skills including:  

  • Communication – both verbally and in writing
  • Controlled experimentation and testing
  • Modeling 
  • Reverse engineering 
  • Spatial visualization 
  • Teamwork 

The world of engineering is truly the world in which we live, and our world would not be the same without them. Three cheers for engineers!  Additional free resources can be found here.  

family science

National Mentoring month

National Mentoring Resources

National Mentoring Month focuses national attention on the need for mentors to guide our youth. Research shows girls benefit from relationships with role models and mentors who can provide valuable information about STEM careers. Below is a selection of mentoring resources: 

  • FabFems: A collection of resources for role models, educators, and parents to inspire and educate girls about science, computer science, technology, engineering, and mathematics courses and careers. The website includes Resources for Role Models and Resources for Girls

  • National Mentoring Resource Center: A collection of mentoring resources including handbooks, curricula, manuals, and other resources that practitioners can use to implement and further develop program practices. 

  • SciGirls Role Model Strategies: SciGirls Role Model Strategies: Encouraging Girls to Consider STEM Careers offers basic training for role models, introducing them to best practices for their volunteer efforts. 

  • Techbridge: Role Model Training and Resources are available to help develop skills to engage girls and underrepresented youth in STEM through guides, videos, and questions. 

Girls Communicating Career Connections

Girls Communicating Career Connections

Do you want to learn about fun and interesting careers? Ever wonder how much training and experience it takes to get certain jobs? Are you curious about things like engineering and technology? Visit the Girls Communicating Career Connections (GC3) website.  The GC3 project helped middle school aged girls create videos about math and science careers. After watching the videos they created, you can try some online activities and games that will help you discover all kinds of other careers that use science and math. You might be surprised at what you find! 

Are you an educator? Learn more about the Girls Communicating Career Connections (GC3) multimedia series, and how to use it in your work, by clicking on More Info for Educators

3M Young Scientist Lab

In a 3M laboratory, scientists come to work every day prepared to research information and explore new possibilities that impact the world and propel innovation to make our world a better place. Visit 3M's Science at Work website to see a gallery of career profiles of scientists at 3M!  

3m Young Scientist lab

about science

Bioscience Careers

Interested in learning about Bioscientists and want to know what a Bioscientist does? Visit About Bioscience and Bioscience Careers to learn about job descriptions, salary ranges, educational requirements, and places where you can find even more information about careers in Bioscience. Select profiles are accompanied by a short video and a teacher guide with K–12 classroom activities. 

Bioscience Careers

Skype a Scientist

Skype a Scientist

Would you like to get to know a real scientist so you can get the answers to questions straight from the source? Skype a Scientist has a database of thousands of scientist and helps them connect with teachers, classrooms, groups, and the public all over the globe. Visit Skype a Scientist to sign up as a scientist, teacher, or group and make your personal connections with a scientists today! 

Make the Future™ Connecting Girls to Manufacturing

Make the Future™ Connecting Girls to Manufacturing

Make the Future™ Connecting Girls to Manufacturing aims to encourage women and girls, especially those of color, to take part in STEM education and pursue advanced manufacturing careers. Visit the Make the Future website sponsored by the National Alliance for Partnerships in Equity to view how these young women are using creativity and teamwork to make a difference in advanced manufacturing and prepare for their future in manufacturing.  

Make the Future

Tomorrow Talent Series

Tomorrow's Talent Series

Want a behind-the-scenes look at some of the most in-demand jobs in fields like manufacturing, business, health sciences, and more? Plug into Michigan Tech's Tomorrow's Talent Series and view job shadowing videos that show you what key careers are really like.  

Free Digital Resources for Educators, Students, and Families from STEM Careers Coalition

The STEM Careers Coalition by Discovery Education offers educators, students, and families nationwide access to a host of new, no-cost digital resources that connect all learners to their innate curiosity by bringing STEM to life. 

Among the new resources available to educators, students, and families are a robust series of Career Exploration resources. Sourced from industry leaders like API, Boeing, Chevron, Procter & Gamble, ASME, and Microsoft, as well as content contributors Sanofi and GAF, these resources enable communities to connect students to the real world of STEM careers. 

The STEM Careers Coalition also offers the innovative COVID-19 Solution Seekers video series.  This engaging series spotlights how non-profits, corporations, and industries have pivoted to meet the needs of communities presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, a series of Classroom Activities resources further support educators’ efforts to integrate STEM teaching and learning into instruction with ready-made activities featuring step-by-step guides designed for wherever learning takes place. 

STEM Careers Coalition

Futures in Engineering

Futures in Engineering

Interested in a career in Engineering?  Visit Future Engineers to find out more on what it takes to be an engineer. 

Engineers from a variety of fields - mechanical, civil, chemical, electrical and others - will tell you their stories and answer frequently asked questions. Students will get a behind-the-scenes look at the work that several types of engineers do every day and learn about the challenges they face, why they find engineering so exciting, and what they did to prepare for their careers.   

What else can you find on this website? You’ll find career-related tips for students to prepare now for high school and college studies in engineering. 

Also on this site are tips for parents including ways to help your student get started on a successful career path. 

Science Buddies

Want to know more about careers in science? Browse through resources at Science Buddies for detailed information on dozens of careers to discover what scientists, engineers, and other STEM professionals really do and what it takes to prepare for these careers. Each career profile provides basic career information such as salary, job outlook, degree requirements, on-the-job profiles, and more! 

science buddies

Explore the Trades

Learn about what the trades are…and what they aren’t. Visit Explore The Trades and find skilled trade jobs that offer great pay, benefits, job security, and professional satisfaction. Explore career videos, average salary ranges, job growth, and 2024 job projections for plumbing, heating, cooling, and electrical trades. Learn about what it takes to become a trades professional, Apprenticeships, or Journeyman, and more!

Surprise! Six Figures in the Trades

Let's get Going

Going Pro – A Day in the Life Video Series

What’s it like? What do you do? Where do you do it? See for yourself when you watch how real people live their different careers day in and day out. Explore Going Pro's gallery of videos on a variety of emerging industries including IT, Healthcare, Advanced Manufacturing, Construction, and Automotive.

going pro

Career Spotlight Videos from Bureau of Labor Statistics

Ever wonder what a Federal Wildlife Officer does and what tools they use to do their job? Want to learn what a Communications Engineer does at NASA? Visit the careers page to learn more about different career fields in government and the Bureau of Labor Statistics K-12 Career Exploration page for many other jobs. The Bureau of Labor Statistics YouTube Playlist has even more Career Exploration Videos! 


Women in Skilled Trades: New Branding

Women in Skilled Trades

DTE Energy Careers

Advancements in technology have put those in skilled trades on a level playing field, shattering the glass ceiling in the energy sector. There is a career path for everyone, providing a rewarding opportunity to use your hands, heart and head while making a positive impact in your community.  

Imagine climbing high above the trees to repair power lines – that’s the job of an overhead line worker. They’re some of the most visible employees in the energy industry. As an overhead line worker, you’re one of the “first responders” – the go-to people when needs arise such as when severe weather conditions strike the area. 

Check out these DTE Energy career videos on Underground Cable Splicer, a Maintenance Fitter, a Line Clearance Worker and more!  

grow next gen

Grow Next Gen Careers

Do you enjoy working on machinery or with your hands? Do you like operating or programming computers? If so, you may be well suited to a career in power, structural or technical systems in the field of agriculture. Careers in this profession unite technology and mechanical skills with agriculture. With the help of GPS technology, emerging careers in precision agriculture are enhancing the efficiency of farming worldwide. Explore this career pathway, other agriculture pathways, and career videos by visiting  Grow Next Gen.  

Discover career pathways in agriculture and its many related fields and how to grow the next generation of entrepreneurs and leaders for the changing industry that feeds the world.  



Cool STEM Jobs at STEM-Works

Interested in a career in Robotics, Space, or Game Programming? Do you like to play video games? Browse careers in the Video Gaming pathway in the STEM-Works extensive collection of Cool STEM Jobs, STEM activities, events, and STEM articles, and more!

Career Series on STEAM Resource Hub from STEMx

As a service to STEM educators and families, STEMx is providing a 6 week course of STEM activities, lessons, and career exploration. Check out the first three weeks of resources in the following areas:

  • Healthcare - Exploring Prosthetics and Assistive Technology
  • Transportation - Exploring the Future of Mobility
  • Agriculture - Exploring Sustainable Farming & Food Production Practices

Nerd Girl Nation: Season 1, Episode 4: Solar Impulse Girl

Nerd Girl Nation: Paige Kassalen shares how she became part of the ground crew for the first solar powered plane to fly around the world. 

Meet an Engineer

What’s it like to work as a computer engineer? Is majoring in electrical engineering more difficult than other fields? Check out career profiles of individuals studying and working in various fields at TRY Engineering and discover what it’s like to be an engineer.  

Engineering Careers at DiscoverE

An engineering career spans so many areas—healthcare, agriculture, entertainment, business, and more! Check out the multiple careers in engineering described on Discover Engineering's website and see how the work of engineers is making a difference in all our lives.


Swe next

Society of Women Engineers

The Society of Women Engineers (SWE) welcomes K-12 students to join SWENext to become a part of the engineering community. SWENext provides a variety of quality programs, resources, and access to engineers to empower students to prepare for engineering and technology careers.  Visit the Society of Women Engineers to read about the day in the life of an Agricultural Engineer and Marine Engineer and more!

Career Girls

Want to know what a career in agricultural engineering is like and what skills you will need? Interested in finding out what the pay looks like? Visit Career Girls to learn more information for your career journey.  

Career Girls is founded on the dream that every girl around the world has access to diverse and accomplished women role models to learn from their experiences and discover their own path to empowerment. Watch thousands of videos from role models who work in hundreds of careers. They share what they do at work and what they like best about it. They also talk about their education, challenges they’ve overcome, even who their heroes are. 

career girls

PIC Math - Creating More Realistic Animation for Movies - Segment I

we use math

Did you know that your favorite movies were created using math? If you love math, you may want to consider a career in math. Visit We Use Math and find out how a Computer Graphics Engineer uses math to create top money making movies from Avatar to Toy Story! From Actuary to Urban Planner, We Use Math provides career salary ranges, education requirements, career facts, potential employers, and downloadable fact sheets for students, parents, and educators.

Kent ISD Career Readiness Events

The Career Readiness staff at Kent ISD is offering multiple events over the next several months that are designed to help students be career-ready.  Events include:

  • Talk & Tour Career Series
  • P3: Professional Pop-Up Panel
  • Career Chats
  • Parents As Career Coaches
  • IT 101
  • Careers in Energy
kent isd
career chats

Kent ISD’s Career Chats are designed to provide students a virtual opportunity to meet real professionals employed in real jobs.  This series of 30 minute sessions will highlight professions from a variety of career pathways, giving students the opportunity to learn more about a career of interest, or to explore new options.  Professionals will share their own career path, along with valuable industry insights that support student career exploration.  Students will have an opportunity to ask their own questions through the platform’s chat function.

All Career Chats will take place from 11:00-11:30 a.m.


Science Careers at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

Want to help protect your environment? Improve the health of all Americans?  From geology to mechanical engineering, from biology to chemistry, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is looking for scientists, technologists and engineers to perform cutting-edge research in a dynamic learning environment -- research that can help make this a cleaner, more sustainable planet.

Visit their Careers page to learn what the EPA does, why you should work there, and what kind of people already work there. Explore profiles of EPA researchers and meet scientists like Dr. Ana Rappold, Ph. D. who was recognized this year for her  groundbreaking method for real-time communication and data collection about smoke and health during wildfire events through the Smoke Sense Project, a smartphone app that provides participants vital information about wildfire smoke and health when and where they need it.

Interested in learning more about the Environmental Protection Agency? Visit their environmental topic's page to find out what the EPA is doing to protect our Air, Land, Water, and Health.

Shattering STEM Stereotypes

XSTEM All Access Series and Women in STEM Videos

 X-STEM All Access is a free series aimed to inspire kids about careers in science, technology, engineering, and math. Moderated by Justin Shaifer (Mr. Fascinate), X-STEM All Access is a program of the USA Science & Engineering Festival serving as an open forum to showcase all facets of STEM. One of the several videos highlights how Biomedical Scientist and Social Entrepreneur, Dr. Knatokie Ford, and Software Engineer, Kim Swennen, shatter STEM stereotypes!

This speaker series is geared toward grades 6-12 but kids and adults of all ages are welcome. Watch the series on-demand anytime.

In addition, learn more about Women in STEM by watching the Women in STEM Videos that feature Atmospheric Scientists, Aerospace Systems Engineers, a NASA Astronaut, and much more!

stem all access

Periodic table of STEM occupations

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has created their own periodic table using STEM occupations. Visit the Periodic table of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Occupations to explore STEM occupations, job requirements, and salaries as well as to download your own copy!

periodic table

career connection
career connection

Career Connections by PBS

Visit Career Connections to hear from young professionals about their jobs as they take you behind the scene to show what they do every day. Watch how Aerospace Engineers work with experiments, simulations, and wind tunnels to build and improve things that fly. These resources are designed for students in grades 6-12 and can be a powerful career resource for any student! Below are two examples of videos - check out the site for many more!

STEM Space At-Home Engineering Design Challenge

The STEM Space At-Home challenge is a series of weekly engineering design challenges led by an engineer using materials you can find around the house. Videos include science demos, STEM career highlights, and a design challenge for your budding engineers to tackle right at home. The videos are intended to support elementary and middle school students through fun engineering design challenges with a real-world connection.

stem space

Careers in Construction

Does your student have an interest in a career in skilled trades? Visit the Build Your Future (BYF) website for construction career guides, handbooks, social media graphics, and posters. Check out their printable construction trading cards and watch their construction video series to learn how construction impacts lives and builds communities. Watch their Inside the Hard Hat video series to see perspectives from the field in ironworkers, crane operators, and scaffold builders. Teachers can use these lesson plans designed to help students explore careers in construction.



Changing the Face of STEM - Resources from Abbott

Inspiration sparks curiosity!  For the budding scientist in your home, check out these in-home experiments that will foster a curiosity in science, technology, engineering and math. From constructing a stethoscope to mechanical grabbers to a steam powered boat, these experiments will ignite the scientist inside all of us.   

Also check out this YouTube playlist which includes videos such as: 

  • Being an Engineer Means Making People's Lives Better 

  • The Artistry of Engineering 

  • Advice from a Neuroscientist 

  • Women in STEM: Dreamers, Inventors, and Creators 

Want more inspiration? Meet the STEM Sisters, a select group of incredible women who are making a difference through STEM fields at Abbott, every single day. These resources are from Abbott, a company that creates innovative products in the therapeutic areas of cardiovascular, diabetes, diagnostics, neuromodulation, nutrition and pharmaceuticals. 

She Can STEM

She Can STEM shows girls how cool science, technology, engineering, and math can make the world a better place.  

Visit to meet the women who are changing the world with STEM and begin your own STEM journey today! Find STEM resources and personal stories that will inspire girls to explore STEM careers. She can STEM. So can YOU! 

she can stem

If/Then Collection - This is What A Scientist Looks Like

The IF/THEN® Collection is the largest free resource of its kind dedicated to increasing access to authentic and relatable images of real women in STEM.

In this digital library, you will find thousands of photos, videos and other assets that authentically represent women in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).

The content features careers as diverse as shark tagging, fashion design, and training Olympic athletes, and nudges public perceptions in a more realistic direction that illuminates the importance of STEM everywhere. Click here to access more of these digital resources.   

The IF/THEN® Collection is managed by the National Girls Collaborative Project (NGCP) and Association of Science and Technology Centers (ASTC)

Dr. Arlyne Simon is one of the featured scientists in this collection:

Explore Careers at LabXchange

Explore STEM career videos, stories, case studies, and pathways using LabXchange's library of career preparation resources. Discover careers in Genomics, DNA Sequencing, Computer Science, Immunology, and much more!  

My career in genomics: antibiotic resistance

My career in genomics: antibiotic resistance

In this film Christine Boinett talks about her research at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute looking at antibiotic resistance in bacteria. This is one of a series of films providing a unique insight into different careers in the field of genomics.

Sylvia Saltzstein

STEM Rising from the U.S. Department of Energy

See it, be it. Be inspired by the stories of over 100 women in STEM jobs at the U.S. Department of Energy Department. See how women in STEM can help inspire girls to pursue their dreams. Bookmark the STEM Rising Women @ Energy website today and start browsing through these powerful stories of STEM career journeys, advice for others, and how women in STEM are changing the world.

The Energy 101 video series is a collection of educational videos produced by the U.S. Department of Energy, with the next generation of clean energy leaders in mind.

These short, dynamic, and informative videos provide an introduction to the latest energy-efficient solutions and renewable energy technologies such as solar, wind, geothermal, biofuels, electric vehicles, and clean energy manufacturing. Each Energy 101 video is an ideal educational tool for creating awareness and inspiring conversation around clean energy solutions.

View the complete Energy 101 video series via the U.S. Department of Energy’s YouTube playlist.

Exploring Careers at NASA

Career Corner for Students Grades 5-8

Explore Careers at NASA and find out what it takes to be an NASA isn't just astronauts and scientists. NASA has engineers, mathematicians, accountants, historians, writers, computer support technicians, project managers, artists, educators, human resource personnel, public relations managers, physicians, lawyers -- and more.

Visit NASA's Career Corner for more information about careers at NASA.

Nepris connects educators with a vast network of industry professionals to engage students in their learning and prepare them for their future.  During the month of May, Nepris is opening their Live Virtual Industry Chats and Video Library to everyone to help students stay engaged. With the Nepris platform students have access to the Nepris Video Library and Career Explorer. Parent or teacher consent is required for students to join LIVE Industry Chats.

Click here to view upcoming virtual industry chats.


Michigan Career Development Model

The Michigan Career Development Model (MI CDM) is designed to provide all students (K-12) in the Michigan educational system with the necessary knowledge and skills for success in a career of their choice and lifelong learning.

Massive changes taking place in all areas of employment in America present new challenges to those seeking productive careers. The impact of rapidly changing technology and an expanding global economy is being felt across all career areas and all levels of education. Employers have expectations for well-prepared, motivated employees possessing academic skills in mathematics, communications, and science. People who possess soft skills such as a good work ethic, teamwork skills, problem-solving skills, critical thinking skills, technological literacy, and a desire for continued learning are in high demand. No longer can people graduating from one of Michigan’s high schools, colleges, or universities be assured of commensurate employment unless they have the necessary knowledge and skills to meet an employer’s needs.

This guidance is designed to provide the targets for implementing the MI CDM. The Michigan Department of Education (MDE) recommends districts utilize their school improvement team to implement this model. In 2018 several bills were passed in the legislature that requires school districts to take a more active role in assisting students as they prepare for their future education and careers. Districts must incorporate grade-level career development education within their K-12 educational delivery system.

Department of Education

stem jobs graphic

STEM Workforce

Employment in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) occupations has grown 79% since 1990, from 9.7 million to 17.3 million, outpacing overall U.S. job growth (Pew Research Center).  STEM workers enjoy a pay advantage compared with non-STEM workers with similar levels of education. Among those with some college education, the typical full-time, year-round STEM worker earns $54,745 while a similarly educated non-STEM worker earns $40,505, or 26% less. And among those with the highest levels of education, STEM workers out-earn their non-STEM counterparts by a similar margin. Non-STEM workers with a master’s degree typically earn 26% less than STEM workers with similar education. The median earnings of non-STEM workers with a professional or doctoral degree trail their STEM counterparts by 24%.

Projections for STEM Occupations in the West Michigan Prosperity Alliance Region

West Michigan Works!

West Michigan Works!

West Michigan Works! is part of the statewide Michigan Works! system, serving the employers and jobseekers of Allegan, Barry, Ionia, Kent, Montcalm, Muskegon and Ottawa counties.

In partnership with employers, educators, economic developers, and community organizations, we work to create a qualified workforce that meets our region’s current and future talent needs and fuels our shared economic future.

Connect with your local Michigan Works! 


If you’re in the market for a new job, this is the list for you. The Hot Jobs! list can help guide you to new employment in a high-demand career. We’ve analyzed online job posting data and surveyed employers to create a list of the 100 highest-growing and most in-demand jobs in West Michigan.

Click here to access the West Michigan Works! Hot Jobs! list for high-demand careers 

Click here to see the 2019 guide to high demand careers in West Michigan

West Michigan Works Hot Job List

Michigan's Hot 50 through 2028

Michigan's Hot 50 through 2028

This publication highlights Michigan’s high-demand, high-wage careers that show a favorable mix of long-term job growth, projected annual job openings, and median wages through 2026.

Michigan's Career Outlook through 2026

This publication provides multiple lists of in-demand occupations through 2026 by education and training requirements, as well as highlights the most in-demand STEM occupations.

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Explore careers, schools and programs in Michigan to find the path that is right for you!  This tool provides information to students, their parents, and guidance staff to make informed choices about educational and career options, as well as to help with creation of educational development plans. This free tool uses current labor market information, longitudinal wage data, and other institutional data and metrics, allowing improved skills-matching to career paths and jobs.

Go to the Pathfinder website

Page last modified August 16, 2022