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Career Readiness | Digital Curriculum | Middle School

3 Best Career Readiness Curriculum Options for Middle School

August 11th, 2022 | 8 min. read

Mike Cescon

Mike Cescon

With past experience in teaching, a couple of degrees in writing, and an upbringing immersed in medical jargon, Mike is positioned well to hear out the most common questions teachers ask about the AES curriculum. His goal is to write content that quickly and effectively answers these questions so you can back to what matters - teaching your students.

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If you want to prepare your middle schoolers with the skills they need to thrive on the job market, finding the right career readiness curriculum is an essential first step. After all, a strong curriculum will equip your students with vital knowledge and insight, while a weak curriculum may leave them faltering and unprepared. 

So where can you find solid material to teach your career readiness course? What options are out there, and what do they include? As a career readiness curriculum developer, we often hear questions like these from middle school teachers. 

In this article, you’ll discover some of the best curriculum options out there to teach middle schoolers career readiness:

  1. eDynamic Learning’s Career Exploration Courses
  2. iCEV’s Career Exploration Curriculum
  3. Xello’s Career Readiness Curriculum

By the end of this article, you’ll have a strong grasp on each option so you can choose the best one to fit your course and students.

1. eDynamic Learning’s Career Exploration Courses

Gauge Capital Invests in Kelowna's eDynamic Learning | T-Net News

eDynamic Learning (eDL) is a curriculum provider that offers courses covering many CTE pathways. Their mission is to offer educational content that helps students discover their passions and earn valuable industry certifications.

eDL offers a pair of courses covering career readiness for middle school. Their first, Middle School Career Exploration 1, consists of 8 units that guide students through different industries, giving them a rundown of career options in each:

  1. Just Starting Out: Thinking About Careers
  2. Knowledge and Innovation: Inventing the Future
  3. Planners, Builders, Fabricators: Assembling Our World
  4. Enterprise and Money Matters: Trading Goods & Services
  5. Law & Order: Helping Communities Flourish
  6. Entertaining and Exploring: Enhancing Our Downtime
  7. Progressive and Adaptable: Meeting Our Changing Needs
  8. Your Turn! Choosing a Career Path that Works for You

Their second course, Middle School Career Exploration 2, includes 8 units to educate students on the training, planning, and skills they must develop for their career of choice: 

  1. Finding Your Strengths and Turning Them into a Career
  2. Setting Goals and Creating a Game Plan
  3. Working on Your Workplace Skills
  4. Experimenting with Careers, Part One
  5. Experimenting with Careers, Part Two
  6. Gaining Experience
  7. Getting the Training You Need
  8. Preparing for a Job

eDL focuses on striking a balance between comprehensiveness and engagement. Each unit includes teaching materials like lesson plans, activities, discussion questions, slideshows, videos---really, all the materials you’ll need for a full course. 

eDL’s courses are robust enough to cover an entire semester or year of instruction, which means they should be able to handle the needs of your course. When combined, they will provide your middle schoolers a well-rounded education on how to pursue their dream careers. 

How Much Do These Career Readiness Courses Cost?

eDynamic Learning doesn’t provide pricing information on their website. You’ll have to reach out to them if you want specifics on how much their products will cost your district.

Who Are These Courses Intended For?

eDL’s career exploration courses are a good fit for middle school teachers who want a quality curriculum they will be able to use year after year. This is especially true if you need to teach a full semester or even a year-long course. 

To use these lessons, however, you’ll have to contact your school district to see whether they offer courses from eDL. That means this option wouldn’t be a good fit for teachers who need a solution fast, or are otherwise pressed for time. Likewise, if your district doesn’t have a curriculum purchase in their budget, you’d be better off looking elsewhere. 

If you need a comprehensive, engaging career exploration curriculum and have the time necessary to implement it, eDynamic Learning’s Career Exploration courses may be the best choice for you. 

2. iCEV’s Career Exploration Curriculum

Press Room :: iCEV | Online CTE Curriculum & Certification Testing

iCEV is a digital curriculum provider that offers courses covering eight of the primary CTE pathways. Usually their lessons take the form of in-depth training videos or media presentations that teach students concepts and skills. 

One of the resources iCEV offers is a career exploration curriculum. It provides over a hundred lessons covering career readiness topics like: 

  1. Jobs, Careers, & Education
  2. Skills for Real World Survival
  3. Graduate Tips & Advice: Importance of Work Ethic
  4. Formulas for Career Success: Job Applications
  5. Formulas for Career Success: Resumes
  6. Formulas for Career Success: Interview Preparation
  7. Exploring Careers: Hospitality & Tourism
  8. Exploring Careers: Information Technology
  9. Exploring Careers: Education & Training
  10. Quality Assurance
  11. Administrative Support
  12. Avoiding Financial Schemes & Fraud
  13. Financial Literacy: Credit Basics

Each of these lessons includes resources like lesson plans, student handouts, presentations, activities, and projects for students to complete. Depending on the lessons you use, either a video or a media presentation may be the centerpiece. 

In addition, this course includes a tool called the Career Cluster Interest Inventory (CCII), which assists students in choosing careers that align with their interests and passions. 

All in all, iCEV’s career exploration curriculum should be more than equipped to cover a semester-long career readiness course, priming students to think about their futures. 

How Much Does This Career Readiness Curriculum Cost?

iCEV’s cost will vary depending on the number of teachers and students using the course. To figure out an exact price, you’ll have to contact iCEV for a quote, since they don’t offer pricing information on their site. 

Another important point to remember is that when you purchase iCEV’s Career Exploration curriculum, you will only gain access to content for that particular course. If you want to teach other classes with iCEV, like a professional communications class, you’ll have to purchase those courses separately. 

Who Is the iCEV Career Readiness Curriculum Intended For?

iCEV’s career readiness curriculum would be a good fit for middle school or high school teachers looking to introduce their students to career readiness topics. This is particularly the case if you want to explore specific career pathways with dedicated lessons. 

If you need an in-depth, media-centric career exploration resource that will teach your students essential career skills, then iCEV may be the right option for you.

3. Xello’s Career Readiness Curriculum

Xello Acquires Leading Career Pathfinding Platform for K-12 and Higher Ed  students

Xello is a digital curriculum provider dedicated to helping students gain the insight and knowledge they need to become future-ready. Unlike some of the other resources on this list, Xello focuses entirely on teaching career readiness. 

With their middle and high school career readiness curriculum, Xello offers a digital platform designed to get students thinking about their futures and career plans. Some of the lessons included in their system include:

  1. Careers and Lifestyle Costs
  2. Work Values
  3. Workplace Skills and Attitudes
  4. Getting Experience
  5. Explore Career Matches
  6. Biases & Career Choices
  7. Jobs and Employers
  8. Time Management
  9. Career Demand
  10. Choosing a College
  11. Career Path Choices
  12. Job Interviews

Each lesson includes resources like lesson plans, discussion questions, vocabulary lists, and student instructions used to guide them through digital activities. Depending on which resources you use, a lesson could take 20-50 minutes to complete. 

The features that really set Xello apart from other providers are their student self-assessments, personalized portfolios, and career and college profiles. Using these tools, students get a sense of the career pathways that may most appeal to their passions and skills. They can then further research these careers and create digital portfolios showcasing their talents and interests. 

Altogether, Xello’s curriculum is student-focused and precise, designed to engage students and get them planning for their futures.

How Much Does the Xello Curriculum Cost?

Xello’s curriculum is priced on a per-student basis, and also factors in the cost of implementation and any other support you’ll need down the line. 

However, Xello offers no more information about specific pricing on their website, and you’ll have to reach out to them to gauge how much their resources will actually cost your school. 

Who Is This Curriculum Intended For?

Xello would be a good fit for teachers who want a more interactive, student-centric career readiness curriculum. Between its self-assessments and digital portfolios, this resource pushes students to determine which careers would fit them best and take the proper steps to reach them. 

Xello’s lessons are also flexible and robust enough to be used either as supplemental or core material for a solid unit on career readiness. However, since there are fewer lessons in this resource than the others on this list, it likely wouldn’t be a good fit if you needed to teach an entire semester on career exploration or readiness. 

If you teach middle or high school and need a student-focused, engaging curriculum for a unit on career readiness, then Xello might be the best pick for you. 

Looking for More Career Readiness Curriculum?

Finding the right resource to prepare your students for their careers is essential to ensuring they end up confident in their choice, rather than uninformed or uncertain. After all, no student wants to graduate without any idea of what they want to do or what their options are. 

In this article, you’ve discovered some of the best resources out there to teach middle school career readiness. If you use these materials as they’re meant to be used, you should be well on your way to equipping your kids for their futures. 

However, if you’re looking teach additional concepts like digital literacy or citizenship, then you may need a more in-depth curriculum to cover your bases. In that case, check out the career readiness curriculum catalog from AES

Our career readiness resources include hundreds of hours of content that cover career exploration concepts, knowledge of technology applications, professional skills, and everything else your students will need to get a leg up on their future careers:

Explore the Business&ITCenter21 Catalog