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The Career Project
Grade Level(s): 9-12
By: Brett Heinzman, Kirksville High School Teacher

Students develop goals, research, and form an oral presentation based on their desired career.


  1. To plan several goals for possible careers
  2. To integrate technology into a speech
  3. To research a possible career of interest


  • Varies according to the scoring guide.
  • Minimum of several pieces of technology such as: TV,VCR,camera, ect.


Your first project of the year will make you start thinking about your career plans. Now is the time you should be designing your education and career goals. You must be honest with yourself about where you are in relationship to achieving your career goals. This project is about organizing and planning the steps to achieving the career you are seeking. Please follow the guidelines carefully as you walk your way toward your future career.


This project requires you to develop a minimum of three goals. One goal for each of the categories listed below:

Short term Goal--This should be a goal you have for the next year.

Midrange Goal--This should be a goal of yours for the next four years.

Long-range Goal--This should be a goal that takes you into your career. This will be a goal that takes place within the next ten years.

I want you to list all three goals on some type of visual for your oral presentation. You will need to thoroughly explain why the goals are important to you.


This project will be a 4-7 minute oral presentation. You need to research a career that you may wish to pursue. You may find research information on the Internet or in the library. Once you have researched your career you need to move to the planning stages. I do not want any written report turned in for this project. I want you to make the project as visual as possible. Your next step is to organize your short to midrange planning. Are there any remaining high school courses or activities you need to take or be involved with during your senior year to prepare for your career? These plans should bear in mind your short and midrange goals through high school graduation.

High School Graduation:

This is a point where students are left with the question; "What am I going to do now?" There are many choices such as: the military, college, junior college, a trade school, a technical school, or right into a job. I want you to be very specific about what steps you plan to take upon high school graduation. This might incorporate a midrange goal. No matter what you intend to do I want detailed, specific plans. For example: you want to become a teacher. You need to take the ACT or SAT to be accepted into a junior college or university. I would want to know specifically where you would want to go to college and why. I would want you to list the types of courses that would be required for becoming a teacher. What is your major and what subjects do you want to teach? How are you going to pay for college? Are you taking out a college loan? Are your parents paying for your college? Maybe you are doing the GI Bill through the Army? You need to think about finances. Are you going to work a job to put yourself through school? If so, how long will it take you to graduate? How are you going to get a job? Are you staying in school to get your Master's Degree? This may be one area you want to incorporate in a long-range goal.

Your "Career":

Hypothetically pretend you have followed your plans and you have now achieved your dream job. Describe your job and what you are responsible for doing. Where do you work?

Oral Presentation:

This is a 4-7 minute oral presentation. Be sure to follow directions on time minimums and maximums for your presentation. Each presentation must also include all of the following:

  1. Interview a person that has the career you are seeking. This may be an oral, video, or written interview. This interview should be described in your oral presentation. Be sure to tell the person why you want the interview.
  2. Dress up in attire that appropriately represents the career you are displaying. Be sure to tell why you are dressed that way. Do the best you can on this requirement. I will be lenient since much of the career apparel could be difficult to obtain. Be creative. If you can not dress up then draw a life size picture of a person dressed appropriately for your career.
  3. Create a montage of pictures and clippings that may be displayed during your oral presentation. Be sure the pictures describe your occupation and show people who are dressed as the occupation you are seeking.
Final Thoughts:

This Career Project could be one of the most important projects you ever think about or do. I will not accept a professional or amateur athlete as a career occupation. Even professional athletes have careers once their playing days are finished. Be sure to follow directions dealing with goals and planning for this project. The more effort and honesty you put into this project the more you will gain from it.

Project Due Date


We will randomly arrange a list of days and dates for when you will be presenting your project. As always good luck and follow the Boy Scout Motto, "Always Be Prepared."

Scoring Guide for this lesson below:

Career Project Scoring Guide:

Scoring Guidelines-Each presentation will be graded on the following 10 areas. Each category is worth a maximum of 10 points. 100 points total.

  • 4-A great deal of creativity and original thinking was used.
  • 3-Some original thinking and creativity was used.
  • 2-Very little creativity or original thinking was used.
  • 1-No originality or creativity was used.
Project Organization
  • 4-The project was organized and functioned smoothly.
  • 3-The project had very few problems with organization or functioning.
  • 2-The project had occasional errors in functioning.
  • 1-The project did not function in a smooth manner.
Even Displacement of Information
  • 4-The presentation's information was wonderfully balanced and flowed in an exceptionally smooth manner.
  • 3-The presentation's information was balanced.
  • 2-The presentation's information was a bit unbalanced.
  • 1-The presentation's information was unclear and unbalanced.
Time Requirements
  • 4-The project met the 3-5 time requirement and used the class time in a most effective manner.
  • 3-The project met the 3-5 minute time requirement.
  • 2-The project was too short. The project was too long.
  • 1-The project was under half the required length.
Classroom Interaction
  • 4-The presentation clearly interacted with the class.
  • 3-The presentation vaguely interacted the class.
  • 2-Some attempt at classroom interaction was made.
  • 1-No attempt at classroom interaction was made.
Use of Outside Quotes/Works
  • 4-Many outside quotes and other topic examples were incorporated into the presentation.
  • 3-Some outside quotes or topic examples were blended into the presentation.
  • 2-An outside quote or a topic example was used.
  • 1-No outside quotes or outside topic examples were used.
  • 4-The research was flawless and thoroughly supported the project.
  • 3-The project's research was accurate and on topic.
  • 2-The project contained some information that was inaccurate or inappropriate.
  • 1-The project contained many pieces of inaccurate or inappropriate information.
  • 4-The presentation integrated various components of technology to enhance and shape the overall design of the project in a most effective manner.
  • 3-The presentation used various forms of technology.
  • 2-The presentation used a single piece of technology.
  • 1-The presentation did not use any form of technology.
  • 4-The presentation was organized and incorporated good project knowledge.
  • 3-The project was fairly organized with fair good knowledge.
  • 2-The project could not be heard or the project was read.
  • 1-The entire project was read to the class. The project could not be heard at all.
  • 4-The presentation used many artistically creative or computer generated visuals in a project-inspiring manner.
  • 3-The presentation used a few visuals to enhance the project.
  • 2-Visuals were weakly designed or too few visuals were used.
  • 1-No visuals were used.
Point Values for scoring
  • 4 = 10.0 points
  • 3 = 9.0 points
  • 2 = 7.5 points
  • 1 = 6.0 points


I use this as my first project of the year with my Principles of Communication classes. These classes are composed of High School seniors who are often in need of career planning.


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