Career Day Guide

E&l Toolset Icons Career Day
Fact Sheet

Career Day Fact Sheet

What is a Career Day?

A Career Day is a highly structured Career Awareness activity in which business partners from a variety of companies come together at a school or online to share information about their company, their job, and the education and skills that are required for success in their career.

Designed to meet specific learning objectives, a Career Day helps learners connect what they’re learning in school with the workplace. They listen to speakers or navigate the event independently, seeking information about the industry and the career options it provides. They also learn about the education required for entry into the industry and the participating business’s role in the local economy.

Career Days Are Designed To:

  • Expose learners to a variety of careers and jobs by connecting them with business partners.
  • Provide a realistic picture of the workplace.
  • Help learners make the connection between school and the workplace.
  • Inform career planning.

Career Days Are Structured To:

  • Allow learners to listen, receive information and ask questions.
  • Enable learners to begin identifying areas of career interest.
  • Elevate learner comfort level in interacting with adult professionals and demonstrate their communication skills.

Career Days Are Supported By:

  • Classroom preparation, including research on the participating businesses.
  • Employer orientation and support.
  • Opportunities to reflect upon the experience verbally and in writing.

Career Days Are Connected To:

  • Individual career development/training plans.
  • A continuum of future work-based learning activities that build over time.
  • The learner’s next steps.

Career Days are one activity in the continuum of authentic work-based experiences provided to all learners engaged in career-related programs or course of study in Earn & Learn partner schools and organizations.

Career Day Format Options
  1. Presentation Only: Two, 40-minute panel sessions with 30 to 40 learners participating in each session.
  2. Presentation+Small Groups: One, 40-minute panel session with 80-100 learners, followed by small groups for follow up and an interactive activity.
  3. Networking Booths: Career Day booth format where learners visit booths staffed by employers and network.
  4. Speaker Series: Guest speaker series where industry representatives rotate and visit different classrooms.
  5. Online Remote: An interactive – online career day where employers visit a classroom remotely.
  6. Remote Speaker Series: Guest Speaker series where industry representatives rotate through a remote classroom over the day via online technology.
Support Materials
Connector Checklist

Connector Career Day Checklist

Quick tips for Work-Based Learning Connectors to ensure a successful career day.

Before The Career Day:

  • Design the Career Day, Choose the date and format, identify goals for the day, create an action plan and schedule any planning meetings.
  • Prepare Teachers and Faculty. Share and review the Teacher/Faculty Tip Sheet.
  • Have Teachers and Faculty create learning objectives and work with learners to prepare for the day.
  • Keep staff well informed and publicize the event at staff meetings and in school announcements. Create a Career Day flyer and post on the web and around the school.
  • Provide the employers with an information packet about the school, including the format and schedule for the day.
  • Confirm employer attendance and determine presentation needs. Let them know where to park and share any visitor procedures they need to follow.
  • Support and prepare the employers. Share some questions to expect and encourage them to create an engaging and interactive presentation—using visuals and props.

During The Career Day:

  • Be the point person and troubleshooter on Career Day. Be prepared to address technology issues and have a back-up plan in case of speaker cancellations.
  • Distribute a schedule of events for the day to all parties.
  • Arrange for the employers to be met and escorted to the activity. or meet them early in the online space. Have one or two learners serve as “school ambassadors.”
  • Distribute and collect feedback surveys.

After The Career Day:

  • Document the Career Day. Review all feedback surveys and summarize results. Debrief the day and make recommendations for improvements.
  • Help learners update their career development plans and think about any next steps they would like to take to further their career goals.
  • Work with Teachers and Faculty to coordinate “go deeper” activities and connect Career Day to the classroom.
  • Send thank-you notes to guest speakers and businesses that participated.
  • Take pictures from Career Day and provide them to the companies for their websites or newsletters. Ensure you have signed releases for all photos.
  • Publicize the Career Day and the businesses in attendance by placing a story in the local newspaper or posting on the school or agency webpage.
  • Consider other potential public relations benefits and opportunities.

This includes Earn & Learn work-based learning connectors and others who facilitate, arrange and support work-based learning activities for learners.

Sample Timeline
  • Beginning of the school year: Brainstorm business partners who could participate. Find a location.
  • Two months in advance: Invite business partners to participate. Secure date, time and location.
  • One month in advance: Meet with planning committee to review logistics and facility needs. Confirm participation of speakers.
  • One week in advance: Send planning brief to speakers with agenda for the day, logistics, event information and questions to expect. If conducting the career day online, test and practice with the selected platform.
  • On Career Day: Welcome presenters and manage event flow and agenda.
  • After Career Day: Send thank-you notes to all presenters and ensure learner reflection activities take place.
Tips For Success
  • Conduct Effective Planning
  • Prepare for Success
  • Identify Learning Objectives
  • Create Authentic and Engaging Experiences
  • Connect to Careers
  • Support Learner Growth
  • Ensure Activities are Safe and Legal
  • Provide Ongoing Support
  • Provide for Reflection, Presentation and Feedback
  • Connect Learners to the Next Step
  • Assess and Document the Experience

Career Day Remote & Virtual Options


Translating a Career Day activity to a remote classroom or set of classrooms is a fairly straightforward process. While Career Days are usually conducted at the school in an assembly-like setting, in some cases Career Days may be organized for the remote classroom or set of classrooms via Zoom, WebEx, Microsoft Teams, Google Meet or some other technology. Virtual options are also possible, where learners[1] conduct on-line research and share their findings, serving as a foundation for an activity and/or discussion in the classroom.

Remote Career Day Options

Remember, remote activities promote “live” learner contact with adult professionals and front-line workers via the use of technology

Career Day Remote Classroom (With Breakouts)

An industry or employer An An interactive, online career day where employers visit a classroom or classrooms remotely. After a panel presentation, learners visit individual industry partners in breakout rooms. At the end of the session, the class comes back together to share what they’ve learned and reflect on the activity.

Career Day Remote Classroom (Sequenced)

  • Schedule a number of industry partners to visit the remote classroom or set of classrooms throughout a school day.
  • Combine a brief Guest Speaker activity followed by a group informational interview.
Steps To Success
  • Review the Career Day Guide and distribute materials to all parties
  • Create a timed agenda for the Career Day
  • Arrange for industry partners provide a panel presentation
  • Assign industry partners to breakout rooms by industry
  • Rotate learners or assign them to breakout rooms based on interest
  • Rotate learners through breakout rooms
  • Debrief in a group discussion(s)
Special Considerations
  • Get employer permission to record and reuse the session
  • Select and test appropriate technology with all parties
  • Decide how learners will pose questions (raise hand, chat box etc.)
  • Decide who will moderate and who will provide tech support during the session.
  • Conduct a dry run with learners.

Virtual Career Day Activity Options

Remember, virtual activities are generally simulations and provide learners with employer exposures through recordings, on-line research and related classroom activities.

Virtual Research & Share

  • Have learners conduct online research on a range of careers in an industry of interest, gather information, find compelling recorded presentations on careers in the industry and have them share their findings in the remote classroom.
  • Consider making it a team-based activity and have a small group of learners work together and prepare a presentation for the rest of the class or pathway cluster.

Hybrid Activity

Hybrid options are those that combine some virtual activities with some live remote interactions with employers.

  • Record a career day panel and use it as a basis for a remote classroom activity.
  • If possible, have one or more of the career day panelists visit the remote classroom to share information and answer questions.

Tips For Success

  • Select and personally practice using the selected technology.
  • Make sure all learners have access to appropriate technology.
  • Decide how you will have learners pose questions – Verbally or by entering on their device.
  • Do a test run with your learners as well as the presenter(s).
  • Preload any slides or presentations from the speaker(s).
  • Decide how you want to manage the session.  Sometimes it takes one person to moderate the session and another to monitor the technology and address questions.
  • Decide which learner reflection activities will take place and how you will support them.
  • Remember, it’s possible that parents or guardians will be around and would be a good resource for potential future speakers,
  • Make sure you get feedback on the activity from the speaker and the learners.
  • Record and post the presentation for others to view and use in their classrooms.
Resources & Links

Below you will find two examples of online resources that provide information and presentations on wide range of careers in a range of industries. 

Have your learners conduct internet research on careers your pathway cluster or industry cluster, and share what they found with the class.

Tools & Docs

Career Day Downloads

Learner Preparation

After they’ve determined areas of interest, have learners compare their own list of potential careers with the list of career day presenters, and generate a list of questions for the visitors.

Learner Reflection

Learner reflection allows learners to analyze their experiences and prompts thinking about education and career decisions based on the experience. Reflection exercises encourage analysis and thinking about the connection between school and work.