MiSTEM Regional Division 13

Career Profile Cards

Northern Michigan is host to a wide variety of STEM careers. To help elevate how one might have a healthy STEM career and live within our community, Northwestern Lower MiSTEM Network partnered with Northwest MI Works! to create our Career Profile Card project. The project consists of 100+ cards of local professionals discussing how much they enjoy their career, how their education impacted their everyday STEM, career advice for students interested in pursuing a career, and if so, where they might get locally educated.

The Partnership

We are proud to partner with Northwest MI Works! on this project. They are a leader in workforce development within our region thus having a thorough understanding of the employment needs within the region. For those looking for local careers, Northwest MI Works! has incorporated the Career Profile Cards into their Career Pathways website. We collaborate on identifying careers and how to incorporate the project in regional career exploration events like MiCareerQuest Northwest to help raise students’ awareness of local careers.

“Northwest Michigan Works! is excited to continue our collaboration with the MiSTEM Network through the Career Profile Cards project,” said Lisa Schut, Regional Director and Equal Opportunity Officer at Northwest MI Works!, a program of Networks Northwest. “We look forward to getting this valuable information into the hands of students and job seekers throughout the region. Understanding the level of demand for an occupation, credential expectations and wage range plays a significant role in helping people decide which career pathways to consider and pursue. The Career Profile Cards have all of this information and more displayed in a format that is easy-to-read and incredibly applicable to our region specifically. The implementation options are virtually endless, and we look forward to moving the project forward with both the MiSTEM Network and other stakeholders.”

Classroom Connections

Career exploration is no longer something that can be summed up in “I want to be ____ when I grow up” because most students will be several things in their lifetimes and many of our elementary students may have jobs that don’t currently exist.  How do we prepare them for that?  


These lessons are a way to bring the true meaning of STEM into career exploration.  It should be an integrated, cross-curricular, problem-solving, and critical thinking process.  That is what students will need to do, not only in their jobs but will need to use those skills to help determine what types of training, education, and jobs to pursue.


These lessons and materials are best used over a longer period of time offering students time to learn, sort, and reorganize the materials and information in the lessons.  The more the students are encouraged to integrate this process, the more comfortable they will be with sorting, identifying, and exploring the opportunities around them.


65% of kindergarten students will have jobs that don’t currently exist.


The bottom line is that there’s no way to prepare students for specific careers when we can’t even fathom what those might be. Even now, nearly half of what students learn in their first year of technical school is outdated by the time they graduate. Instead, the key to molding job-ready graduates is to teach students how to live — and learn — at the intersections.


The STEM and STEAM acronyms…are merely placeholders for the need to eliminate silos in education and focus on interdisciplinary learning.


“Eventually all subjects need to be integrated.” – ISTE Blog, Nicole Krueger, November 20

Are you ready to begin using the Career Profile Cards in your classroom? We have them up on #GoOpen Michigan for you to download today.


What is #GoOpenMichigan? It’s an Open Education Resource (OER) repository. It’s a community of educators and learners who access and contribute free, openly licensed, high-quality digital resources to enable equitable transformative learning experiences. Click here to learn more about OER.

How to Use the Career Profile Cards

The lessons and the Career Profile Cards are a way to bring the true meaning of STEM into career exploration.  It should be an integrated, cross-curricular, problem-solving, and critical thinking process. This is what students will need to do on the job and as they continually evaluate their jobs and training as they continue to grow in their careers.


The Career Profile Cards can be used simply on their own as a way for students to explore various careers in our region. They can be sorted by category, type of business, specific jobs, indoor vs outdoor, people vs things, and more. The more students can sort in different ways they can learn about what they like and dislike, what they are skilled in and what types of work, level of education, and the environment they want to have.


The lessons provide more opportunities to build on some of the other soft skills, such as interviewing, compiling class data, presenting, and networking. There are options and resources for students to develop their own Career Profile Cards, conduct their own career interviews, and start to develop their own networks. Educators are encouraged to connect various careers with class subjects such as math and English language arts (ELA).  

Career Profile Application

The Career Profile Survey takes about 10 – 15 minutes and covers things about core tasks, what you like and don’t like about your job, training you received, and advice for someone interested in pursuing that career.  We ask that you send a profile picture or one of you at work so we can show a real person with the job description. If you feel so inclined, we recommend creating a video of yourself speaking about your career so that our local youth will be able to hear from you directly.

“It’s helpful to put a face to a career,” said Drea Weiner, Regional MiSTEM Network Director. “Students can identify better and reach out to that friendly face if they’re interested in pursuing a specific career.”

Careers in the News

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