Career Planning


Career Exploration

Career Exploration is an important part of the postsecondary journey and a crucial step leading into planning for college or training programs after high school.  Student in our region have access to a number of resources to help with career exploration.  Career Cruising/Xello is something students can access from middle through high school to help explore jobs, careers, and the classes or majors needed to become an expert in a field of choice.  All of the resources in Career Cruising/Xello are aligned with the state’s recommended career pathways or zones that have been adopted in the MI Career Development Model


How it Works

Career Cruising/Xello is a self-exploration and planning program that helps people of all ages achieve their potential in school, career and life. This online resources allows students to develop an educational development plan (EDP) based on their interests, strengths, and weaknesses. Career Cruising also acts as a database that can expose career pathways, and offer a glimpse to education requirements of those careers.


Career Exposure

Talent is the greatest concern of employers in our region.  High demand high wage occupations in our community such as health care, insurance, IT, advanced manufacturing, all have immediate openings for qualified candidates.  70% of jobs in our region require some form of postsecondary degrees or credentials.  

The Brookings Institution research shows that young people are more likely to persist in their education, both through high school and into college, if they see the relevance of their academic experience to real-world work experience. Some individuals may drop out of training due to lack of a full awareness of real career opportunities.

Students need exposure to different career pathways, companies and all the job or occupations that are available in an industry or field.  Students need to discover how their passion, interests, and skills align with a job.  In some cases the jobs of the future have not even been created yet. 

Students can do many different types of experiences to expose them to the world of work.  Internships, co-ops, job shadows, job fairs, informational interviews are just a few of the ways students can see if a job or occupation is the right fit and supports and sustains them.  

Have you ever wondered how you're supposed to make a decision about what sort of career you want to pursue when you don't know what jobs or occupations are available? 

MI Bright Future is a software enhancement to Career Cruising, the technology schools in the region are already using to create Educational Development Plans, which are required by the Michigan Department of Education. MI Bright Future is built off ccInspire, a community-development platform that makes it easy for students and educators to learn about and connect with local employers and community mentors.

Through e-mentoring, message boards, and company profiles, MI Bright Future connects what’s happening in today’s classroom with current and projected needs among local employers.

A local advisory board has been created in the tri-county region of Ingham, Eaton, and Clinton Counties consisting of K-12 education, higher education, workforce development, and employer partners to bring MI Bright Future in Michigan, to area schools.