Career lesson plan: School subjects and careers

School learner sitting at desk with laptop

A lesson plan to encourage Year 9-10 learners to think about careers when choosing NCEA subjects.

When choosing NCEA subjects for next year, it’s a good idea for learners to think about what they’ll do when they leave school. This lesson is to help them link NCEA subjects to the entry requirements for careers they’re interested in.

Lesson plan

Year group

Year 9-10


Computer or tablet, pen and paper, access to


Learners will need to register on


50 minutes


Learners will think about their career options after school when they choose their subjects for next year.

Curriculum areas
  • Level 4 and 5 English – Listening, Reading and Viewing: Students will integrate sources of information and prior knowledge to make sense of varied texts.
  • Level 4 Social Sciences: Students will understand that events have causes and effects.

Lesson activities

Warm up (10 minutes)

Ask which learners have chosen their NCEA subjects for next year. How did they choose their subjects?

Talk about how it’s a good idea to think about which subjects you enjoy and what your career options are when you choose your subjects.

Main activity (10 minutes)

Take learners through the following steps.

  1. Make a list of up to six careers you’re interested in. If you don’t have any career ideas yet, the next step may help.
  2. Log in to and click the Subject Matcher tool.
  3. Click each subject you’re studying this year or will study next year. A list of careers will appear for each subject.
  4. Click the stars next to careers you’re interested in. This will build a list of favourite careers for you. Compare this list to the six careers you wrote down. Are they the same or different?
  5. If you had no career ideas write down which career suggestions you liked. 
  6. If the careers on your list are different from the careers suggested by Subject Matcher, search for those careers on the website. The secondary education section of each career will show the NCEA subjects you need. Write down the subjects.
  7. If the careers are similar, click the careers on your favourites list and find any other subjects you need from the secondary education section of the career. 
Sum up (10 minutes)

Ask if there were any surprises. Did anyone find they were choosing the right subjects for the careers they wanted?

Set homework

Have learners read all the information on the careers that came up as favourites, and rank these careers in order from most to least interested in.

Some further reading for homework:

Updated 6 Dec 2019