Just like life is a journey, careers have journeys, too. The journey someone takes from an entry-level job to a higher-skilled job in the same field is called a career pathway.



Moving along a career pathway usually requires an initial education and then training on the job, industry certification and perhaps even more education. In a similar progression, you’ll likely experience more responsibility, more skills and more pay along your career pathway.

But how do you identify a career so you can jump on your career pathway? Choosing a field that suits your interests and talents and then getting started on the pathway to your first job may sound daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. Bright Futures is here to intrigue you about potential careers, inform you about your options and inspire you to bring your career dreams to life.

To start, check out our Career Pathways Network portal. Here you can explore career  pathways, research occupations and compareoccupations. You’ll get a good understanding of which occupations have a growing number of jobs in our region – a key factor to consider when choosing a field. More great career exploration tools are offered below.


Career Café is a virtual career center open 24/7 that offers insights and tools for success.

Career Education Website is a portal where students can explore more than 200 career education programs, pathways and opportunities.

Salary Surfer provides salary information for more than 200 career education programs to help students make informed decisions about their career choices.

Here to Career mobile app, powered by data from Salary Surfer, allows students to view salary information and high-demand career opportunities specific to their area and find a local community college with a program to help them achieve their goals.

I Can Afford College educates students about the year-round availability of financial aid at California’s community colleges to pay for fees, books, supplies and sometimes even help with the rent.

California Community Colleges Career Education Video Library contains interviews with industry professionals in high-growth careers in California. They explain career path aspects such as qualities that make someone suitable for the featured careers, the required education and career ladder progression. Linked with permission from the California Community Colleges Career Education Campaign.


CareerPoint NorthBay offers state and local resources.

CalJOBS helps students explore careers and the education and training requirements needed.

CareerOneStop is a national source for career exploration, training and jobs.

MappingYourFuture.org helps students choose and plan a career.

O*NET OnLine is a career-exploration and job-analysis tool [ English | Spanish ] 

Virtual Career Network offers information about health care, green, and transportation jobs.

California Career Zone helps students determine their interests, knowledge, and skills to suggest matches among more than 900 occupations.