Introduction. Since the start of the 2023–2024 academic year, all schools in Russia have implemented a career guidance minimum (grades 6–11). This unified model of professional orientation for schoolchildren is characterised by its relevance, accessibility, and overall alignment with the educational professional orientation paradigm. However, there are some deficits and contradictions in the existing concept of the professional orientation minimum that need to be addressed for its further development.
Aim: to analyse the strengths and weaknesses of the current model of the career guidance minimum and to determine and justify possible directions for its future development based on the analysis.
Methods. The study is based on a comparative analysis of the concepts of “educational professional orientation” and “career guidance minimum”, as well as empirical data collection through the study of literary sources, observation, and collection of expert opinions. The synthesis method and pedagogical design were also employed.
Results. The study identifies risks and potential negative scenarios in the development of the career guidance minimum due to its complex and convergent nature. The study also identifies key directions for the short and medium-term development of the career guidance minimum, including the design of variable models for supporting students’ professional self-determination, the introduction of formats such as cycles of professional testing and professional orientation networking, and the formation of elective mechanisms for completing specialised pre-professional classes based on pre-professional training.
Scientific novelty of the study lies in its reflection on the newly formulated phenomenon of the “career guidance minimum”, which has not yet been thoroughly explored in scientific literature.
Practical significance. he presented scientific results can be used to update methodological recommendations for the implementation of the career guidance minimum in the 2024-2025 academic year, as well as to facilitate discussion within scientific, educational, and career guidance communities.