Careers – The Board Game

Mary and I are huge fans of old board games and I’d have to say the game Careers is probably our favorite. The object of the game is to earn points by gaining money, happiness, or fame and you can choose different careers along the way to help you achieve those goals.

We originally found a ’70s version of the game and fell in love with it. The career options in this version are Big Business, Sports, Teaching, Politics, Arts, Space, and Ecology.

1976 edition of Careers from Retro Games

A year or so later, I discovered a 1950’s version in an antique store in Detroit. This version, which I later found out to be the original, had careers in Farming, Big Business, Out to Sea, Politics, Hollywood, Expedition to the Moon, or Uranium Prospecting.

1955 edition of Careers from Retro Games

careers 1955 board

Today, I found this website dedicated to retro games, along with a wealth of information on the game’s history. The author of the blog writes this of the game’s creation:

“(it) was developed by noted sociologist Dr. James Cook Brown, who also happened to be a science fiction author (he wrote The Troika Incident) and inventor of the artificial language, Loglan.  Dr. Brown designed Careers to be an answer to the what he perceived as the 1950s focus on greed and monetary-based self worth. Careers encourages players to think beyond just making money, and instead consider that being successful in life has many paths and aspects.  He later redesigned the game to include “enlightenment”, “virtue”, and “power”, but these were not also adopted by the game’s publishers as it transformed Careers from a family game into a game for adults.”

On top of Careers being a blast to play, it turns out it also has quite a history. Just check out these later editions, starting with 1979, 1990, 1992, and 2003 respectively. The quality of cover art really decays over time. Also, please note that “super mom” is a career in the ’90s version and that there’s French on the 2003 version, indicating its probable release only in Canada.

1979 edition from Retro Games

1990 “Girls” edition from Retro Games

1992 edition from Retro Games

2003 edition from Monster Marketplace



2 thoughts on “Careers – The Board Game

  1. I negotiated the contract for that last version of Careers. I disliked the box art work. Was hoping they’d do something more retro : (

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