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What is Career Exploration?

Career exploration is the process of discovery and research needed to understand the world of career options, usually guided by career exploration curriculum and online tools. In today’s highly competitive workforce, and a rapidly changing technology-based economy, career exploration is becoming increasingly important to school districts, colleges, and government agencies.

What are Career Clusters?

Career clusters are career categories organized by field, industry and required knowledge and skills. A few examples of career clusters are Health Science, Architecture and Construction, and Finance. While there is no formal national standard, a commonly adopted structure used by many CTE programs are the 16 Career Clusters in the National Career Clusters® Framework.

What is Career and Technical Education, or CTE?

Career and technical education, also commonly known as CTE, is a curriculum focused on empowering students with the academics, knowledge, skills and employability required to achieve a rewarding career through post-secondary training and/or higher education. Students in CTE programs prepare for today’s highest paying, fastest- growing careers, showing increased academic engagement as well as increased high school graduation rates.

What are Career Assessments?

Career Assessments are tools used in the career exploration process to help determine how a variety of personal attributes can impact an individual’s potential success and satisfaction with a multitude of career options and work environments. A wide variety of personal attributes can be assessed such as interests, aptitudes, values, motivations, etc.

What is the O*Net Interest Profiler™?

The O*Net Interest Profiler™ is a career assessment test that helps individuals discover their interests and how they relate to a future career. This assessment is based on the Holland RIASEC Interest Structure. Users answer interest-related questions and the results determine if they are more Realistic, Investigative, Artistic, Social, Enterprising or Conventional, directing them to compatible fields or career clusters.

What is Job Shadowing?

Job shadowing is a form of career education in which an individual enters a workplace to observe an employee to gain a real-world understanding of a specific career. The observer witnesses day-to-day duties, workplace conditions, necessary skills and other career details they cannot get from a job description. Job shadowing provides a valuable perspective that can confirm career interests, break down job misconceptions and empower individuals to engage in a career path.

What is Virtual Job Shadowing?

Virtual job shadowing is a powerful way for career explorers to receive many of the same benefits as traditional job shadowing (see above) only experiencing the job shadow via powerful online engagement instead of live interaction. Virtual Job Shadow® is a registered trademark held by Strivven Media, the parent company of VirtualJobShadow.com.

What is Work-Based Learning, or WBL?

Work-based learning (WBL) is career-focused form of education that familiarizes individuals with real-world careers through presentations, field trips, job shadowing opportunities, apprenticeships, internships, etc. With the growing movement of aligning education to workforce needs, Work-based learning is surging in popularity in the US. WBL can be hands-on and virtual, and can empower individuals to make realistic and focused career plans.

What is Vocational Education?

Vocational education is traditionally affiliated with the education required to enter a skilled trade or occupation, and can refer to education received in secondary schools, post-secondary schools or career training programs. With technology impacting almost every occupation, the vocational designation in many states is no longer used and is commonly referred to as Career and Technical Education, or CTE.

What are soft skills?

Soft skills are all of the skills necessary for a job that are not job- specific (or hard skills), including communication, teamwork, time management, problem solving, etc, that enable positive work relationships. While hard skills are easy to identify—welding, computer programing, photography—soft skills are harder to define and develop, but are critically important for an individual to land a good job and enjoy career advancement.

What is STEM?

STEM is an acronym in education that stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. In today’s technology -based economy, STEM curriculum is critical to helping today’s students prepare to be competitive for the job market. The demand to fill STEM-related jobs is expected to increase substantially over the next decade.

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