What Are the Best Resources for Career Changes?

My wife is trying to make a career change and is having trouble figuring out how best to go about it. What are the best resources to help make a career change?

Answer

Marc Anderberg (President and Chief Innovation Officer, SkillsNET Foundation)
There are a myriad of career exploration tools available from the labor market information division of any state's workforce agency. The first step in each is to do a guided self annalysis of your apptitudes, interests, formal training and work-based experience. Step two will match your current profile to those occupations for which you are already well suited. Step three, you can then pull up detailed job descriptions, data on annual job openings, employment demand projections, prevailing wage (down to the region or MSA level) to see if the occupations on you 'currently suited for list' meet your aspirations.

If you want to look beyond what you currently are capable of doing, the career exploration toolkits will help draw you a roadmap. They can find additional occupations which fit your interests, aptitudes and aspirations then tell you what additional education, training and work experience you likely will need to move from where you are to where you want to be. All are based on a common data structure underpinning the Department of Labor's O*NET online occupational taxonomy and profiles. Based on years of research, the data address what knowledge, skills, abilities, tools, technology and resources are required to perform successfully in each occupation. The tools provide a much better handle on competency requirements, likely compensations and work conditions than, say, a glamorized version in the media (e.g., CSI - Miami) or anecdotal information from your cousin Earnie.
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1 Additional Answer
Marc Anderberg (President and Chief Innovation Officer, SkillsNET Foundation)
There are a myriad of career exploration tools available from the labor market information division of any state's workforce agency. The first step in each is to do a guided self annalysis of your apptitudes, interests, formal training and work-based experience. Step two will match your current profile to those occupations for which you are already well suited. Step three, you can then pull up detailed job descriptions, data on annual job openings, employment demand projections, prevailing wage (down to the region or MSA level) to see if the occupations on you 'currently suited for list' meet your aspirations.

If you want to look beyond what you currently are capable of doing, the career exploration toolkits will help draw you a roadmap. They can find additional occupations which fit your interests, aptitudes and aspirations then tell you what additional education, training and work experience you likely will need to move from where you are to where you want to be. All are based on a common data structure underpinning the Department of Labor's O*NET online occupational taxonomy and profiles. Based on years of research, the data address what knowledge, skills, abilities, tools, technology and resources are required to perform successfully in each occupation. The tools provide a much better handle on competency requirements, likely compensations and work conditions than, say, a glamorized version in the media (e.g., CSI - Miami) or anecdotal information from your cousin Earnie.

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