Below are four paths to help you get started. We hope that no matter what road you take you find the information and resources you need to help your child make career decisions that are right for them. Good luck!

Where to Start

As your child starts to think about what career may be right for them, here are a few pointers that will help them get started in the right direction:

  • The earlier they start thinking about what kind of career they would enjoy, the better off they'll be.
  • Get that high school diploma or at least a GED.
  • Encourage as many courses in math and science as possible.
  • Help them learn to speak and write effectively.

Career Voyages has lots of information to help you learn about:

  • different types of careers and,
  • the knowledge and skills needed to enter these careers and,
  • information about education and training opportunities needed to prepare for a chosen career.

A good resource to help you and your student get started, if they are still in high school is our Career Clusters section.

Career Voyages exists to help Americans find out which occupations are in-demand. To learn more about how these industries and occupations were selected, click here. This web site identifies those high demand occupations-many of which also do not require years and years of schooling. So if your student isn't a bookworm, don't worry. There are, In fact, lots of alternatives to a 4-year degree, including 2-year degrees, apprenticeships, vocational certificates, and work experience.

What should I do first?

Which Industries are Growing?

In today's world there are never any guarantees, but some careful planning during the initial career exploration may help ensure that the choices your child makes now might lead to a more secure future.

If you have already been in the workforce for some time, you probably already know that it is always changing. You know how important it is to know what's around the bend. Career Voyages is here to try and help you and your child do that.

Let's start by explaining the industries you see on the left hand menu. The chart below shows the industries expected to either need the most employees as projected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics or are evolving and creating new jobs.

In short, these industries were selected for three reasons:

  1. they are projected to add substantial numbers of new jobs to the economy or affect the growth of other industries;
  2. they are existing or emerging businesses being transformed by technology and innovation requiring new skills from workers;
  3. they are economically vital to the overall health of the American economy.

To learn more about how these industries and occupations were selected, click here.

Which Industries Are Growing?
Note: These totals are based on:
  • only the occupations in Career Voyages;
  • the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates for the ten year period, 2004-2014; and
  • only those occupations which fall within a single industry. For example, the 91,000 openings shown for Advanced Manufacturing are found in just Advanced Manufacturing.

    There are many more occupations, not shown here, which cross over one or more industries. To learn more about these "multi-industry" occupations click here.
Sort by Industry Sort by Number
Advanced Manufacturing 91,000
Aerospace 18,000
Automotive 451,000
Biotechnology 7,000
Construction 1,860,000
Energy 130,000
Financial Services 2,450,000
Geospatial Technology 33,000
Health Care 4,992,000
Homeland Security 970,000
Hospitality 6,861,000
Information Technology 208,000
Retail 3,176,000
Transportation 990,000
Cross Industry Occupations 10,880,000
Total 33,117,000

According to projections, the economy will continue generating jobs for workers at all levels of education and training. Growth rates are projected to be faster for occupations requiring a postsecondary award (a vocational certificate or other award or an associate or higher degree) than for occupations requiring less education or training.

You can start in a several different places-it's up to you to pick your route:

  • Dive right into one of the industries. Start learning about the kinds of jobs that are in demand

How to Qualify for and Get a Job

As you probably know, preparation, persistence, and enthusiasm are important keys to finding a job. Education and training also play a vital role. Remember:

The more you learn, the more you can earn.

If your student is still in high school, the first step is to encourage them to complete a rigorous program of study. It should give them the knowledge and skills suitable to get started in any career they select. It should also get them ready for future programs of study they might wish to pursue.

If your student is out of high school and looking for new opportunities, they should find out how their skills match up with employer requirements in their area of interest. If they need more training or education, they'll want to identify institutions or programs that have what they're seeking and check their eligibility requirements, training costs, and available financial assistance.

How Do They Get Started?

  • If they're in high school, you should learn about Career Clusters and how they might help determine the best course of study.
  • To find information on the knowledge, skills and abilities that are in demand with employers, select any of our featured industries on the left side of your screen and then select any of the occupations that are in the in-demand list. You can then learn about what is required for that occupation as well as the employment and wage trends in most states.
  • To see how current set of skills matches the requirements of a particular occupation, try the Skills Profiler on our sister site, America's CareerInfoNet (ACINet). ACINet also has contact information for millions of employers in the Employer Locator tool.
  • Finally, a great selection of jobs are at America's Job Bank (AJB). AJB is one of the biggest and busiest job markets in cyberspace. Job seekers can post resumes where thousands of employers search every day.

My Child Would Like Some Personal Assistance. Where Can They Go?

There is a lot to consider when job hunting. It's helpful to talk with someone who can help guide you in the right direction. Your local One-Stop Career Center has counselors ready to give you valuable guidance for making the right career decisions. Find a local One-Stop Career Center in your area or call our Toll-Free Help Line for help with employment and training questions.

Does Education Pay? How to Pay

There is real, independent evidence that shows education leads to higher earnings.

According to a Bureau of Labor Statistics report, "college graduates age 25 and over earn nearly twice as much as workers who stopped with a high school diploma. College graduates have experienced growth in real (inflation-adjusted) earnings since 1979. In contrast, high school dropouts have seen their real earnings decline."

Good-paying jobs usually require at least a high school diploma. An employer may even request high school transcripts to view grades in certain subject areas. If your child did not get a high school diploma, they should seriously consider the GED as their first step.

How Do I Pay For Training?

The cost of education and training continues to increase. The good news is that there are a lot of financial assistance programs. These programs are available for college students and adult learners. There are a host of resources for you to investigate:

  • The U.S. Department of Education's Federal Student Aid (FSA) programs are the largest source of student aid in America. They provide about 70% of all student financial aid. Visit Student Aid on the Web for more information.
  • The American Council on Education's College Is Possible page has a glossary of financial aid terms, information on major programs, and links to additional resources.
  • GovBenefits is a free, easy-to-use web site. It helps you to find ways to pay for your education and training. First, you answer a series of questions about yourself. Then GovBenefits gives you a list of government benefits for which you may be eligible. Finally, GovBenefits gives you information about how to apply.
  • CareerOneStop's Financial Aid Center has information on financial assistance for college students. It also has resources for workers who need training.
  • America's Career Resource Network (ACRN) consists of state and federal organizations that provide information, resources and training on career and education exploration. A resource you might find useful is their Financial Aid Resources for Post-High School Education (PDF, 2.8 MB).

Where to Look for Training?

We offer opportunities throughout Career Voyages for you to learn about the range of education and training opportunities available. Great jobs are available to people who are interested in becoming an apprentice, attending community college or a 4-year college as well as other options.