Archive for the ‘Technical Skills’ Category

What It Means To Be Career Ready

Sunday, October 28th, 2012

The Career Readiness Partner Council recently released a statement titled Building Blocks of Change: What it Means to be Career Ready. Multiple business, human interest, policy and educational organizations have endorsed the document, which explains what being career ready entails.

Key factors for being ready to pursue a productive career include: knowledge in technology, academics and employability, as well as skill sets and attitude as being important. Here are some of the broad skills that are considered necessary for becoming globally competent.

Adaptability

It’s common for people to switch careers. Emerging technology, unreliable markets and self-run businesses make up a large portion of the statistics which state that the average person goes through seven careers in their life. The ability to adapt, learn new skills and keep up with new research and development is essential to both personal and economic success for any nation. The newly-released statement emphasizes the ability to learn and adapt as requisites for succeeding in the international workforce. The United States isn’t alone in realizing this key to prosperity. Numerous other nations are also choosing it as the building block of their education reform efforts.

Communications

Communication is essential for career preparedness. Being able to communicate effectively is a necessary skill for all workers, but in an increasingly global community, students will need to communicate with people who speak another language. This is evidenced in the way that Career and Technical Education programs often provide students with chances to learn another language. In many areas of the country,  positions remain empty because too few people can speak a second language.

Technology

Being able to use technology effectively is another important part of being globally competent. Technology is heavily relied upon in numerous jobs and is constantly evolving. Involving technology in teaching and learning doesn’t just give students a valuable skill. It also gives them access to the world at large and enables them to communicate with a wider variety of people. Once they join the international labor force, they’ll be experienced in communicating with other cultures.

Experience

Real-world experience is another key part of the career readiness statement. Things like job shadowing, apprenticeships and internships help students in virtually any career be ready to enter the work force.  If you are currently in school, make sure to maximize these opportunitites to improve your chances of landing the job you want.

What can you do with a certificate in small engine repair?

Sunday, September 2nd, 2012

What can you do with a certificate in small engine repair?

If you’re good with your hands, maybe you’ve found yourself tinkering with your lawnmower in the garage. After all, if you want a job done well, do it yourself, right? Knowing how engines work and being able to fix them yourself can be very rewarding. However, you may not have considered the possibilities that might be open to you when you finish a small engine repair course at technical training schools. So, what can you do with this credential?

Set up shop

For people with a knack for fixing broken-down engines, work is never very far away. Once you’ve finished your small engine repair training program, you can go into business for yourself and start calling the shots.

Small engine repair specialists can work on a variety of motors, from power tools to lawnmowers, outboards to mopeds. Sure, hardware prices have fallen over the years, but people always need someone who’s good with their hands and can get their machines working again. Depending on your skills and interests, you can choose to work as a generalist or specialize in a certain type of engine.

This kind of business is ideally suited to independent contracting. You don’t necessarily need your own premises to start working as a small engine repair specialist – just toss your toolbox in your truck and get the job done where the clients are.

Work in a repair shop

Don’t like the idea of going into business for yourself? Then you could always consider working for someone else in a repair shop.

A lot of tool rental stores and mom-and-pop hardware stores offer engine repair as a service. After all, not everyone has the money or inclination to go out and buy replacement tools every time something goes haywire. Similarly, larger appliances like lawnmowers can be expensive, meaning people are much more likely to want the engine repaired instead of just buying a new one.

In addition to repair shops and hardware stores, a lot of skilled small engine repair specialists work on highly specific types of engines, such as vintage mopeds. While these little scooters may not be as glamorous as a Harley Davidson motorcycle, a small but growing movement has emerged around mopeds, and there’s always work that needs to be done on these aging machines.

Do it yourself

One of the best things about taking a small engine repair class at technical schools is being able to repair your own gear. Ever forked over a wad of cash to fix that pesky lawnmower? Then you’ll realize that being able to disassemble and repair your own equipment could save you a lot of money in the long run.

As well as saving you some cash, fixing your own engines can be really satisfying work. If you’re the type of person who loves spending time tinkering with machines in the garage, small engine repair is a great fit.

What do you hope to do with a small engine repair certificate? Let us know in the comment space below.

Questions to ask before signing up at technical training schools

Wednesday, August 29th, 2012

Choosing to return to school and switch careers can be one of the most exciting decisions you’ll ever make. Training to do something you’re interested in is a great way to start a new chapter in your life and improve your situation. However, signing up at technical schools is a big decision, and not one to be taken lightly. Here are some questions you may want to ask before making any decisions.

How long does the training program last?

This might seem like an obvious question, but it’s an important one. If you’re planning to work fewer hours to fit your studies in, you need to know exactly how long the training program will take to complete. Some technical training schools may provide this information, but some won’t.

Ask your admissions adviser about full- and part-time attendance options. If you can study part-time, you won’t need to drop as many hours, but it’ll also take you longer to complete your qualification. Similarly, if you need to drop out of the workforce to focus on your studies full-time, you need to know how long you can expect to train for so you can plan your finances around it.

Are there any placement programs or career services available?

This is another important question, and one that a lot of people overlook. It doesn’t matter how good your training program is, or how talented you are – competition for work can be fierce, especially in today’s uncertain economy.

Career services and placement programs are an excellent way to get your foot in the door at a local company. Fortunately, many technical training schools offer these programs to students, especially in fields like welding, and a lot of schools work closely with local businesses and employers. If your school doesn’t offer this kind of service, ask your admissions adviser about internships or apprenticeships.

Is the training program accredited?

Depending on the type of work you want to do, accreditation and licensing can be really important. In professions such as electrical engineering, licensing is essential to either finding a job or setting up your own company.

Your admissions adviser will be able to tell you if the training program you’re interested in is accredited or not, and what this means for your employment prospects. If you need a license to practice when you finish the program, ask if the school can put you in touch with accreditation and licensing bodies, and if exam fees are included in the cost of the program.

What kind of facilities does the school have?

Equipment and facilities tend to be a talking point for most technical schools, but it’s still something to ask your adviser before you make any decisions. Talk to your admissions adviser about whether you’ll be taught how to use industry-standard gear before you sign up.

Can you think of any other useful questions to ask before committing to technical schools? Share them with us in the comment space below.

What you may not think about during your technical school search

Friday, August 10th, 2012

What you may not think about during your technical school search

Not satisfied with your job search results? Maybe you’re just tired of the position you hold and are in desperate need of a change. If you decide that enrolling in technical schools is the solution to your problems then you’re sure to do what many others have when looking for an institution they could see themselves attending.

What types of programs does the school offer? How long will it take to earn a diploma? Most importantly, how much will it all cost? These are just a few of the common questions people ask when searching for a school. You should definitely think about these questions, as they play a crucial role in selecting the best institution for you. However, there are a few other questions you should ask that may not be at the top of your list, but are just as important.

Where exactly are classes held?

Why is this question important? Well, just think about your life. If all you plan on doing is going to class, then it’s not that big of a deal. However, if you’re a parent with a job, where your school is located is definitely going to matter.

Say you have to pick up your kids right after you get out of work. If you have to get to a night class an hour away, there are sure to be days when you’re late. For this reason, you’re going to want to find technical training schools that will not be a hassle to get to.

When do classes take place and how long are they?

Again, this isn’t that important a question if your schedule is wide open. However, if you’ve got a family waiting for you at home, you’re going to want to know when exactly classes are held and how late they’ll go to.

After all, there’s a good chance you’re going to have to make some changes to your schedule as soon as these classes start up. If the school you’re considering needs you to show up at irregular hours and certain weekends, you may want to look for a program that can offer a better schedule. You want to learn a new trade, but you may not want to do so at a particular institution if it means you can’t work on the side or spend quality time with your loved ones.

How much flexibility do you have?

It’s also important for you to know how understanding your instructors will be of your unique schedule. There may not always be times when you can attend class, or you’ll end up arriving a little late. If this will not be tolerated, you may have to find another institution that fully embraces students such as yourself.

Asking these questions will leave you better prepared to select the right technical school for you. They may even help you realize that online technical schools are more your style.

Can you think of any other questions people may forget to consider during their school search? If you do, share them with us in the comment space below.

Two things you should never do when choosing technical schools

Saturday, August 4th, 2012

Two things you should never do when choosing technical schools

When you go to the movies, does the cashier at the concession stand talk you into buying a tub of popcorn you know you won’t finish? What about when you need to replace a broken home appliance? Do you splurge on a product loaded with extra features you’ll never use? If you’ve done either, it’s OK. After all, even the smartest people make poor decisions. However, the one time you want to do everything in your power to avoid making a mistake is when you’re trying to narrow down a few possible technical schools to one you could absolutely see yourself enrolling at.

While this may sound simple enough, it’s definitely possible for you to get distracted by certain aspects of a technical school that really don’t matter all that much. Just like when you spend extra money on something you don’t actually need, you could find yourself paying a bill for an experience that isn’t much help to your career goals.

So before you end up selecting the technical training schools that are right for you, think about all the wrong reasons for choosing an institution. As you bounce these reasons around in your head, you may just realize why they should not play a role in your school decision.

Never pick a school based on its reputation alone

Maybe you’ve heard great things about the programs at a specific technical school. Perhaps someone you know earned their diploma there and they rave about their experience to this day. That’s great, and their recommendation should definitely factor into your decision, but it shouldn’t be everything. What works for someone else may not be right for you. The fact that an institution has appeared on a “best of” list or frequently gets attention from the press has nothing to do with whether or not it has the right training options for you.

What you should do

Don’t become blinded by a technical school’s popularity. Everybody may be right about it, but there’s no way of knowing until you do your own research.

Location isn’t everything

Are you unable to leave your job while you return to school? Can you think of any family obligations you’ll have that may interfere with your studies? If so, you could end up limiting your search to institutions very close to home. There’s nothing wrong with this, as long as they offer programs that appeal to you. Should you settle on a school based on its location alone? Absolutely not.

What you should do

If it looks like commuting to class is going to be a problem, consider online technical schools. You’ll get the education you need in a way that comfortably fits into your busy schedule.

So when it comes time to find a technical training school, just think back to the movie theater concession stand and avoid making a choice you’ll only regret down the line.

Can you think of any other mistakes you might make while selecting a technical school? If so, let us know in the comment space below.

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