Career Readiness Resources

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Notes from the Backpack Podcast


Pursue a Career with Confidence

Discover articles, information and resources that will help equip students with the knowledge needed to confidently transition to the next best step for their development; whether it be going straight to work to doing a job training program to finding the right career.


Young Professionals

Is a Four-Year College Right for You?

Trade School vs. College – Which is the Better Choice? - When it comes to higher education, modern students have a number of choices in pursing certifications and degrees to help them reach their future career goals.

On-Ramps and Off-Ramps: Alternative Credentials and Emerging Pathways Between Education and Work - Based on interviews with more than 75 experts, this report seeks to explore whether colleges and nonaccredited education providers can create viable forms of alternative credentials.

Trade School vs. College: Which One Is Right for You? - "Trade school vs. college" is a common debate among many potential students. With numerous training options out there, it can be perplexing to choose a path.

Trade and Technology Schools

What Are Vocational Schools? - Vocational school is one option for students interested in practical post-secondary education and job training. Learn more here.

Trade School vs. College: Which Is Right for You? - There’s no one size fits all when it comes to school: weigh the pros and cons of going to a four-year college, trade school or community college.

What Is a Trade School? How Can You Apply? - If you want to advance your skills and education but are unsure if a traditional four-year college is for you, you may want to consider a trade school.

Vocational & Trade School Programs to Kick-Start Your Career - Navigating your educational options may seem like a daunting task. That's why we want to make your search as simple as possible.

A New Kind of Tech Job Emphasizes Skills, Not a College Degree - This skills-based jobs approach matters at a time when there is a push to improve the circumstances of those left behind in the American economy.

The Value of Apprenticeships - These on-the-job training opportunities can help build skills and valuable job experiences to launch a high-growth, well-paid and stable career path.

Service Options

Pros and Cons About Going Military After High School - If you’re thinking a military career might be valuable, take a moment to consider a few of the pros and cons.

Pros and Cons of Joining the Military - Explore the pros and cons of joining the military as it pertains to your educational opportunities.

Military Colleges and Academies - Learn about military schools and service academies, which train future officers, doctors, engineers and other military professionals.

Want to Join ROTC? Here Are the Pros and Cons - ROTC can be a fulfilling option for many college students, but joining the program is also a serious commitment. Learn about the benefits and drawbacks of this commitment.

Guide to Understanding ROTC Programs - You may hear people allude to the ROTC while in high school or when entering college, but if you're unfamiliar with the program, click here for more.

Night School

What Is Night School? - Are you an adult or student looking to complete your education or develop new skills? Enrolling in night school can fulfill these requirements.

Navigating Night School: Tips for Students - Lean on these organizational tips the next time you feel overwhelmed and you will be coasting through night school in no time.

High School Classes and Apprenticeships

DOL Apprenticeship General Information - Check out the official website of the Department of Labor for more information about apprenticeships.

Apprenticeships Combine a Full-Time Job with Training—and Prepare You to Enter Specialized Fields - Apprenticeships provide affordable pathways to high-paying jobs and careers without the typical student debt associated with college.

Taking Vocational Courses in High School - Find out how vocational education can help you get a head start on your career preparation.

Finding the Right Career

How to Make a Career Choice When You Are Undecided - With thousands of options, how will you pick a career that's right for you? Put enough thought into it, and you will increase your chances of making a good decision.

Find Out What Job Best Matches Your Personality - Feeling the itch to change jobs, or even careers? Before you take the plunge, try this quiz to see which job best fits your personality.

Career Aptitude Test - Take our free career test to determine what jobs are best suited to your skills and interests.

Map Your True Calling - The MAPP (Motivational Appraisal Personal Potential) career assessment is perfect for students, graduates and working adults. You'll get a wealth of information to help find the right career that matches your unique assessment profile.

College, Workforce, and Life Readiness - Watch these webinars on a variety of topics to help prepare you and your child for life after high school.


Additional Resources for PTA and PTSAs

Share these resources with parents and students to help them identify options for future success.

  • Finding an Apprenticeship – If you want on-the-job experience to jumpstart your career in a highly-skilled workplace, an apprenticeship might be the right fit.

  • Exploring Careers – Use this resource to match your interests with possible careers.

  • Job Training Opportunities – Check out these Department of Labor training programs specifically for youth.