Alaska Career Ready banner

Career Ready

A partnership between

Alaska Department of Labor Jobs logo


Alaska Department of Education logo



Alaska Career Ready is for parents!

Do you want to help your child . . .

Show your student that lifelong learning is now the norm. Additional training after high school and throughout a career will be needed to earn a living wage. Alaska Career Ready emphasizes work-related academic skills that help people become good learners in any occupation and at any educational level.  Here are more details about these skills.

Talk to your student about his or her interests and abilities. Explore careers as early as elementary school and especially in middle school. It is important for students, starting in freshman year, to take courses that will prepare them to achieve their career goals.  Here are some resources to help you get started.

Try out the KeyTrain/Career Ready 101 tutorial lessons at home with your students. The lessons are a good way to show young people the connection between academics and the workplace. Talk to them about how you use applied academic skills on the job and in your daily life. Students who believe that school is relevant to their future lives are more likely to do well in school and graduate.  Here is more information about KeyTrain/Career Ready 101.

What are the WorkKeys skills?

They are applied academic or "foundational" skills that are needed for virtually all occupations and at any level of education.  The three main skill areas in the WorkKeys system are:

Applied Mathematics — measures the skills people use when they apply mathematical reasoning, critical thinking, and problem-solving techniques to work-related problems. The test questions require the examinee to set up and solve the types of problems and do the types of calculations that actually occur in the workplace. This test is designed to be taken with a calculator. A formula sheet that includes all formulas required for the assessment is provided. While individuals may use calculators and conversion tables to help with the problems, they still need to use math skills to think them through.

Reading for Information — measures the skills people use when they read and use written text in order to do a job. The written texts include memos, letters, directions, signs, notices, bulletins, policies, and regulations. It is often the case that workplace communications are not necessarily well-written or targeted to the appropriate audience. Reading for Information materials do not include information that is presented graphically, such as in charts, forms, or blueprints.

Locating Information — measures the skills people use when they locate, synthesize, and use information from workplace graphics such as charts, graphs, tables, forms, flowcharts, diagrams, floor plans, maps, and instrument gauges, as typically found in workplace situations. Examinees are asked to find information in a graphic or insert information into a graphic. They also must compare, summarize, and analyze information found in related graphics.

For more details on these skills, please see the WorkKeys skills webpage.

What Other Skills are Important in the Workplace?

Alaskan employers developed a concise list of workplace skills and summarized them in a poster called "Want a Great Career?  Alaskan Employers Expect:".  The items are grouped into three categories: Skills, Attitudes, and Work Ethic.  Talk to your youngsters about all of these skills and traits, and don't miss an opportunity to point out examples of how they can practice these skills, attitudes, and values at home and at school, in preparation for the workplace.

Thumbnail of Want a Great Career Poster  
Click on the image of the poster above to view or download the entire poster as a one-page PDF document.


Exploring Careers with Your Student

There are many ways to help your youngster explore different careers.

  • Talk about your own job and how you decided on your occupational area.
  • Ask family members and friends to share their educational and work experiences with your youngsters.
  • Ask your youngster about his/her interests and abilities.
  • Point out examples of different occupations you encounter in daily life, such as teacher, pharmacist, construction worker, dental hygienist, office worker, plumber, carpet layer, sales person, tour guide, chef, welder, ship worker, truck driver, real estate agent, banker, store clerk, fast food worker, utility worker, receptionist, etc.
  • Help your youngster find information about occupations that may not be common.
  • Talk to your child about the concept of "career clusters," a broad grouping of occupations with different types of career pathways all related to that general area such as healthcare (pharmacist, x-ray technician, doctor, medical receptionist, dental hygienist, nurse, physician assistant, physical therapist, dentist, medical billing specialist, etc.).
  • Encourage your youngster to talk to his/her school guidance counselor for more information on career & technical high school and college programs, apprenticeships, occupational certificates, and 2 and 4 year degrees.

Not sure where to find career information?  Here are some starters:

How Can I Use KeyTrain/Career Ready lessons with my youngster?

Once your child has a login name and password for KeyTrain/Career Ready 101, he or she may use the software at school, home, public library, or any place with high-speed Internet access.

  • Ask your child to show you the KeyTrain/Career Ready 101 program.
  • Look at some of the lessons with him or her.
  • Help your child look through the job profiles to get information about different occupations.
  • Have your child show you the "Career Clusters" section for information on different career areas.
  • Encourage him or her to use the software at home.
  • Remind your child that the lessons give practice in the skills that are needed on the job and in further education.

How can WorkKeys be used to qualify for an Alaska Performance Scholarship?

Students entering a career and technical education certificate program can use WorkKeys scores of 5 each in applied mathematics, reading for information, and locating information [note that curriculum and GPA requirements also apply]. See for more information.

Home  |  Employers  |  Job Seekers  |  Students  |  Educators  |  Parents  |  CRC  |  News  |  FAQ

Contact Shari Paul at the Alaska Department of Education & Early Development or 907-465-6535

Contact Kim Kolvig at the Alaska Department of Labor & Workforce Development or 907-465-

©2011-2012 Alaska Career Ready Program • All Rights Reserved