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Career Ready

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Alaska Career Ready is for students!

  • Want to get the skills required for further education or the workplace?
  • Want to connect what you learn in school with what you'll need on the job or in future training?
  • Want to find out what skills are really required by specific jobs or occupations?
  • Want to focus your attention on the future?

Alaska Career Ready can help you do these things and more!  Did you know that chances are you will need additional training after high school and throughout your work life in order 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.  

With Alaska Career Ready, you will know what skills employers want and be able to practice these skills at school or at home using an easy computer-based program.  It's free! For more information, please contact your school's principal or guidance counselor.  Any public school student in Alaska may use the software at no charge.

For high school juniors, Alaska Career Ready offers a group of assessments called WorkKeys that allow you to demonstrate your skills and give you the opportunity to earn a National Career Readiness Certificate. You will take these assessments during your junior year in high school--talk to your principal or guidance counselor for testing dates for your school.  Note:   ALL Alaska school districts will be required to give the assessments to juniors beginning in the 2010-2011 school year.  Here is more information about the WorkKeys skills. 

Talk to your parents, teachers, and school counselor about your interests and abilities. Explore careers during elementary and middle school. Take courses that will prepare you to achieve your career goals.

What are the WorkKeys skills?

They are workplace "foundational" skills that are needed for virtually all occupations and at any level of education.  The three major skill areas in Alaska Career Ready 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.

For information on taking the WorkKeys tests, follow this link.

WorkKeys Brochure - NCRC Core Assessments for Certification

What Other Skills are Important in the Workplace?

Alaskan employers developed a 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.  Use school and home to practice these skills, attitudes, and values to prepare you for success in any job.

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

There are many ways to explore different careers.

  • Talk to parents, other family members, teachers, and other adults you know about their educational and work experiences.
  • Talk to your parents, teachers, and school counselor about your interests and abilities.
  • Look for 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.
  • Ask your teacher or guidance counselor how to find information about occupations that may not be common.
  • Learn about "career clusters," a broad grouping of occupations that has many 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.).
  • Talk to your 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:

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-

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