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«A Resource Guide for Parents and Teens Developed and Compiled by the Youth Council of the DuPage Workforce Board A Letter to Parents: Your teen’s ...»

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The finance industry is a critical sector of the United States economy with over six million people employed in finance-related occupations. Although some of the finance occupations project only moderate growth through the year 2008, the advances in technology and trends toward direct marketing provide exciting and challenging opportunities for careers across all areas of the cluster. In the next few years, many new jobs will be added and many openings will result from the need to replace experienced workers who leave jobs.



Government affects Americans in countless ways. In a democratic society, government is the means of expressing the public will. This includes a variety of activities. In fact, virtually every occupation can be found within government. There are, however, some activities that are unique to government. The federal government defends us from foreign aggression; represents American interests abroad;

deliberates, passes and enforces laws; and administers many different programs.

State and local governments pass laws or ordinances and provide vital services to constituents. There are many opportunities in government in every career area. The Government and Public Administration Career Cluster focuses on those careers that are unique to government and not contained in another Career Cluster.

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The Hospitality and Tourism Cluster prepares learners for careers in the management, marketing and operations of restaurants and other food services, lodging, attractions, recreation events and travel-related services. Hospitality operations are located in communities throughout the world.

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Employment Outlook.

Travel and tourism is one of the largest and fastest-growing industries in the world.

Each year, travel and tourism employers around the world pay more than $1.6 trillion in wages and salaries and create 12.5 million new jobs. Beginning salaries depend on the employee’s skills, education and job level at a hotel, restaurant, tourism office, recreation facility, amusement park or attraction site. Salaries range from entry-level wages to six figures. This industry is known for promoting from within and for its large number of young managers.

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Employment Outlook.

Based on the latest statistics, more than 7.2 million people are employed in human services occupations. Faster than average employment growth through the year 2010, coupled with high turnover, should create numerous employment opportunities.



IT careers involve the design, development, support and management of hardware, software, multimedia and systems integration services. The IT industry is a dynamic and entrepreneurial working environment that has a revolutionary impact on the economy and society. In addition to careers in the IT industry, IT careers are available in every sector of the economy – from Financial Services to Medical Services, Business to Engineering and Environmental Services.

Anyone preparing for an IT career should have a solid grounding in math and science.

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Employment Outlook.

Even in times of economic downturn, there is still a large market for people with IT skills in organizations of all sizes. ITAA expects continued growth opportunities within the IT field.

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Employment Outlook.

Renewed national interest in public safety and security should help expand opportunities for employment in the Law, Public Safety and Security Cluster.

Numerous job openings will stem from employment growth attributable to the desire for increased corporate, industrial and homeland security. Also, a more security-conscious society and concern about drug-related crimes should contribute to the increasing demand.



All careers in Manufacturing require you to have a strong mechanical ability, specialized skills, communication skills and computation skills. You will be required to apply problem solving, make decisions, and work in a team environment.

Preparation for careers in Manufacturing must begin in the elementary grades and continue through high school allowing students to gain experience in applied, realtime manufacturing situations. Students will also find it advantageous to participate in a post-high school program that will expand some skills in specific jobs that meet the requirements of the employer.

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Employment Outlook.

As technology advances, each worker has the opportunity to produce more, so fewer workers are needed. However, there are excellent opportunities in manufacturing where technology and career pathways provide for satisfying careers.

In 2000, manufacturing was the 3rd largest jobs division, behind services and retail trade. Manufacturing, which is considered a goods-producing industry is expected to account for 1.3 million new jobs. This represents a modest job increase.

Note: Adapted from information currently available.

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Employment Outlook.

According to the latest statistics, there are 16 million jobs in sales and related occupations. Advertising, marketing, promotions, public relations and sales managers hold more than 700,000 jobs. Over 300,000 high-paying management positions are likely to be available over the next decade. Employment opportunities for retail salespeople are expected to be good. Individuals with a college degree or computer skills will be sought for managerial positions in sales, logistics, management information systems, marketing and e-marketing.



A career in science, technology, engineering or mathematics is exciting, challenging, and ever-changing. Learners who pursue one of these career fields will be involved in planning, managing, and providing scientific research and professional and technical services including laboratory and testing services, and research and development services.

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Employment Outlook.

Given the critical nature of much of the work in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, job possibilities abound even in times of economic downturn.

More scientists, technologists and engineers will be needed to meet environmental regulations and to develop methods of cleaning up existing hazards. A shift in emphasis toward preventing problems rather than controlling those that already exist, as well as increasing public health concerns, also will spur demand for these positions.

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Employment Outlook.

Transportation, distribution and logistics is a critical sector of the United States economy. Almost 10 million people are employed in transportation or transportation-related occupations. High-growth industry and career specialties offer high-tech, high-wage opportunities. This industry sector represents over 11 percent of the gross domestic product, and is among the fastest growing of all sectors. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 14.7 percent increase in employment in this sector through 2008. There will be a growing number of career opportunities in a variety of professional and technical occupations as well as highpaid, entry-level occupations that can provide career advancement opportunities.



The next few pages will explain how to access information about various careers.

Family Members and Friends are good sources of first-hand knowledge.

Ask them about:

• Their careers and related fields

• Anticipated skill requirements in their fields

• The job market

• Necessary certifications

• Their working environments

• Pay and other benefits

• Possible future developments in their industries

• Educational requirements for entry level, intermediate level, and advanced level Don’t be shy asking people about their careers. People love to talk about themselves. Set up “informational interviews” or job shadow experiences to ask questions. Make a site visit!

School or Career Counselors help students plan for the future. A counselor may use career assessment instruments, computerized information systems, or other resources to help you to connect what you know about yourself with what you know about careers.

School counselors can’t make your career decisions for you. They can provide you with resources and guidance to assist you in this decision-making process. What you get out of this information depends on your effort and input.

Job Shadowing – Request the opportunity to observe someone doing a job you might like to do in the future. Your counselor may be able to arrange this for you.

Co-op/Internships are short term, full or part time, paid or non-paid positions developed between student, employers and faculty, which allow students to gain on-the-job experience related to their academic program. These positions are possible springboards to regular permanent employment. (Depending on the school, students can earn academic credit toward their degree or an honorary mention in their transcripts for having held a co-op or internship position.)

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Ask a reference librarian for help locating career materials, including:

• Occupational Outlook Handbook

• Encyclopedia of Careers and Vocational Guidance

• Dictionary of Occupational Titles Professional trade associations and unions may provide information about related careers and training requirements. Unions may also sponsor training programs for people interested in specific careers.

You can get names and addresses of these organizations at the library in the Encyclopedia of Associations.

The Illinois Employment and Training Center of DuPage County offers services to help people explore career and training opportunities.

It has a career resource center were you can gather information on careers, learn about training requirements, find out where to get training for specific careers, and access computerized information systems. Career counseling available by appointment, call 630-495-4345, extension 274.

The DuPage County Employment Center is located at 837 South Westmore-Meyers Road in Lombard. Call (630) 495-4345, Ext. 1, for directions. Hours are Monday through Friday from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM, Wednesdays open until 7:00 PM.



What is it?

The Informational Interview is the key tool that will assist you in obtaining the information that you need to learn more about careers that you may enjoy.

You can get all this straight from the people who currently work in the field.

What are the purposes of the career information interview?

• To obtain information about an individuals’ experiences in career areas of your choice.

• To meet others who share your enthusiasm, have similar talents and interests, and are putting these factors to use in their careers. These people may also know about the “hidden job market” in their fields and can share this information with you.

• To gain experience, self-confidence and skill in interviewing with others about yourself and your career interests.

How do I do it?

Select an occupation you would like to know more about. Read all you can about the occupation. That is the first step in career awareness. Once you’ve done your research, you can arrange to meet someone who does that job. See if your friends or relatives can give you a contact name. If not, call the place where this type of person would be employed.

Ask if you can have 15 to 20 minutes of this person’s time to find out more about this kind of occupation. It is very hard for someone to deny you a few minutes of his or her time. If they do, be persistent and say you will call them next week to arrange for a more convenient time.

You will need to prepare some questions for your meeting.

Here are some sample questions

• How did you get into this field? (Educational background, career path)

• What is your typical day like?

• What do you like most about your job? What do you like least about your job?

• What skills are necessary for the type of work that you do? What trends do you see for these occupations in 2 – 5 years?

• Can you refer me to other individuals in this career field or related career field who would be helpful in discussing these same issues?

41 Follow-Up Send a thank you note for your informational interview. At a later date, if you are still interested in the occupation, you can call this person back and inform him/her that you are very serious about getting into the field. Then ask him/her how they suggest you would get started. You are not asking him/her for a job, but you are using this person as a contact. This is a potential way for you to learn about job openings.


1. What is your job title?

2. How long have you been in this position?

3. How did you get started in this type of work?

4. Would you describe your present job responsibilities and duties?

5. How do you spend a typical day?

6. What training or education did you receive for this position?

7. What do you like best about your job? What do you like least?

8. What do you think are some important things that a person going into this type of work should know?

9. Does this kind of work have a good future?

10. What future career goals do you have?

11. Did any of your past jobs prepare you for this one?

12. What kinds of courses did you need in college to prepare you for this job?

13. How big a factor was college in helping you obtain this kind of job?

14. What has contributed to your career success up to the present time?

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