What if College is Not in Your Immediate Future?

There is a widespread and generally accepted misconception that to get a good job these days, you need a college education. Every other year, the Department of Labor publishes the Occupational Projections, which provide a snapshot of what jobs will be available over a ten year period. Vermont just released the projections data for the years 2008—2010, and many of the occupations listed do NOT require a college education. In fact, of the 20 jobs with the most annual openings in Vermont, 17 of them require only short to long term on-the-job training or work experience. (see Jobs with the Most Annual Openings).
Fastest Growing Jobs, is based on the percentage of growth that occupation will experience over the 10 year period. Of the top 20 occupations, eight require only short to moderate on-the-job training or vocational training.
OK, so from the projections, you can explore what jobs are growing, how many openings there will be for those jobs, and approximately how much money they pay. There are lots of other things you will want to know about a job before you either apply or think about the necessary training programs. The Vermont Department of Labor has a website: www.vtLmi.info that includes the Occupational Information Center. From that site, you can find in-depth information about any occupation you find interesting. For instance, once you type an occupational title into the search engine, an occupational report will come up, which includes an overall description of that occupation and often a short video of people working in that occupation. Wage information, descriptions of the skills required, work activities, licensing information, as well as education and training requirements and related occupations are also available in the report.
You’ve found some occupations you think you might like to do. What comes next and how can the Department of Labor help?
Well, also on our website is a link to the Employer Data Base. Here you can search for employers in Vermont, New Hampshire, New York, Maine, and Massachusetts by industry sector (i.e. Retail Trade, Healthcare, etc.). Once you have the names of several employers who may employ people in the occupations you have identified, you can research them online. Remember, the more you know about a future employer, the more you will impress them.
One program you might explore is the Vermont Registered Apprenticeship program, which can prepare you for a variety of good jobs, including plumber or electrician. Apprenticeship includes both supervised work experience and related classroom instruction. Feel free to contact the Vermont Department of Labor at 828-5082 for more information about apprenticeship opportunities. Additionally, you may check for apprenticeship opportunities through VT Job Link: https://www.vermontjoblink.com/ada/ where you may also search for jobs or post your resume.
The Department of Labor has offices throughout the state and each office has a youth specialist who can help you navigate your way successfully into the workforce. They can connect you with employers interested in providing on-the-job training experiences. They can help you explore your interests and abilities and offer insight to different career pathways that are open to you…and, our services are free of charge. So, visit our offices and explore both our websites: www.vtLmi.info and http://labor.vermont.gov/ . Let us help you find a rewarding job that will launch your journey into the workforce!