Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Suggested capping exercise: Create a directory of jobs that don't need a college degree

One of my friends sent me this post from ZenHabits, Land Your Dream Job: Ditch School and Get a Library Card, and it made me think about one possible capping exercise topic for a library school student (too late for this year, I'm afraid), creating resources for people who don't have college degrees to find a good job.

There's lots of ways to run with this project:
  • Create a pathfinder for library users to find out about careers that don't require college and indicate where the books are in the library that help people with this topic;
  • Educate yourself about job boards: which ones are good for people with college degrees, where are the jobs posted for people who don't have college degrees, and prepare an educational program at the public library level that teaches people how to use job boards. This is a good one for online learning since chances are people are already on the Internet trying to figure out how to use a job board and could use the library as a reference point;
  • Do a survey in your community to find out how people use the library to find jobs. Find out how, and if, they turn to the library for job searching needs or if they use other resources. 
I'm sure you can think of a few more.

This is an area (finding good jobs without a degree) since many of the people in this situation need a job now and don't have time to return to school for retraining, or need work to support their families while they are transitioning. It is also an area that needs to be explored because information will be so hard to come by. For example, if some of the forecasts are correct and job growth will occur in education, government and health services, many of those jobs require a college degree (teacher, nurse, administrator, doctor, all need 4 years, maybe more) so finding jobs in other sectors of low growth will require some strong research know-how. Public librarians and special librarians who work with job searches can certainly show the way in this area.

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