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How to Gain Skills

Do you have the skills and education that employers want? Not sure? One of the best ways to expand your skills is through education. Make sure that your education connects to occupations that fit your interests and skills. Here are three steps to help you explore the right education for you.

Step One: Identify the skills in occupations that interest you. 

Using the Occupational Skills (pdf) list your desired occupations and the education needed. List the skills you possess that are required for that occupation. List the skills you need to acquire for that occupation.

Step Two: Look at your education options.

For more information on local options, go to your library or look online using the resources listed in the table below.

Description and Websites
An apprenticeship program is a training plan based on employers’ needs. It helps potential employees learn the skills of an occupation or trade. Students learn the standard skills in a classroom. They also learn on the job and sometimes get paid. Sometimes they are supported by trade or labor groups. Directory of Apprenticeship Programs
Online learning is a great option for many students. You can take one course. Or you can earn a certificate or a degree. For some students, online learning can make it easier to go to school.
California Virtual Campus
Adult Basic
Adult Basic Education classes are free. They help people who are 16 and older and who are not in school. Students can improve their basic skills such as reading, math, listening, and speaking. Some classes help prepare people for better jobs or for getting ready for more education.
Los Angeles Adult School
U.S. Military The military offers hundreds of jobs to help you get skills and meet your goals. Careers in the Military
Licenses Licenses are the required knowledge and skills for some jobs. Licenses often vary by state. It is against the law to work in these jobs without a license. These workers need to keep going to school to keep up their license. Interested students should ask if a school will prepare for a license. 
Degrees A degree is given by a college or university. It means that you completed a course of study. An associate’s degree usually lasts 2 years or less. A bachelor’s degree usually takes 4 or more years. You may need to take classes to get ready for college. California Colleges  
Certifications Certifications are tests that measure your work knowledge. Some employers like hiring people with these skills. Interested students should ask if their school will prepare them for the certification exam. Many certifications require a degree. Career Infonet will help you explore occupations that require certification.


Step Three: School Research Worksheet

Use this worksheet to track your research on schools. You can make a new worksheet for each occupation.

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