Career and Vocational Skills

Definition: All students develop employment and occupational skills, including paid work experience, through direct instruction and/or added support as necessary.


Elements:

  • Employability skill, aka soft skills
  • Career and technical education (CTE)
  • Work-based learning
  • Job-seeking skills

Employability and soft skills

Employability skills are general skills necessary for success in the workplace at all levels and in all types of jobs. These skills go by different name — soft skills, workforce readiness skills, career readiness skills — but they all refer to the same set of core skills employers want.

Habits of Work: an Employment Soft Skills Curriculum was developed in New Hampshire. See especially the Keeping A Job units.

Soft Skills to Pay the Bills — Mastering Soft Skills for Workplace Success, a curriculum developed by the Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP), focuses on teaching workforce readiness skills to youth ages 14 to 21 in both in-school and out-of-school environments. The program is modular, with hands-on, engaging activities that focus on six key skill areas: communication, enthusiasm and attitude, teamwork, networking, problem solving and critical thinking, and professionalism.

Getting Started: Executive Function Skills at Work (PDF, 8 pages, 2016) is a step-by-step guide to tools and strategies for executive function skills used in the work place such as time management, motivation, and focus and attention. From the Center on Technology and Disability.

Soft skill articles, lists and graphics

Top 10 soft skills, and questions interviewers may ask to discern them: Skilling Them Softly: How to Evaluate Candidates’ Soft Skills.

A big list of soft skills in alphabetical order

Toolkit for workplace soft skills, from MindTools. Three hundred of the 1000+ tools are free.

Northcentral Technical College in Wisconsin has a neat series of soft skill infographics.

Examples of rubrics and and evaluation forms for evaluating soft skills. Level of detail varies a lot:

Employability and Soft Skills Manual from the Pennsylvania Academic and Career/Technical Training Alliance. Detailed rubrics start on page 10. (PDF, 28 pages, 2011)

Workplace Readiness Skills Self-Evaluation Form from Chariho Regional School District in Rhode Island (PDF, 1 page)

Evaluation for Soft Skills for interns from City College of San Francisco (PDF, half page)

Soft Skills Assessment Rubric and Tools from Feather River College in California. Includes supervisor and student sections (PDF, 5 pages)

Employability/soft skills evaluation form from Mosinee High School in Wisconsin (MSWord, 1 page)

The Employability Skills Framework is an interactive site to explore and support teaching nine key skills, organized in three broad categories: applied knowledge, effective relationships, and workplace skills. It was developed as part of the Support for States Employability Standards in CTE and Adult Education project, an initiative of the U.S. Department of Education. There’s a professional learning module to introduce the framework and show how to integrate employability skills into lesson plans.

Career and technical education (CTE)

Considering CTE? is a guidebook for students considering applying for admission to a NH Career and Technical (CTE) program. It provides good talking points about prerequisite skills, outcomes, and next steps to prepare for postsecondary for each content area.  (PDF, 44 pages, 2015)

Career and Technical Education in NH: education.nh.gov/career/career/

CTE program competencies: education.nh.gov/career/career/program_compet.htm

NH CTE website: nh-cte.org/

The Employability Skills Framework is an interactive site to explore and support teaching nine key skills, organized in three broad categories: applied knowledge, effective relationships, and workplace skills. It was developed as part of the Support for States Employability Standards in CTE and Adult Education project, an initiative of the U.S. Department of Education. There’s a professional learning module to introduce the framework and show how to integrate employability skills into lesson plans.

Vermont / New Hampshire Career Development Association (CDA), a new organization in 2016.

Work-based learning

Work-based learning in NH, a page on this site.

Youth in Action! – Participating in Internships and Work-Based Experiences is a tip sheet for youth from the National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability (NCWD).

How to Keep a Job: The Young Adult’s Guide (PDF, 2 pages, 2013) from the Northeast Massachusetts Community of Practice, UMass Medical School.

Job shadows: Top 7 Questions to ask on a Job Shadow Interview (blog entry), Job Shadow Day Roles and Responsibilities (one-page PDF from Keene State College program), “Job Shadowing Training,” a 5-minute student-produced video of tips for a successful job shadow.

Volunteering: Youth in Action! – Getting Involved in Volunteering, is a tip sheet for youth from the National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability (NCWD).

Job-seeking skills

Top 20 Job Interview Questions and Best Answers: suggestions for how to approach questions, and sample answers

My Next Move career exploration site

ACT Career Curriculum is a job-seeking training site that offers webinars and training modules (fee-based)

Apprenticeships explained, a page on this site

Teaching Networking Skills: Paving a Way to Jobs and Careers is an 11-unit curriculum covering skills such as identifying your own network, approaching people, talking about your skills and interests, learning about what employers look for, exploring careers and job options, and exhibiting good business etiquette. From the New England Rehabilitation Continuing Education Program (NERCEP). PDF, 236 pages, 2008

Updated 2/7/17