Career Key

Author: Career Key's President and CEO, Juliet Wehr Jones, GCDF, J.D.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Canadian University Majors: How to Learn More

If you want to learn more about college and university majors in Canada and the schools that offer them, try these online resources. You'll learn what information is best at each website and watch a video tutorial on how to use Working in Canada as an education exploration tool.

Best for:
  • Narrowing your education choices based on your interests
  • Help making a decision

Our website focuses on how to choose what to study in Canada, whether it is at a college or university.  Start with:
  1. Personality-major match, and why it’s important (leads to better grades, e.g.); then
  2. How to choose a major in Canada; and
  3. 4 steps of high quality decision making.

Depending on your interests, read articles like the pros and cons of liberal arts majors and how to learn more about yourself.

Best for:
  • Finding majors related to an occupation
  • A description of majors and “what graduates think” of them
  • Narrowing schools offering a major to a specific province or location

If you’ve taken Career Key Canada’s career assessment, then you already have a list of Canadian occupations that match your Holland personality types, each one linked to its Working in Canada listing. You can also browse and choose careers at our “Match Your Personality with Careers” article.

When you do an occupation search on Working in Canada (WIC) for audiologist (for example), it has a link to “Education & Job Requirements” with excellent information on who offers programs and sources of helpful information (like the Ontario Association of Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists and its section on “Professions.”)

In our new Canadian playlist, this 2 minute video shows you how to use Working in Canada for education exploration on thecareerkey’s YouTube Channel:

WIC does have an educational program search but I found it doesn’t work well on its own for finding a program. Searching that way for “audiology” brings up 0 results. I believe that is because the word “audiology” is not listed in a program title – so you have to have an exact program name keyword match for this work.

Best for:
  • Finding Canadian schools that offer a major or program
  • Financial aid information, scholarships

The key to using CanLearn’s program search is to make sure your search terms for a major are broad, choosing a search type of “All Words” and “All Program Information” in advanced search.  The default advanced search is for “Program Names Only” so you’ll likely want to change that, especially if your first search is unsuccessful.

I would recommend using both websites in your research because they offer different information. Make sure to follow their links to professional organizations because sometimes those websites are more up to date and informative.  

Have suggestions for other high-quality online resources for learning more about education options in Canada? Please leave them in the comments. (no spam please!)

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Best Online Resources for Learning about College Majors in the U.S.

For students who want to learn about college majors and training programs, we’ve chosen the best online resources with advice on how to use them. Each site has certain advantages depending on what kind of information you are looking for.

Start by narrowing your college majors choices to those that match your Holland personality types. If you make a close personality-major match, studies show you're more likely to succeed in college.  Career Key’s articles help you get started, including these:
Once you've narrowed your options, you'll want to learn more about each one as part of a good, 4 step decision making process. These websites can help:
BigFuture by the CollegeBoard
Best for:
  • Descriptions of a major
How to use it:
Look at audiology as an example.  There’s an easy to read description of the major, questions to ask yourself that are related to that major, lists of helpful high school courses, and typical courses offered in the major.  

Best for:
  • “How to Become One” [a career choice],
  • Easy to read and understand education and training information for people with specific careers in mind.
How to use it:
  •  At their home page, enter an occupation in the top “Search Handbook” box:
  • Click on the occupation you want.
  • Click on the tab, “How to Become One.” Also click on the tab “Contacts for More Info.” You’ll find links to national organizations that often guide you to more local education sources.
  • If you're using the Career Key test, click on the jobs you chose to learn more about to see the Handbook's listing for an occupation.
Education +Training Finder at
Best for:
  • Finding local education and training options;
  • Finding local education, training, and licensing required for a specific occupation.
How to use it:
  • At the Education and Training Finder page, search for an occupation from the “Occupation Profile,” choose your state, and your statewide information will be pulled up;
  • Scroll down to Education and Training and you’ll see the types of majors or “instructional programs” related to the career. 
  • Go further and you’ll see a link under the “Educational Attainment” box for “colleges, training schools, and instructional programs for this occupation.” Click on it and a list of statewide schools offering the major will be shown. Any links to apprenticeships and training programs will also be shown.
U.S. Department of Education’s College Navigator
Best for:
  • Finding a college that offers a particular major or training program;  
College Navigator is an unbiased resource, where no one pays to be listed or promoted.  Watch our short YouTube video on how to use the College Navigator.

Soon, I’ll follow up with a similar post on researching majors and programs in Canada for our Canadian audience.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Career: Questioning the Status Quo, Persistence

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (courtesy:Wikipedia)

While reflecting on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. this week, two characteristics of his career stuck out to me: questioning the status quo and persistence. They create innovation, change, and growth – yet we often find it hard to adopt them in our own career paths.  How can we do more in these areas?

Questioning the Status Quo
First of all, what is the status quo for your work? Are you satisfied with your job? Are you just going through the motions, feel trapped, or are you positive about your life and work? Maybe you need a change – to become more of a free agent when it comes to your career.

If you are considering a job or career change, what career options do you think are open to you?  Are your assumptions correct? Sex stereotyping in occupations is still a big problem for both men and women. You may also be limiting your potential because of how you see yourself, or how your family and friends see you.

For example, if you think you don’t have the time or money to return to school, sit back and test your assumptions. It may be that you don’t have enough information to know that for sure.  You can at least do a little research.  You can start by asking:
  • What careers interest you?
  • Would you see an improvement in job satisfaction? Salary? Working conditions?
  • What are their education requirements?
  • Are there schools nearby (or online) that offer that degree or training? (if needed)
  • What sort of day/night/online options are offered? How much do they cost? What financial aid or scholarships are available?

Our articles give you advice on how to answer these questions: Learn About Yourself, Learn about Occupations, Learn About the Jobs that Interest Me, and Decision Making with a free Decision Balance Sheet.

And if you decide not to make a change now, you have created a Career Portfolio to return to and revisit your decision when circumstances change. Chances are you will have learned some valuable things about yourself and work.

Dr. King spent over 10 years in his active ministry and advocacy for civil rights.  The obstacles, death threats, and family needs would seem insurmountable, and yet – he had a dream - that at least in large part, became a reality.

It takes persistence to research careers and make decisions about future school/training and career change.  And if we know anything about the future of work, it will be the continual need for updating job skills and adapting to new jobs. At a minimum, you’ll need persistence in any job search, in keeping a positive attitude, and in lifelong networking.  If you need inspiration for persistence in spite of obstacles, it’s hard to think of a better example than Dr. King.

We celebrate Martin Luther King’s Birthday by thanking him for the changes he brought to the world, without losing sight that there is so much more to be done – worldwide.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

What Job is Best for Me? 2013, Career Key's Most Popular EBook Now Available!

"What Job is Best for Me?" our most popular career eBook is now updated for 2013 and available in our eBookstore. It's an excellent, practical resource for people looking for guidance through a career decision. With real life examples, worksheets, and extra resources on networking and career information, this eBook will help boost your confidence in your career decisions.
Written by nationally recognized counseling psychologist, Dr. Lawrence K. Jones, NCC, "What Job is Best for Me? costs $8.95 for one copy and $14.50 when combined with the Career Key career test (a 20% savings off separate purchases).

For feedback and reviews, please don't hesitate to email me or leave a comment.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Career Key Family Values and A Fresh Approach to Social Media

Happy New Year from Career Key! What's next in our social media this year - a more personal approach that shows how our family's values influence Career Key's approach to career guidance.
Over the last couple of months, I read some excellent books, talked with customers, and Dr. Jones and I had some strategic planning meetings. Insights from these will help focus us on what's important and better ways to help our visitors, customers, and licensees.  

I've got a fresh approach to blogging and social media that I'm excited about.  It includes using an editorial calendar so I can better plan research projects and posts. Also, I will try to show more of our unique voice based our family's approach to life and work.

Dr. Jones showing off Career Key's new mobile site on his new iPhone to my brother Mark.
We are a family-run business. Career Key's author Dr. Jones is my father and my mother, Jeanine Wehr Jones, is a big influence on us all. I changed careers in 2006 from practicing labor and employment law to career counseling and helping manage Career Key, becoming certified as a Global Career Development Facilitator in 2010.

How Career Key approaches career development  and our business/philanthropy is greatly influenced by our values:
  • Science-based decision making;
  • Integrity and honesty;
  • Hard work, but balance;
  • Optimism;
  • Financial conservatism;
  • Education; 
  • Loyalty to one's family and community;
  • Healthy lifestyle that reduces stress; and
  • Improving access to professional career counseling (national and international).
Hopefully these come across on our websites and social media now - but I'll be working on making that more transparent over the year.  We'd love to hear from you on Career Key's social media channels, including following this blog:
Facebook - CareerKey
Google+ - The Career Key

We appreciate your support and look forward to the new year!