December is Career Exploration and Awareness Month in Michigan

LANSING, Mich. — To recognize the state’s essential and growing need for talent and the programs and services in place to help and engage residents in employment, training and educational opportunities, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer encourages Michiganders to explore the many career pathways available to them during Career Exploration and Awareness Month, December 1 – 31. “Today, there are career pathways that didn’t exist just 10 or 20 years ago, and that’s why it’s more important than ever that we encourage Michiganders to explore their options,” said Governor Whitmer. “Whether you’re a student launching your career, re-entering the workforce, or considering a change to your current profession, there are many resources available to help you start a good-paying, in-demand career in Michigan.”

Individuals of all ages are encouraged to check out the Michigan Career and Education Pathfinder to explore careers and identify educational opportunities throughout the state. Pathfinder was recently updated to include credential information from other state agencies so users can see Michigan occupations that may have licenses or certificates connected to them and their outcomes. All of this information is intended to help students of all ages, parents, school staff and career counselors make informed choices about educational and career options.

“Career exploration tools such as Pathfinder are crucial in helping individuals find the path that suits them best,” said Stephanie Beckhorn, Director of the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity’s (LEO) Office of Employment and Training. “By providing the right tools and shining a light on the career opportunities of today and tomorrow, we can help prepare every Michigander for a successful and rewarding future.” LEO works closely with the Michigan Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiatives, within the Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget, to highlight career and labor trends in the state. These include Michigan’s Hot 50 report, which covers high-demand, high-wage careers that show a favorable mix of long-term job growth, projected annual job openings, and median wages; Michigan’s Career Outlook report, which provides multiple lists of in-demand occupations by education and training requirements; and Regional Career Outlook reports, which provides a breakdown of career outlook data in each of the state’s 10 regions. For those looking for job opportunities available in the state, they should visit Pure Michigan Talent Connect. This is the state’s system for connecting job seekers and employers where there are more than 100,000 jobs on the site right now.

Whether you are a young person seeking to understand careers, a student learner wanting to understand the next steps in your career, or an adult job seeker looking for employment opportunities, career exploration is a vital part of the process. Visit your local SEMCA Michigan Works! American Job Center or schedule a time to connect with a SEMCA Career Coach to explore high-demand, high-wage pathways during Career Exploration and Awareness Month.

Career Exploration and Awareness Month also ties into Michigan’s Sixty by 30 goal, which aims to increase the percentage of adults in the state with a postsecondary degree or credential by the year 2030. Michiganders interested in education beyond high school to gain the skills they need for rewarding careers are encouraged to explore free education and training resources like Skills to Work and the Michigan Reconnect program that provides free tuition to Michiganders age 25 and older.

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