Persons without a High School Education are Almost Twice as Likely to be Unemployed and Earn $9,725 Less Per Year Than High School Graduates
The Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES), through its Illinois Career Information System, provides several tools for use by Illinois students, parents, job seekers, educators and counselors to assist in improving career awareness and exploration.
The Career Information System (CIS), (or at www.ides.illinois.gov choose "Career Information" under the "Individuals" tab) delivers current, localized occupational and career information in a user-friendly online format. It includes tools to learn about occupations, financial aid, apprenticeship opportunities, post-secondary schools and colleges, and entrepreneurship for youth, adults, career changers, job seekers, counselors, educators and mentors. CIS can be used at Illinois workNet Centers and from any computer with Internet access.
CIS Junior is a career exploration website targeted for middle school students. Students start by selecting activities they enjoy in the Career Cluster Interest Survey which identifies where their strongest interests may be in 16 career clusters. They can get information about occupations such as how much they pay, what skills they'll need and which middle school and high school classes will be most helpful.
The IDES website also includes exploration tools and print materials to help job seekers and career changers. One of the most popular brochures is Kids and Careers: How Families Can Help Youth Succeed (Jóvenes y carreras: Como las familias pueden ayudar a triunfar a los jóvenes a tener éxito). It provides timelines for important targets from middle school through the senior year of high school: when to take the ACT or SAT as well as when to apply for financial aid or start a job search. It shows how parents' involvement can lead to their children's success with "Three Easy Steps to a Career Plan." Graphs (like the one above) make clear the link between education, earnings and lower unemployment.
Another helpful brochure is Learn More Earn More (Si Aprendes Más Ganarás Más). It highlights occupations expected to provide the most job openings each year, organized by education and training requirements. Job seekers, career changers, and students of all ages who have some idea of their future vocation tend to achieve more success in both their training and their work life by finding employment in good paying jobs with a future.