Career Coach: Discover Your Calling

Students huddled in the William N. Pennington Applied Technology Center to learn about automotive components.
Jared Libby

Have you ever been lost in the endless void of career possibilities? Some students grow up with an established formula for what they want to do with their lives. Still, when it comes time to commit to higher education, our solution becomes riddled with unknown variables we never considered. Don’t worry, it’s not the end of the world! Many of us began our college experiences by remaining undecided, and this is a safe way to scour the playing field of employment while knocking out essential courses for degree completion.

But now, TMCC has an invaluable resource available to make your decision-making much simpler and relatable to your situation. We are proud to announce the implementation of the Career Coach tool, a seamless device that asks you about your interests, learns about your personality traits, and tailors job opportunities that match precisely for you. Led by our TMCC Career and Technical Education (CTE) experts and funded by the federal Perkins Reserve Competitive funding, this user-friendly addition will change how students approach professional occupations tremendously, encouraging the ambivalent to find their true calling through a comprehensive examination of their character. If you’re still wavering on what drives you, take the assessment and put your anxieties aside. It’s time to uncover your academic pursuit and open the door to your future.

“Highlighting actual careers alongside academic programs can help students make stronger connections between the work they are doing now and the careers they hope to have. That link can motivate or encourage further research so they can make the best decisions possible to reach their goals,” said Kyle Cassinelli, Assistant Director of Career and Technical Education (CTE) Programs.

Careers in Months, Not Years

You may have noticed recently that our collegiate programs have a nifty widget on every page, a new inclusion to promote community engagement for interested individuals alongside the Career Coach instrument. Let’s take Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration (HVAC/R) for example. You can scroll through the bulleted positions visible on the left-hand side, but the best part is the details the gadget shares with you.

For someone perusing this website and then landing on HVAC Mechanics and Installers, they’ll notice that it’s a viable and moderate selection for those in this line of work, with a median salary of $25 per hour. They can also discern 112 job openings, with 868 people currently employed. Top skills are marked, and this information only pertains to northern Nevada! If you’d like to evaluate these numbers on a national scale, click on the button at the base. “Careers in months, not years” is the rallying cry of this undertaking, and it aims to achieve it for those attending TMCC. Affordable, accessible, and purposeful higher education awaits you here, and through cutting-edge and practical developments, we’re evolving what it means to support traditional and nontraditional students.

The buzz surrounding this unique accessory is the brainchild of many considerate and dependable faculty and staff, and Amber Burroughs, Associate Director of Workforce Development, and Cassinelli, in particular, discussed their vision for student success and the advantages of traversing the vocational landscape with ease.

“Career exploration is not what it used to be, and in today’s dynamic world, students need to align their educational pathways with realistic prospects, ensuring not only a fulfilling academic journey but also a successful integration into a workforce that values their skills and expertise,” said Cassinelli.

The team behind the Career Coach wanted to create an avenue of learning that moves as fast as you, time being the precious constant in our existence that fluctuates at an unparalleled level as we age. There’s no time like now, and many motivated persons are eager to get their professions underway.

“The Career Coach tool is an excellent student-facing and academic exploration platform that allows them to imagine their career possibilities, and it provides those undecided with a starting point to major declaration,” said Burroughs.

There was an urgency for real-time, consistently updated labor market data for current and prospective students, the inspiration behind the widgets' inception. TMCC faculty and staff have also begun analyzing the data for structuring grant projects and reports. The pathways are laid bare for introspective parties, a genuine source of factual and knowledge-based searching that allows them to make informed decisions.

“Students in CTE fields are typically very passionate about what they are studying, and they are hard workers, both physically and mentally. They stay motivated by knowing that there are always more skills to acquire and opportunities available to them the more they learn,” said Burroughs.

The average college undergraduate expects a more intuitive, fluid model of instruction. The right combination of modernizing our Internet presence with recommendations for professional advancement and a short questionnaire to uncover their latent potential has permitted TMCC to enroll and safeguard graduates by instituting a sense of foundational security.

“Internally, we hope our colleagues will turn to these resources when supporting students with academic and career exploration, including utilizing them when seeking out updated labor market information to incorporate into their course curriculum or anything else. All TMCC community members can benefit from having this information at their fingertips,” said Cassinelli.

For more information, please visit the Career and Technical Education landing page and Career Coach website.