Education and Training

The career that interests you may require more education or training than you currently have. It is also likely that once you begin your career, you will want to learn new skills. New skills may be necessary to allow you to advance in your career, accept new responsibilities, and earn more money.

A good place to start learning about opportunities is the Education and Training page of CareerOneStop.

Apprenticeships, Internships, Volunteering, Mentors, and Job Shadowing

As mentioned in the Explore Your Options section of this article, there are several excellent ways to learn about different jobs or industries when you are beginning a new career.

Apprenticeships

Apprenticeships offer a structured way to learn a skilled occupation, craft, or trade. During the apprenticeship, you gain skills through a combination of on-the-job training and classroom instruction. To find information on state-approved apprenticeship programs, click here.

CareerOneStop has information about apprentice programs on their Apprenticeship page.

Internships

Internships are short-term work experiences that allow you to gain practical skills and learn about an occupation in a real-world setting. Many schools and colleges have extensive programs to help you find an internship in the area you are learning about.

Some internship programs, such as the Workforce Recruitment Program from the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Disability Employment Policy, were specifically developed for students and recent graduates with disabilities.

Emerging Leaders is a program that offers summer internships and leadership development opportunities for college students with disabilities.

Entry Point is a program of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) that offers outstanding internship opportunities for students with disabilities in science, engineering, mathematics, computer science, and some fields of business.

Internship websites that are not specifically focused on opportunities for people who are disabled include InternJobs.com; USAJobs.gov, which offers information on federal government job opportunities; and InternshipPrograms.com.

Volunteering

Volunteering offers an opportunity to contribute to an organization while gaining new skills and experiences. It is an excellent way to gain an understanding of a wide range of careers, particularly in nonprofit and medical settings. Because volunteering allows you to show your skills and abilities, it can lead to employment opportunities. Volunteer Match is a website that can help you find opportunities for volunteering in your area.

There are also state and national volunteer programs that offer opportunities to gain experience. Visit AmeriCorps to learn more about these programs.

Working with a Mentor

Mentors are people who offer guidance to someone interested in pursuing a career similar to theirs. A mentor can help you understand what it takes to enter a field, offer support while you gain training and search for a position, and give you ongoing support and advice once you are working.

Job Shadowing

Job shadowing involves following someone while they work. This allows you to experience the day-to-day reality of working in a particular job or industry without having to commit to the job or invest in education and training.