Forward Thinking: Focus on Occupations related to Education, Reading, and Writing


Welcome back to the 2017-2018 academic year. It is a great time to acknowledge all who contribute to our academic experiences, especially those who support our reading and writing.  From teachers to librarians to principals, educators support our academic, social, cultural, and emotional development.  In addition, September has several events nationally highlighted that include occupations where people use reading and writing related skills. September is Library Card Sign-Up Month, Be Kind to Editors and Writers Month, and Update Your Resume Month.  In the spirit of thanking educators and those who write, CareerLocker focuses on jobs that require high level technical skills in reading and writing.  Further, the people who teach us how to partake in these endeavors are emphasized.

  • Librarians—Librarians work in schools or the community.  Librarians select and organize materials, such as books, videos and magazines, and make them available to the public. They help people use the catalog system, reference books, and computer terminals. They tell people how to locate materials in the library. They also answer questions for people who call the library.
  • Secondary school teachers–Secondary school teachers teach middle school or high school students. They teach specific subjects such as English, math, social studies, and science. Teachers usually teach five or six classes per day. They prepare lesson plans, conduct class discussions, give homework assignments, and tests. They also correct homework and grade tests. They monitor the progress of their students and discuss it with their students’ parents.
  • Technical Writers–Technical writers prepare reports, manuals, bulletins, and articles for a wide variety of applications. They must write about complex matters in simple, easy-to-understand language. They study technical subjects until they understand the concepts involved. They then use their communications skills to write about these subjects.
  • Writers–Literary writers create stories, plays, poems, and novels. Writers must be certain that their works are well written and easy to understand. Writers read their finished pieces several times to check spelling, grammar, and punctuation.

To focus on and read about these exciting occupations, go to

Keep it MOOOVING Forward: June is National Dairy Month


Originating in 1937 as National Milk Month, June has evolved into National Dairy Month (International Dairy Foods Association). Dairy is an excellent source of vitamins and protein, providing nutrients to support growing bodies. It is a staple food eaten in a variety of ways across the world–including cheese. Cheese is among Wisconsin’s largest export. Recently, a Wisconsin cheese won the World Championship Cheese Contest, making this the first time a United States cheese earned this honor since 1988 (Wisconsin State Journal, March 10, 2016). For Dairy Month, CareerLocker highlights occupations that are crucial to the success of agriculture and dairy industries. Not only is producing dairy products an important endeavor, but also caring for the health of animals in the dairy industry is central to the success of Wisconsin farmers. Dairy, agriculture, and transportation professionals produce and move foods and commodities, while veterinary technicians care for the animals that produce milk. These occupations are part of the processes that allow for delicious contributions to the world. Transporting agricultural and dairy products keeps us MOOOOOVING in more than one way.

  • Cheesemakers–Cheesemakers direct the preparation, curing, packaging, and storage of cheeses. They direct the heating of the milk and check butter fat levels adjusting them as necessary. They add enzymes such as rennin that curdles the milk to create the desired texture, and/or enzymes and molds to produce the distinct flavor of each type of cheese.They make log entries recording the steps and time frames involved in producing each batch of cheese. When a dairy product of high quality has been created, they supervise the storage, packaging, and shipment of those products. See our posting on Facebook of a video about LaClare farms and learn about Katie Fuhrann, a Wisconsin cheesemaker.
  • Heavy Truck Drivers/Diesel Technicians—For the month of March, Careers Forward highlighted heavy truck drivers, as a high-skill and high-demand occupation. This month, CareerLocker emphasizes this occupation’s importance to dairy and agriculture industries. Just like transportation helps move people around, drivers and mechanics also help in the process of moving food and agricultural products.  Heavy truck drivers transport and deliver goods, such as dairy, corn, soy, and wheat, over short and long distances.  Without the assistance of diesel technicians, heavy truck drivers would not be able to do their jobs.  Diesel technicians repair and maintain diesel engines, which power machinery used in farming, construction, and transportation. Without the transportation of food, agricultural professionals would not be able to get their products to consumers.
  • Veterinary Technicians—Caring for the treatment of animals is central to dairy and animal husbandry industries. Veterinary technicians assist veterinarians as they examine and treat animals. They often administer anesthetics to animals and assist veterinarians as they perform surgical procedures. They lift and handle animals and give them medication as prescribed by the veterinarian. They note the condition and behavior of animals and report these observations to the veterinarian. They may do laboratory tests to identify diseases or parasites.  Some specialize in caring for small animals and work in veterinary clinics that care for dogs and/or cats. Others assist veterinarians who care for large animals such as cattle or endangered species housed in zoos.   This is a Hot Occupation. Over the next 10 years, job openings in this occupation are projected to increase by at least 20%.

    Co-written by Asma Easa and Julie M. Hau.
    Asma EasaAsma Easa works at the Midwest Transportation Workforce Center at University of Wisconsin-Madison, one of five regional transportation workforce centers in the country. She has dual masters in International Public Affairs, and Urban and Regional Planning. Her focus areas include education policy and development.

CEW Launches New Web Site

The Center on Education and Work has launched a new web site that’s packed with information about career preparation and facilitation.cew

CEW staff pursue a research and service mission that advances knowledge and practice about career and academic planning, workforce development and STEM learning.

Upcoming events include Career Development Facilitator Training and the 17th Annual Summer Institute. Career Development Facilitators  are trained to incorporate career development information and skills in their work with students, adults, clients, employees or the public.

CEW’s 17th Annual Summer Institute, “Enhancing Career Development Competencies,” offers two themed days in mid-July focusing on the field of career preparation.

CEW’s CareerLocker and websites foster career decision-making and planning by providing users with links to occupational information including salary and job outlook, assessments that help identify possible career matches and job-seeking tools. CareerLocker serves K-12 students and professionals, UW-Madison students and staff, and those who seek employment; serves students in Singapore.

Moving Forward: Transportation Jobs are On the Move

FocusonOccs04TransportDo you like trucks, trains, planes, and boats? How about reading and creating maps? Do you dream about sailing on the open water, would you prefer flying the clear, blue skies, or would you rather keep your feet on the ground? If jobs that provide time outdoors are part of your passion, consider transportation occupations that involve moving commodities, people and goods cross-country by land, sea, and air. Beyond moving people and things, you could also build and maintain modes of transportation. This month CareerLocker celebrates National Transportation Week, a time to acknowledge all who keep the country moving forward. The third week in May is National Transportation Week.

  • Aircraft Engine Mechanics– Aircraft engine mechanics service and repair aircraft engines and systems. They inspect, test, and adjust jet and propeller driven engines. They also repair and replace engine parts. They record all work done in logs which are reviewed periodically for compliance with Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations. These mechanics use hand tools, power tools, electronic diagnostic equipment, and precision measuring instruments such as calipers and micrometers. They also fly on test flights to make in-flight adjustments to controls. Over the next 10 years, Aircraft Engine Mechanics openings are projected to grow by over 20%, making it a Hot Job.
  • Ship Mates- Ship mates, which includes Great Lakes ship officers, supervise crews on merchant ships that sail the lakes, oceans, and connecting waterways. Deck officers, called mates, supervise sailors who clean the ship’s deck, hull, and bridge. They inspect gear and equipment and order repairs as needed. These officers also supervise cargo loading and unloading. They ensure that the load has been strategically distributed on the cargo deck for maximum stability and is secured to prevent shifting in inclement weather conditions. Mates stand watch and use various instruments to determine the geographical position of the ship. All officers record their orders, activities, and other information in the ship’s log while on duty. Watch this PBS special for a day-in-the-life working on a Wisconsin boat.
  • Cartographers (Mappers)– Cartographers prepare both digital and printed maps by researching and analyzing existing maps and charts of the specific area to be mapped. They may determine that a field survey needs to be conducted or that additional aerial or satellite photographs be taken. They interpret and utilize the information on photographs using precision 3-dimensional tools called stereoplotting apparatus and 3-dimensional computer software programs and laser plotters to create new maps instead of drawing them by hand. They may also use remote sensing techniques such as Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to meet the accuracy specifications for the new map. They enter all the information gained from the surveys, aerial photographs, and remote sensing methods into a digital computer database. Cartography is also a Hot Job.

Each of these occupations requires a high level of competence, attention to detail, safety and application of technical skills.  Whether you choose to spend your time in the air, water or on land, transportation occupations keep the world moving forward. To learn about these highlighted occupations and watch videos go to the CareerLocker homepage.

Co-written by Asma Easa and Julie M. Hau.

Asma EasaAsma Easa works at the Midwest Transportation Workforce Center at University of Wisconsin-Madison, one of five regional transportation workforce centers in the country. She is pursuing dual masters in International Public Affairs, and Urban and Regional Planning. Her focus areas include education policy and development.


CareerLocker Assessments: Reliable and Validated

Part 1 of a 2 Part Series
by Dr. David Caulum, Emeritus Dr. Julie M. Hau
University of Wisconsin-Madison

State of the Art

To the best of our knowledge, CareerLocker has the longest tested and validated assessments included in a career information system in the state of Wisconsin. These assessments are essential to implementing Academic and Career Planning (ACP) programs. The four validated assessments offered through CareerLocker are the Personal Globe Inventory, Learning Styles Inventory, Work Skills Inventory, and Work Values Inventory. Through rigorous research and test development methodologies, these inventories have demonstrated high reliability and validity.


In order to validate an assessment, one must determine if it measures consistently. That is, is it reliable? Reliability refers to the consistency of scores obtained from an assessment. For instance, when measuring the same piece of string with a ruler, one wants to be sure that the same results are achieved time after time. CareerLocker assessments work in a similar way. In highly reliable assessments, like those in CareerLocker, users receive consistent results each time. Since an assessment is usually given only once to a user, it must be as accurate as possible. When an assessment is reliable, it is more likely to be a true reflection of the user. In the case of CareerLocker, assessments reflect the user’s interests, learning styles, skills, and values.


The second indicator of a good assessment is whether or not it actually measures the quality or attribute that it purports to measure. Simply put, the assessment measures what it says it measures. Returning to the example of a ruler, an inch measures an inch, not a centimeter or a foot. Validity also refers to the appropriateness, meaningfulness, and usefulness of the inferences made from assessment scores. An inference is an educated guess based upon previous information and statistics. Validity is a scientific way of verifying that the use of the results of a psychological assessment is conceptually sound. Thus, validity is arguably the primary means of evaluating the quality or soundness of a psychological assessment. CareerLocker assessments have high quality.

Having reliable and validated instruments is among the many strengths of CareerLocker. These assessments provide the foundation for additional career exploration of occupations, career pathways and education. The website also supports job seeking processes, including aspects such as the resume and job interviews. Coming soon are additional pages on networking and financial aid.


For More Information


Numerous research reports are available describing the processes used to develop and validate each scale. Usage data is also continuously monitored to evaluate and improve each inventory or assessment. CareerLocker has an extensive library of published and unpublished studies supporting the reliability and validation of its assessments. To obtain a list of publications or ask specific questions, please email Dr. David Caulum,

David Caulum, PhD has worked at the Center on Education and Work as a Marketing Manager, Interim Director, Director, and, currently, Emeritus Consultant and Researcher. He now focuses his attention on CareerLocker Assessments and issues of content reliability and soundness.


Go Green: Environmentally-Friendly Jobs are on the Move


Do you enjoy being in nature or being a good steward of the environment?  Have you thought about efficient ways to get people and things around? To sustain and conserve the earth’s resources, today more focus is given to Green Jobs than ever before. April 22nd is Earth Day. CareerLocker celebrates Earth Day by exploring occupations that protect our environment. Many employers are pursuing ways to maximize utility in an efficient and safe way for not only people, but also for the world.

In addition, there are domestic and international movements toward public transportation and green and sustainable methods of transportation. The way we heat and cool our homes and businesses is changing through the expansion of using solar energy. Discover four occupations that involve conservation.

  • Bus Drivers— How do you get to where you want to go? Public transportation is among the most efficient ways of moving people. Bus drivers contribute to the ways the masses move. There are three types of bus drivers: local, intercity or charter, and school. They follow predetermined routes and time schedules to transport people within a city, from one city to another, or across the country. They inspect their buses before beginning each trip. They check brake lights and signals; tire pressure; and fuel, oil, and water levels, also adjusting bus temperatures for the comfort of their passengers. Travel your way through this exciting occupation by getting on the information highway and learning more about this fun occupation.
  •  Logisticians– Logisticians coordinate the manufacturing and delivering of products and services to ensure compliance with their customers’ purchase contracts. Considering manufacturing materials and processes, personnel, and the delivery of the products, logisticians must demonstrate the ability to pay high attention to detail. Typically logisticians have four-year degrees. Right out of college, they can earn around $45,000 per year, and with increasing experience earnings can reach as high as $114,000 per year. Logisticians have a projected 28% growth rate over the next ten years, making it a “hot” job.
  • Railroad Conductors and Yardmasters—Did you watch Thomas the Train as a child? Do you like to travel and aspire to see the country? Railroad conductors and yardmasters are in charge of train and yard crews. They assure that passengers and freight get to their destinations safely and on schedule. They frequently interact with passengers, engineers, and staff. Enjoying high salaries and good benefits, they take pride in delivering people and products safely and on schedule. Be like Thomas, make friends, and pursue a career in the railroad industry.
  • Solar Panel Installers— Do you like the outdoors? How do you stay warm in the winter and cool in the summer? What green energy workers are helping the energy grid that powers the computer you are working on to read this? Solar panel installers place solar panels in sunny places to utilize the sun’s power as an energy source. They install solar modules on the ground, on poles, on roofs, and on the sides of buildings. The solar modules are made from solar cells, which convert sunlight into electricity. Once a solar module is installed, it can create energy for 25 years.

Whether you choose to help move things, move people, or heat and cool our homes, each of these occupations, bus drivers, logisticians, railroad conductors and yardmasters, and solar panel installers are needed to conserve the environment. While meeting the needs of people, green jobs focus on long-term sustainability. Green energy is the heat wave of the future! Each of these occupations requires a high level of competence, attention-to-detail and safety, and application of technical skills. To view these highlighted occupations and watch videos, go to the CareerLocker homepage.

“Hot” jobs are jobs projected to increase nationally in job openings by at least 20% over the next 10 years.



Co-written by Asma Easa and Julie M. Hau.

Asma Easa
Asma Easa works at the Midwest Transportation Workforce Center at University of Wisconsin-Madison, one of five regional transportation workforce centers in the country. She is pursuing dual masters in International Public Affairs, and Urban and Regional Planning. Her focus areas include education policy and development.

CareerLocker: A Slam Dunk to help you Select a College or University

The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) annually oversees March Madness Division I men’s and women’s basketball championships. The students, who participate in these tournaments, reflect excellence both on the court and in the classroom. CareerLocker is a valuable resource to teach you about the 132 colleges and universities represented by these college student athletes.

Pick your Teams

Every year NCAA releases a list of brackets for the tournament. UW-Madison professor of industrial and systems engineering, Laura Albert McLay, uses data analytic techniques to try to accurately predict NCAA winners. In an article about Dr. McLay’s work in On Wisconsin, a UW-Madison alumni magazine, she explains how she implements these techniques to more effectively predict the tournament winning schools.

Selecting your Winning School

The extensive CareerLocker website lists over 6,000 college and universities. Create your own brackets of contenders of schools you are considering attending. CareerLocker is a resource to help expand you options or narrow your choices to make college attendance decisions. The website lists general, academic, application and admissions, athletics, expenses, majors and degrees, and student life information. You can also conduct side-by-side comparisons of schools you are considering.

Go to the CareerLocker homepage and read Focus on Education to learn more about the various colleges in the NCAA tournament. Wherever you decide to attend school, CareerLocker is a slam dunk, supporting you through your decision-making process!