Career Cruising Quad Cities helps businesses and students connect

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These users of the Career Cruising Quad Cities site were interested in learning about being zookeepers. Photo courtesy Career Cruising Quad Cities Facebook page.

Quad Cities area students appear most interested in jobs involving the arts, communications and health services, based on data collected by Career Cruising Quad Cities, a program run through Junior Achievement that connects students and educators with area employers.

The web-based program allows students to explore different careers in multiple areas that have been posted by area businesses and industries to see what those jobs entail, how much they might earn on that career path and how much education and training they need for those jobs.

Kirk Marske, director of Career Cruising Quad Cities, said more than 50 schools representing students in 6th to 12th grade participate. It is data derived from their searches and bookmarks that revealed the Top 25 jobs area students are interested in.

In order, they are:

  1. Video Game Developer
  2. Artist
  3. Actor
  4. Veterinarian
  5. Nurse
  6. Child and Youth Worker
  7. Doctor
  8. Psychologist
  9. Fashion Designer
  10. Singer
  11. Animator
  12. Athletic Trainer
  13. Elementary School Teacher
  14. Physical Therapist
  15. Lawyer
  16. Photographer
  17. Personal Trainer
  18. Pediatrician
  19. Coach
  20. Police Officer
  21. Musician
  22. Animal Trainer
  23. Early Childhood Educator
  24. Federal Agent
  25. Computer Animator

Marske acknowledged that despite more emphasis being placed on so-called STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) career development, few of the Top 25 fall into that category. He pointed out that the data is derived from kids ranging in age from 11 or so to 18, and that younger kids typically don’t gravitate toward STEM careers as much as their older colleagues.

“If we broke down the list by age or gender, I think you’d see kids in high school tend to be more serious about STEM careers compared to younger students,” Marske said.

Collecting this type of data is also helpful to area businesses of any size, Marske said.

“Our program is a connecting point between schools and employers,” he said. “It doesn’t just help students explore careers, it helps the business community develop their future workforce. They can sign up for the program to raise awareness about their job opportunities and work places at a time when students are making decisions about their futures.”

There is no cost to businesses to participate in Career Cruising Quad Cities. Registration and more information about the program is available here.