Career exploration offered through blended online, live class


FARMINGTON — A class offered to help area residents explore career opportunities will be live and online to make it even easier for participants.

The Career Exploration and Planning class offered in March by Women, Work and Community in Farmington and Mexico includes two live and four online presentations using the University of Maine online program, said Janet Smith, regional manager of Women, Work and Community.

A new class starts March 19 and 20. The registration deadline is Friday, March 2, to provide time to set up online accounts, she said.

During the sessions, participants explore occupations according to their own values, interests and skills. The class provides tools to help match those with occupations and careers that might be a good fit, she said.

Using online career research, participants seek information on the amount of training needed, what it pays and the outlook for the occupation, whether it’s a career in decline or demand.

Participants will look at their personal budget and what they need to earn now and what they need to meet their financial goals such as buying a home.

The class began last fall, and, with the help of a grant, is offered free of charge to anyone, Smith said.

Some participants already started a college program but were unsure what they would do with it. Others have college degrees but want to make a change. Some are earning low wages and seek better opportunities.

The benefits of the online and live programming allows for flexibility in people’s already busy schedules, she said. The online portion can be done any day at any time. For those without home computers, the program can be accessed from friends’ computers or at the library.

With gas prices going up, the format requires less travel. A class will be held in both Farmington and Mexico, she said.

Using the University of Maine online system also helps prepare those wishing to take online college courses. Even though she has two children away at college now, they are taking some online classes because they are available and fit into their schedules, she said.

Smith said she was impressed with the amount of research and planning participants in the previous class did online. They seemed to spend more time perhaps because of the ease of maneuvering around the Internet, she said.

For more information or to register to take the Career Exploration and Planning class, call Smith at 778-2757 by Friday.

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