In her March 12th article, Community colleges launch Web site for career planning, Emily Dooley of the Time-Dispatch covers the Virginia Education Wizard, a site that Chmura Economics & Analytics developed for the Virginia Community College System. In addition, the Wizard utilizes Chmura's patented JobsEQ software.
College and career planning is now the bailiwick of a wizard.
Virginia's community-college system yesterday launched a Web site, the Virginia Education Wizard, to help guide high school students and others who are trying to decide on a career and where to go to college.
The Web site allows them to take a career assessment, look at which industries are hiring, the education or training needed to get into a particular field and the community college where the required programs are offered.
The wizard also allows students to apply for financial aid, calculate college tuition and apply for school.
Glenn DuBois, chancellor of the community-college system, conceived of the site when booking a trip online. He saw that hotels, packages, events and side trips could be booked online at one site and wondered why that wasn't possible when it came to higher education.
So he set people to work on what he calls a one-stop resource. The Web site took two years to develop and was funded by a $2.5 million federal grant.
"Everything is available with a simple keystroke, whenever and wherever users are in their journey," DuBois said.
The site lists the careers that have the most projected demand -- registered nurse is at the top -- over the next five years. Salary information and the demand in a region is also available.
The jobs data will be updated quarterly, said Christine Chmura, whose firm, Chmura Economics and Analytics, provided programming support and will update the job market data.
"This tool is cutting-edge and unique," said Gov. Timothy M. Kaine, who attended the launch at the Virginia State Police Academy headquarters in Midlothian. "It truly is an amazing resource for helping folks figure out how to navigate a path."
Kendall Brown, 17, of Midlothian, a junior at Greenbrier Academy in West Virginia, checked out the wizard. "It's hard to decide what I want to do," Brown said.
"It showed what I could go into and what I need," she said. "I have a lot of deciding to do."
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