The Advocates: Better Holiday Dinners through Data

WRITTEN BY lclark 1 year ago

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Reconnecting with extended family members is one of the greatest joys of the holiday season. But let’s be honest, not all of our family members are the best conversationalists.

At some point, polite dinner discussion will hit a lag. That’s when tactful Uncle Ed will ask Cousin Mark if he’s found a job with his liberal arts degree and Aunt Ruth will cut in and ask Sarah if she’s still working part-time. You know how it goes from there.

When holiday dinner-table talk inevitably shifts to careers, imagine if someone could cut through the chatter and confidently share the region’s job-creating industries and highest demand skills. That master of data could be you.

There are a couple of really powerful resources at your fingertips.

One is the Talent Demand Study, updated by the Charleston Metro Chamber and Charleston Regional Development Alliance in 2016. It details the job forecast for the tri-county region’s fastest growing sectors and outlines the projected openings in specific fields. Key findings are compiled in a handy one-page document you can print from your desktop. For the person who craves details, there is also a 38-slide report linked online.

It probably won’t make you the life of the family gathering, but jumping in with a stat about 20% projected growth in software jobs or sharing the region’s need for 144 more accountants than we graduate each year may help diffuse a tense moment.

Another is Career Headlight, a website that uses an award-winning software platform to provide better career information to students and adult workers about the skills needed to succeed in our region. Career Headlight provides users with:

  • Up-to-date county-level job demand and education data
  • Careers filtered by level of education required, career field, salary potential, growth prospects and more
  • A list of educational institutions with their certificate and degree programs matched to each career
  • A two-minute survey that lets users pick their top skills and see a list of matching careers

Perhaps you can tell Cousin Mark and Sarah about this great tool BEFORE dinner so they can be prepared to answer the inevitable awkward questions with their solid career plans (backed by data).

This is our last Advocates for 2017. We’ll be back on January 5. In the meantime, have a happy and safe holiday.

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