Tuesday, December 6, 2011


While volunteering with our local schools, one of the most frequent questions was how much can I make.  I found that using the “Profile of Successful U.S. Firms in the Future” chart modified to show relative Dollars Symbols was helpful in orienting them to where they should be thinking about developing themselves for the future economy.  In our IEEE Education Outreach program we stressed the importance of the Creative Work Skills shown on the chart.  We also emphasized the various skill levels below the Creative Work Diamond.  See Entrepreneurial Productive Innovative Engine (PIE) frameworks for a proposed way to create new products, processes and services and therefore jobs.  The Skunk Works fits the Creative Work Diamond.
This blog examines the ACT Work Keys skills and associated wages from 2005 data.  A spreadsheet “2005 NC-CRC Occupations – Scores – Wages” sorted based on 2005 US Median Wage and associated Occupation Titles is provided. 
Note the AM, LI and RI scores have been totaled for the analysis and plotting of wages vs total score. 
The data from the spreadsheet is plotted on “US Median Wages (2005) vs Workkeys Score” see chart with graph below.  It also has the Work Keys (AM = Applied Math, LI = Locating Information and RI = Reading Information) scores associated with the Occupation Skill.  Note the lowest skills with wages of $20,000 are shown in yellow on the spreadsheet.  Wages of the highest skill levels range from $70,000 to $135,000. 
The scatter diagram gives an indication of the relative salaries for workkey score totals.  Note this was a quick and dirty way to show the correlation of skills to salaries, it is not a perfect approach but gives a feel and should give students an appreciation of the value of having a certified skill.  
The CRC is based on three WorkKeys™ assessments: Applied Mathematics, Locating Information, and Reading for Information.

The Career Readiness Certificate (CRC) is a portable skills credential that gives employers and career seekers a uniform, standard, objective measure of key workplace skills. It CERTIFIES that a person has workplace skills that are transferrable between industry sectors and across jobs within a sector.
 The WorkKeys™ website is excellent in showing how assessments of tasks and skills are identified to show the gap which must be trained.  
Other skills are identified at ACT Solutions.  The NC-CRC and National CRC have focused on the three essential skills as identified above.  In addition to the hard skills there are soft skills that are important.  My suggestion is to study the website for more details; it has nice demos and videos.    
Bureau of Labor Statistics has details statistics on salaries by occupations at BLS Wage Data by Area and Occupation.
Hopefully information will help to answer students question of “How much can I make?”

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