By Dr. Byron Clayton, vice president and chief of sector partnerships, CareerSource Tampa Bay
Early on, I started down a career path I thought I loved and, after spending years in college, I landed the job I sought. With immense pride and excitement, I started that coveted position, thinking I was headed toward remarkable success, just as I had planned. But the joy quickly dissipated as I realized I made a costly mistake. I had to start over.
Now, I’m grateful to work for an organization that helps young career seekers, and those who are looking for advanced opportunities, avoid this pitfall.
At CareerSource Tampa Bay, we have many resources to do this, including a newer one that allows you to research your future job at ease, from your home computer or mobile device. We recently launched the Career Pathways Portal, an online tool, allowing users to easily explore career options and pathways for high-demand positions in Hillsborough County. At Career Pathways – CareerSource Tampa Bay, users can navigate through career tracks learning all about the job, required education and training, salary ranges and more through videos and articles. People without their own device or internet can stop at one of our Career Centers, including our main resource center at 9215 North Florida Avenue, Tampa.
We have no doubt that having robust career exploration in this way, before committing to a college program, technical school or other specialized program, can save a lot of time and unnecessary debt. It’s a great resource to discover which way you want to go when you first enter the job market or are looking to advance your career.
When users log on to Career Pathways Portal, at cstbpathways.com, they will discover more than 200 occupations grouped by skillset and broken down into four sectors: business and finance, healthcare and health science, information technology and skilled trades. Here, career seekers will find information on entry-level to expert-level positions, the top job posting industries and companies in Hillsborough County, the job duties, required schools and even approved training programs. Users can generate a Career Advancement Plan to print out, listing their desired career opportunities, training selections and contact information to move forward.
For instance, if you select medical imaging, you will see the entry-level salary for a radiologic technologist or technician in Hillsborough County is about $48,000 annually, but the expert level is closer to $80,000. Click to the training and information track for that career and viewers will learn what skills and education are required, that about 152 jobs in this area are listed monthly and AdventHealth and HCA Healthcare are the top area employers. Users can also watch a video to learn what these technicians do daily.
There is truly so much information allowing people to be more prepared to make a better decision about their career path. It’s something I wish was available when I was starting out. I’m proud career seekers have it now.
Under the leadership of our CEO and President, John Flanagan, CareerSource Tampa Bay is regularly evaluating our community needs and creating innovative tools, like this one that we developed in partnership with the Hillsborough Board of County Commissioners.
John explained our goals best: “I am excited about this new tool that is easy to use and contains updated information on Pathways for in-demand careers in Hillsborough County,” he said. “I would like to see all students in the county be aware of this tool so they can start looking at careers that pay well, right here where they live.”
I couldn’t agree with John more. Our mission at CareerSource Tampa Bay is to connect employers with qualified, skilled talent and Hillsborough County residents with employment and career development. If students in Hillsborough County stay in the county where they were educated, it is a good indication that we are succeeding.
To learn more about CareerSource Tampa Bay, please visit: About Us – CareerSource Tampa Bay.
Dr. Byron Clayton is the Chief of Sector Partnerships for CareerSource Tampa Bay, the workforce development board for Hillsborough County, Florida. In this role, he focuses on leveraging best practices in workforce innovation to help Hillsborough County businesses, communities and residents navigate career pathways and talent pipeline challenges. Prior to joining CareerSource, Dr. Clayton served as the top executive for leading organizations in the nonprofit, quasi-public and private sectors, specializing in technology and workforce innovation.