Work-based learning provides students with opportunities to study complex subject matter as well as vital workplace skills in a hands-on, "real life" environment. Students have opportunities to apply the knowledge and skills they have acquired in the classroom to tasks performed in the workplace or community.
- Benefits of Work-Based Learning for Students
- Types of Work-Based Learning
- Tracking Work-Based Learning
- Skills you need to Get Hired
- Application, expansion and refinement of classroom learning (both academic and technical) in the workplace or community
- Establishment of a clear connection between education and work
- Opportunities to evaluate career possibilities
- Development and practice of positive work related habits and attitudes including the ability to think critically, solve problems, work in teams, and resolve issues that relate to possible careers
- Assessment and understanding the expectations of the workplace
- Establishment of professional contacts
Moore Norman Technology Center has five defined types of work-based learning
A planned educational experience that reinforces and expands on concepts taught in class to increase knowledge and supplement course curriculum. This type of work-based learning is usually done as an entire class, together, as a group. Examples: industry tour, museum, car show, college visit, or career fair.
Teacher/instructor guided activities designed to assist students to meet their program of study/career major course outcomes and to safely apply new practice related knowledge and skills applicable to the student’s career major. These experiences may occur in a variety of affiliating agencies or clinical practice settings. This type of work-based learning usually requires a contract to be in place between MNTC and the health care facility. Students may also be required to purchase Professional Liability Insurance in order to participate.
Industry Work Experience – Students are given the opportunity to perform a set of skills in a particular industry, for a period of time determined by their area of study. MNTC and industry training sponsors work together to create a structured learning experience closely connected to the academic and technical content learning in the classroom. The following are all considered Industry Work Experience:
- On the Job Training (OJT)
- Cooperative Work Experience
- Technical Mentorships
A career awareness/exploration opportunity in which the student observes or “shadows” an industry employee(s) for a designated period of time gaining insight into the workplace, daily responsibilities, and other aspects of a particular occupation or profession. This activity will be coordinated by MNTC with industry partners to ensure a quality experience for the learner.
A method of teaching that enhances classroom instruction with meaningful community service. This form of learning develops character and citizenship skills, emphasizes critical thinking and personal reflection while encouraging a heightened sense of community, civic engagement, and personal responsibility. Service learning offers students immediate opportunities to apply classroom learning to support or enhance positive change in the community
My Work-Based Learning section on your career and college connection dashboard allows you to track your progress, and keep a complete history of your work-based learning opportunities.
Tracking your work-based learning can earn you a Bronze, Silver, or Gold badge to add to your career portfolio.
- Bronze Badge requires completion of 15-49 hours
- Silver Badge requires completion of 50-149 hours
- Gold Badge requires completion of 150 or more hours
Work-based Learning is not guaranteed to lead to full-time employment, but it likely will if you develop and use your soft skills.
What Are Soft Skills?
Soft skills are different from hard skills, which are directly relevant to the job to which you are applying. These are often more quantifiable, and easier to learn than soft skills. A hard skill for a carpenter, for example, might be the ability to operate a power saw or use framing squares.
Regardless of the job to which you're applying, you need at least some soft skills. In order to succeed at work, you must get along well with all the people with whom you interact, including managers, co-workers, clients, vendors, customers, and anyone else you communicate with while on the job. These are the types of skills all employers value.
Employers want employees who are able to interact effectively with others. These skills are also very hard to teach, so employers want to know that job candidates already have the soft skills to be successful.
How well do you communicate? Communication skills are important in almost every job. You will likely need to communicate with people on the job, whether they are clients, customers, colleagues, employers, or vendors. You will also need to be able to speak clearly and politely with people in person, by phone, and in writing.
You will also likely need to be a good listener. Employers want employees who can not only communicate their own ideas, but who also listen empathetically to others. Listening is a particularly important skill in customer service jobs. Examples:
- Nonverbal communication
- Public speaking
- Reading body language
- Verbal communication
- Visual communication
- Writing reports and proposals
- Writing skills
No matter what the job, employers want candidates who can analyze situations and make informed decisions. Whether you are working with data, teaching students, or fixing a home heating system, you need to be able to understand problems, think critically, and devise solutions. Skills related to critical thinking include creativity, flexibility, and curiosity.
Here are examples of skills similar to critical thinking:
- Artistic aptitude
- Critical observation
- Critical thinking
- Design aptitude
- Desire to learn
- Logical thinking
- Problem solving
- Thinking outside the box
- Tolerance of change and uncertainty
- Value education
- Willingness to learn
While not every job opening is a leadership role, most employers will want to know that you have the ability to make decisions when push comes to shove, and can manage situations and people. The ability to step up to the plate in a difficult situation and to help to resolve it is something employers look for in prospective employees
If you are interviewing for a job that has the potential for advancement, the employer will want to know that you have what it takes to become a leader.
Other skills related to leadership include the abilities to resolve problems and conflicts between people, and to make executive decisions. Examples:
- Conflict management
- Conflict resolution
- Deal making
- Decision making
- Dispute resolution
- Giving clear feedback
- Inspiring people
- Managing difficult conversations
- Managing remote/virtual teams
- Meeting management
- Project management
- Resolving issues
- Successful coaching
- Talent management
Employers are always seeking people who will bring a positive attitude to the office. They want employees who will be friendly to others, eager to work, and generally a pleasure to be around. Being able to keep things positive is especially important if you’re working in a fast-paced, high-stress work environment.
Here's some skills that come with having a positive attitude:
Hiring managers look for job candidates who can work well with others. Whether you will be doing a lot of team projects or simply attending a few departmental meetings, you need to be able to work effectively with the people around you. You need to be able to work with others even if you do not always see eye to eye.
Some skills related to teamwork include the ability to negotiate with others, and to recognize and appreciate diversity in a team. Another related skill is the ability to accept and apply feedback from others. Examples:
- Accepting feedback
- Customer service
- Dealing with difficult situations
- Dealing with office politics
- Disability awareness
- Diversity awareness
- Emotional intelligence
- Establishing interpersonal relationships
- Dealing with difficult personalities
- Intercultural competence
- Interpersonal skills
- Selling skills
- Social skills
- Team building
Employers look for job candidates with a strong work ethic. Such people come to work on time, complete tasks in a timely manner, stay focused, and stay organized. They are able to budget their time and complete their work thoroughly. While they can work independently, people with a strong work ethic can also follow instructions.
A strong work ethic is difficult to teach, so employers will be impressed if you can demonstrate it in your job application. Examples:
- Business ethics
- Following direction
- Meeting deadlines
- Proper business etiquette
- Staying on task
- Strategic planning
- Time management
- Working well under pressure