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Career Spotlight: Welder

Not a big fan of sitting at desk 9-5? Then don’t! There are plenty of careers that require hands-on work. During this year’s Career Institute, students have the chance to learn about production, maintenance, and repair welding for construction and manufacturing careers. Students will learn safety, blueprints, welding processes and equipment settings in a specially equipped simulation trailer.
Welder at work

The active nature of the job isn’t the only reason why many individuals pursue a career in welding. Welders work in a wide variety of industries, however, 60% work in manufacturing. Projects could range from pipelines, motor sports, military machinery, to ship building and repair. There is even an opportunity to do underwater welding! The work that welders do and the equipment they use vary with the industry. Welding is a great chance for someone to combine their love of active, hands-on work with problem solving and innovation. After some training sessions and skill lessons, welding may be the perfect option for a recently graduated high school student. Welding can be a very rewarding career.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

One more social media app…

In the 1990s a typical morning routine for the average high schooler consisted of waking up, showering, getting dressed, eating breakfast and then catching the bus to school. Simple, right?

Today, that routine has generally stayed the same except for few extra steps… checking Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, Flickr, and probably more!

I think we can all admit that social media is here to stay. Research shows that high school students should now add one more app to their smart phones. LinkedIn.


When LinkedIn first launched, the platform was established so professionals in large corporations could network with each other. Since then, LinkedIn has expanded its perspective to cater all types of professionals (students included!).

Where to start:

  1. Creating a Profile: Go to www.linkedin.com to create a username and password.
  2. Building a Network: It is important to connect with already existing professionals when building your network and then branch off from there. As you are enrolling, LinkedIn will promote you to “connect” with other professionals you may know.
  3. Personalize your Account:
    • First, you will want to add a profile picture. Make sure this photo is of just yourself, a head shot preferably. Pick the most professional photo you have!
    • Add your current job and location. If you don’t have one, list your school and an industry you’re interested such as “High School Student at Wabasso High School and Aspiring Radio Broadcaster”
    • Add your work experience and education (even if you don’t have much)
    • Add your personal achievements. It’s okay to brag!
  4. Be Active: After your profile is built, start interacting with other professionals. Search and follow companies that interest you, as well as professionals in your area.

Technology and Trades on the Prairie believes it’s always better to start thinking about your future earlier than later! Creating and utilizing LinkedIn can lead to potential part-time jobs, internships, or summer employment in industries you’re interested in or would like to learn more about.

Another great benefit of being active on LinkedIn is enhancing your college applications. In the digital age, you are now able to create a professional online presence. You’ll most likely want your LinkedIn profile to show up before your Facebook or Twitter profile if a college admissions representative Googles your name.

LinkedIn can be a great tool for promoting your personal brand and discovering more about industries you’re considering to start a career in. Building connections and networking with professionals can open future doors after you finish school and potentially lead to job opportunities – which is the ultimate goal!

What does your future look like?

What do you want to be when you grow up? The question for all the ages. You were asked when you were in elementary school, and then again in middle school. However, when you’re asked in high school the answer becomes a lot more real.

Technology and Trades on the Prairie is here to help clear the path to adulthood. On July 18-20, the 2017 Career Institute, lets students experience a series of 16 hands-on simulation labs demonstrating the skills required for careers in agronomics, health care, communications, industrial technology and human resources. At the Harvest Land Cooperative in Morgan, MN, students in grades 9-12 can explore career options and ask questions directly to professionals in the field.

Students get the chance to:

  • operate a drone
  • respond to a medical emergency in a simulated ambulance bay
  • perform the daily tasks of a certified nursing assistant
  • create circuits and connect wires to fire up an engine
  • gather and analyze soil samples and fertilizer tissue
  • conduct job tasks for solar and wind installations
  • weld
  • use social media as a marketing tool

The simulation labs will be led by instructors from Central Lakes College, MN West Technical College, South Central Technical & Vocational College, MN Energy, Ridgewater College and KLGR Radio.

There is no cost for students to attend and lunch will be provided all three days. Students will also receive a t-shirt, notebook, pen and backpack. The Career Institute is limited to 60 students. To apply, an application can be downloaded at www.prairiecareers.com. Applications must be received by June 24th. Questions can be emailed to [email protected]. In order to achieve the full benefit from participation in the Career Institute, students are required to attend all three days.

Simulator used at the career institute

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