CareerLocker: Helping Adults & Children With Career-Planning and Learning During COVID-19

April 10, 2020   |   By Lynn Armitage, WCER Communications

As the world is sheltering safely at home from COVID-19, everyone has more time to look ahead and think about their future―including children, who can explore the age-old question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Parents now can help their kids answer that and other questions right from home, and get career help themselves, by using CareerLocker—a self-paced, online career-information resource made available by the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Education.

This career-planning system offers customized content for elementary, middle, high school and college students, as well as adults. The university is offering free access to CareerLocker through Sept. 30 to support learning at home while schools and many work facilities are closed due to the pandemic. (See instructions below on how to access CareerLocker for free.)

“CareerLocker helps users go through the career development process of ‘Who am I? Where am I going? And how do I get there?’’ says Ann Fillback Watt, a program director at the Wisconsin Center for Education Research, which developed the resource for use in homes and schools. She believes the current quarantine period offers the perfect opportunity for families to access CareerLocker’s detailed information on more than 800 occupations, as well as a myriad of career-planning tools.

The tools include self-directed assessments on career interests, skills and values; job interview, resume and ePortfolio building tools; and links to job openings.

“We also offer information on more than 6,000 colleges and universities nationwide, including community and technical colleges. So, students thinking about their future education can research their options. Or for anyone who has lost a job due to COVID-19, CareerLocker can help plan their next career move,” explains Fillback Watt.

CareerLocker is especially helpful right now since spring is when many families tour colleges and universities to decide where their high schoolers will study in the future. Although campus tours are shut down all over the country due to the pandemic, parents can find a wealth of information on post-secondary institutions on CareerLocker.

“Think of all the money saved on travel costs,” says CareerLocker’s director, highlighting an upside to sheltering at home. “Of course, nothing replaces talking to people in person or visiting a college to see what it’s all about. But with COVID-19 preventing face-to-face time, making those connections virtually through CareerLocker is the next best thing.”

To create your CareerLocker account, available at no cost through Sept. 30, follow these steps:

Go to careerlocker.wisc.edu
Click on “Create a New Account”
Type in the COVID-19 registration code: clfaww-c229
Create your username and password