West Bend students have careers at their fingertips

West Bend students have careers at their fingertips

Paula Orth

Imagine a career counseling system that's available instantly, at the touchof a few buttons. Everything you need to know about a career -- education,training, job prospects, lecture listings -- is all in one place.

This is CareerNet.

CareerNet is an on-line information program that uses local information about career planning and, with an Internet connection, can make national and international information available to anyone in the West Bend area.

The service was developed by the Wisconsin Job Service, the West Bend High School and the Moraine Park Technical Institute, for use by middle- and high-school students, and adults.

Joe Fuehrer '71, industrial education, CareerNet director and a school teacher for 24 years, "never imagined we'd ever have anything like this."

"The information we're making available to people could come from West Bend, or from the other side of the world."

He added, "This is unique, because CareerNet doesn't have a physical location that people go to. We have terminals in various places, and they access CareerNet through those. It's considerably less expensive, and the ongoing costs are minimal. And, we can operate on any server that has an Internet connection."

The system is accessible by computer modem, so anyone can access the information from school, work or home. "Anyone with access to the Internet's World Wide Web can utilize the CareerNet program." Fuehrer said. "We're located at http://job.careernet.org."

Before CareerNet, a student would go to an education aide, who would steer the student to various printed materials about careers. Gathering the information could take hours or days.

CareerNet makes the research process much faster, because it takes only a matter of minutes to research a specific career area.

Savings are realized because there is only one CareerNet office, where Fuehrer updates the information on a computer.

In the future, he said, CareerNet may become part of a video distance learning system. "We're looking at educating students from several schools at once," he explained. For example, instead of having teachers at three sites for three students, the program could offer comparable training, complete with teacher/student interaction, with one teacher videoconferencing with the other sites.

"The advent of the Information Superhighway makes projects like CareerNet available to everyone," Fuehrer said. "It's really amazing... and we're very proud of it."

Outlook Winter '96