Skills Identification & Development


Interested in starting a new career — or maybe starting a career for the first time? It’s never too late! One of the most famous classical composers of all time, Alexander Borodin (pictured right), was actually a chemist who only wrote music in his spare time. You never know what latent ability could become your biggest asset!

Self Evaluation

In order to thrive, you need to find a job that matches you abilities. Each person has different skills. A self-test will help you find a career which is tailored just for you.

There are many skills assessments on the internet, but these skill assessments are a good place to start:

Career Evaluation

Find a Career to Match Your Skills

So now that you know your skills and what you want, let’s figure out a career that could be a good match for that.

  • My Next Move helps you find which job best matches your skills, and offers detailed breakdowns of each job so you know what you’re in for.
  • Learn How to Become provides detailed insight into 45 of today’s most popular career fields, including accounting, engineering, medical assisting, nursing, firefighting, financial advising and teaching
  • Get Into Energy-Minnesota provides information on energy careers and training opportunities in Minnesota.

Find a Career to Match Your Region

Not all regions created equal. Study your region  to find the best career for where you are. Flexible? Search nationwide!

South Dakota
  • Iowa’s highest paying jobs Select the educational level you wish to have, then on the next page under “Your Selections” click
    Select a State.”
  • Iowa’s highest growth jobs. Select the educational level you wish to have, then on the next page under “Your Selections” click
    Select a State.”



Found a career, but need some training? We are here to help.


Fluency in English, computer skills, and a high school diploma/GED will be required for nearly all employment.

  • Computer Skills: Basic computer competency is becoming expected for more and more positions. For step by step tutorials for all aspects of computers, try using the GCF Learn Free (tambien en Español) videos and tutorials. To make sure you have enough skills for the workplace, test yourself using Minnesota’s Northstar Digital Literacy Assessment. Also, see Adult ABE below.
  • Southwest Adult Basic Education (ABE) offers free basic education classes including Workforce Education Services, Career and College Preparation, GED Preparation, Computer Training, U.S. Citizenship, English as a Second Language (ESL), etc. Contact one of the four regional ABE centers in Granite FallsJacksonMarshall, and Worthington.
  • Used Computers: PC’s 4 People is a business where $0-49 can get you a 8-10 year old desktop computer, and $50 can get you 3-7 year old computer. Nearest locations are Willmar and St. Cloud. For laptops, contact them directly for more info. NewEgg is a well-established site for buying refurbished, high-quality desktop computers as well as brand new laptops, iPads, and a host of other top-end electronics. We highly recommend getting a professional recommendation for an anti-virus before using your computer. Many free anti-viruses are available online.

ABE/GED/ESL Class Schedules

Below are Schedules for Adult Basic Education (ABE), General Educational Development (GED), and English as a Second Language (ESL) classes throughout the southwest Minnesota region.

Click here to find out what communities are served by each GED Region.

Websites to access Distance Learning programs through Adult Basic Education.

Post-Secondary Options

  • Visit our “Special Opportunities” pages under the Resources tab to connect with at least partly grant-funded training for growing regional occupations.
  • The Minnesota State Colleges & Universities site can you help you find a Minnesota school based on a number of factors, including tuition amount.
  • iSeek’s college finder can find help you find the perfect school (if searching for a WIA-approved schools, search can be refined).
  • Online Courses is a free and comprehensive resource that is a collection of open college course that spans videos, audio lectures, and notes, including professors at Harvard, Princeton and MIT.
  • The College Database provides information to ease the decision making process for post-secondary education for high school students, college students and adult learners. Prospective students can find tuition, enrollment, university type, location based information with integrated Google Maps for usability, and various rankings information to see how the schools they are considering compare against others.
  • Sustainability Degrees is a website focused on education and careers in sustainability. It includes a salary calculator that factors in position and location; a comprehensive list of colleges that offer programs in sustainability-related fields; a college student action guide; and much more.
  • Environmental Science Degrees & Careers is a search engine designed for students who are interested in learning more about Environmental Science programs around the country.
  • Environmental Science is guide to starting your career as an Environmental Scientist. It includes information on salaries, work environments, college programs, and job possibilities.
  • How to Become provides detailed information on more than 500 popular careers. It includes an expert advice section with interviews of successful professionals in their fields.
  • Public Administration Careers provides information on a variety of careers in public policy and public administration.
  • Affordable Colleges Online provides free higher education tools and information for current and future college students and their families. While online learning has been dominated by for-profit institutions in the past, more and more traditional colleges now offer degree programs online to meet the needs of a more diverse student population. This resource focuses more heavily on the not-for-profit programs, and emphasizes the importance of accredited programs to ensure transferability of credits and financial aid eligibility.
  • Guidebook for Parents of the College-Bound helps prepare parents and their children for the high-school-to-college transition by taking an in depth look at timelines, financial aid, and common pitfalls to avoid.

Contact your nearest WorkForce Center for potential financial assistance.

Internship Opportunities

An internship is where you work for a company while doing on-the-job training. This is most common in fields like technology, machining, and health care. Oftentimes, you are are paid for your work — so you are paid to learn — and you have a job with the company at the end. What’s not to like?

Keep in mind that, while every company listed on the site below technically “offers internships,” that does not necessarily mean it has an internship available. Call to ascertain if there are openings.

General Info


South Dakota
  • Job Corps is the nation’s largest career technical training and education program for young people. It offers GED and hands-on career training in more than 100 technical areas.

Personal Development

Jobs are competitive, and you need to work hard to stand out from other equally qualified candidates.

  • Learn the art of a resume/cover letter/interview. We offer job skills workshops either online or in person. See our calendar for the next workshop date.
  • The National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC) is a new test that certifies your ability to be a strong addition to the workplace. It is administered by the same company that created the nationally recognized ACT (college admissions test) test, which helps it carry weight with employers. Talk to a representative at your nearest Workforce Center to see if this could be helpful for you.