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Great Careers Conference Spotlights High Skill-High Wage jobs that do not Require a 4 Year Degree for High School Students

Great Careers Conference Spotlights High Skill-High Wage jobs that do not Require a 4 Year Degree for High School Students

Posted by Elizabeth Egan on 7 April, 2017

On March 31 over 175 students from Issaquah High, Liberty, Skyline, and Gibson Ek spent the day at Bellevue College at the fifth annual Great Careers Conference. The event, hosted by the Issaquah School District, the Issaquah Chamber of Commerce Education Committee, the Issaquah Schools Foundation, and Workforce Development, provides students an opportunity to explore high paying “living wage careers” that do not require a 4 year degree. 

The event opened with a welcome from the Issaquah Chamber of Commerce, followed by an opening speech from Superintendent Ron Thiele. Thiele detailed his own experience in construction, and how that provided not only a foundation for his eventual career path, but also how it developed general life skills that he has utilized both professionally and personally.

After the opening session, students dispersed for three different career sessions, which they signed up for during registration in February and March. Thanks to an enormous showing of volunteers, students had 34 different profession presentations to choose from, and most professions gave multiple presentations throughout the day to give as many students a chance as possible to hear about their particular career. Careers highlighted included culinary arts, sports and recreation workers, cosmetology, construction trades, dental hygienists, and more. For a full list of careers please see the end of the article.

To compliment the new careers that students had just explored, the group reconvened over their lunchtime for a soft skills “Boot Camp.” Topics covered included social media appropriateness in relation to the workplace, what employers are looking for in their employees, and how to carry yourself throughout the interview process. Local technical schools, such as Renton Technical College, Lake Washington Technical Institute, and Bellevue College, were also present to speak with students who were interested in pursuing career paths they offered training in. In addition, a raffle took place multiple times throughout the day. Students who won were treated to restaurant vouchers (including Zeek’s Pizza, McDonalds, and Chipotle), movie tickets, and Beats headphones and portable speakers, to name a few of the exciting prizes.

If you are interested in learning more about the Great Careers Conference and the Issaquah School District Career and Technical Education department, please visit the CTE and STEM website:

If you are interested in sharing your career with Issaquah School District students at the next conference, please contact Director of STEM and CTE Lesha Engels.

If you would like to sponsor Great Careers next school year, please contact Kathy McCorry with the Issaquah Chamber of Commerce.

Careers Featured:

  • Aerospace Engineering Technician
  • Architectural Drafters
  • Automotive Service Technicians and Mechanics
  • Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA)
  • Computer Support Specialist
  • Construction Trades
  • Cosmetology
  • Crime Scene Investigator
  • Culinary Arts
  • EMT
  • Entrepreneur
  • Environmental Engineering Technician
  • Fireman
  • Flight Attendant/Airline Services
  • Floral Designer
  • Hotel Management 
  • Interior Designer
  • Law Enforcement
  • Media Producer
  • Medical Lab and Records Technician
  • Military Careers
  • Nursing Careers
  • Nutrition Specialist
  • Occupational/Physical Therapy Assistant
  • Paralegal
  • Personal Trainer 
  • Preschool Teacher
  • Real Estate Agent
  • Restaurant Management
  • Sports and Recreation Worker
  • Ultrasound Technician
  • Veterinary Technician
  • Video Game Designer
  • Website Designer