Formal education and skills requirements vary widely from job to job, but in every industry, they are keys to success. In coming years, more and more jobs will require higher levels of educational attainment.

If you lack the education credentials or skills training to get the job you want, plenty of help is available.

High school equivalency. Most jobs require a high school diploma or equivalency. It’s the gateway certificate to further education credentials, increased opportunities, and higher pay. If you’re interested in obtaining a GED certificate or other high school equivalency certificate, contact your local Kentucky Skills U adult education center or check out KET’s online study system, FastForward.

Basic workplace skills. Language and math skills are used in some way in almost every job. Gain foundational knowledge in these areas through KET’s Workplace Essential Skills Online, a study system with courses tailored to a variety of specific industries. There’s also a course on what employers call “soft skills”–skills like time management and the ability to work in teams–that are desired in all industries.

Job search. Searching for a new job? Learn effective strategies for finding job opportunities, going through the application process, and interviewing with this Job Search lesson from KET’s Workplace Essential Skills series. This self-paced, interactive lesson includes advice from professionals who hire people like you and strategies for success, plus an editable cover letter and resume.

Kentucky Essential Skills Certificate: Soft skills like communication and problem-solving are in demand, but how can you show an employer you’ve got those skills? And if you want to beef up those skills, where can you go? Good news! There is a credential you can earn showing that you have the soft skills employers seek—and there is no cost to you.

The Kentucky Essential Skills Certificate means you’ve demonstrated readiness in four areas: communicating effectively, conveying professionalism, promoting teamwork and collaboration, and thinking critically and solving problems.

You can take the Essential Skills course and assessment at your local adult education center or your local Kentucky Career Center. Also offered is the Kentucky Career Readiness Certificate, which indicates readiness for work based on skills in applied math, locating information, and reading for information.

For more information on the Kentucky Essential Skills Certificate or the Kentucky Career Readiness Certificate,  contact your local adult education center at or your local Kentucky Career Center .

Work training at KCTCS. The Kentucky Community and Technical College System has partnerships with local industry and can help you get started on a career pathway. Check out some of the options at KCTCS Go2Work.

Apprenticeships. Many employers will hire you as an apprentice. From there you’ll learn the skills needed to advance. It’s a winning situation for all involved: According to a 2015 U.S. Department of Labor report, 87 percent of apprentices are employed after completing their programs, with an average salary above $50,000 a year. An overview of apprenticeship options can be found in our video below. Also, check out Ky FAME, a partnership of regional manufacturers whose purpose is to implement career pathway, apprenticeship-style educational programs that will create a pipeline of highly skilled workers. Similar programs exist for high school students to begin in pre-apprenticeships through the TRACK program.

Assess your skills. The Kentucky Career Center can help you assess your job skills and direct you to training options. They also have services tailored specifically for veterans and people with disabilities. Contact your local Kentucky Career Center to get started.