- Career Planning
- Preparing in High School
- Career Search
- Applying for a Job
- Experiential Learning
- Work Permits
Madison has a vision for all students – that they will not only graduate, but graduate with the skills and abilities to be successful in college, career and community.
We want our students to master academic content, build creativity, confidence and cultural competence, gain a strong sense of self and interpersonal skills and have a growth mindset to help them continually build the skills and abilities to be successful. This vision for Madison’s graduates was developed with input from more than 2500 staff, students and community members.
This page is designed to help families and students navigate the world of work (career). You will find information on how to prepare for a career while still in high school, how to research careers to find the right fit for you, how to apply for a job and finally how to find youth employment.
You have many supports and resources right at your school! Your school counselor, Experiential Learning Coordinator, Academic and Career Planning Coordinator and of course your teachers and other staff members can help point you in the right direction when it comes to planning for your future. Start talking to them today!
Preparing in High School
It is never too early to start thinking about careers that interest you. High school is a great time to experiment and try new things. This site will help you discover more about yourself, like your skills and interests and how they can apply to a future career. You will discover opportunities for real-life experiences like internships and apprenticeships while you are still in high school.
There are thousands of options when it comes to finding the right career for you - it can be overwhelming. The good part is you don't have to make a decision right now, you have time to explore your options. On this page you'll discover more information about the variety of pathways that you may choose to follow like military, apprenticeships, the trades, service organizations (like AmeriCorps) and two and four year colleges.
Applying for a Job
Applying for a job can be tricky and intimidating if you have never done it before. This page will walk you through every step of the way. From acing your interview to creating a resume, this site has all the resources you need for nailing the job you want.
Are you looking to earn a little extra cash or maybe get a jump start on your future career. Check out this site to find opportunities you can take advantage of today!
Preparing in High School
It's never too early to start getting ready for your post high school journey but it can be hard to know where to start.
Below are resources you can use to get ready for your next step while still in high school.
- Graduation Requirements
- Selecting the Right Courses
- Industry Certifications
- Dual Credit
- Career and Technical Student Organizations
- Academic and Career Planning (ACP)
- Career Planning Conversation Starters
The first step to ensuring you are ready for college is graduating from high school! It is essential that you understand exactly what you need to do in order to graduate from high school on time. Check your transcript regularly and speak with your school counselor annually to ensure that you are on the right track! Xello can also help track graduation requirements, log on to see how many credits you have left to take!
How many credits do I need to earn a diploma from MMSD?
Typically, students need somewhere between 22 and 26 credits to earn an MMSD diploma: The exact number of credits needed depends on the type of schedule at your high school (i.e., 7-period, 4-block) and whether you only attend high school in MMSD or transfer into MMSD, sometime during your high school experience, from another school district.
Below you will find the number of credits you need for graduation.
9th-12th grade at East, West, Memorial or Shabazz (all have a 7-period day schedule).
LaFollette Students (due to recent changes in the LHS schedule)
11th grade (class of 2021) - 24 credits
10th grade (class of 2022) - 23 credits
9th grade (class of 2023) - 22 credits
9th - 12th grade having spent 2-3 years at La Follette and the remainder at East, West or Memorial
24-26 credits (see your counselor)
9th - 12th grade at Capital
Graduation by portfolio
12th grade at an MMSD high school but spent some time in 9th-12th grade at a school outside of MMSD
Credits needed vary (see your school counselor)
Selecting the Right Courses
What Specific Courses Do I Need to Earn my MMSD diploma?
Because of recent revisions to our graduation requirements (Summer 2016), the specific courses that you need to earn a diploma from MMSD varies depending on your grade level. Some variation may also exist for students receiving Special Education services based on their Individualized Education Plan. Please see the information below for more details.
Class of 2021 and beyond
English - 4 credits (Including successful completion of English 1 & 2)
Math - 3 credits (Including coursework in algebraic and geometric concepts)
- Science - 3 credits (Including coursework in biological and physical sciences)
- Social Studies - 3 credits (Including successful completion of US History and a semester of Modern US History)
- Additional Requirements - 1.5 credits PE, .5 credit Health, Civics Exam (65% or higher), 1 credit of Humanities (e.g., Art, Theater, Music, World Language, etc.), .5 credit Financial Literacy
How do I know if I am on track to graduate on time?
It is essential that you monitor your credits to ensure that you are on track to graduate on time. You can do this by viewing your unofficial transcript in Infinite Campus (under Reports). It is recommended that you audit your transcript after each semester to ensure that it is accurate. This Reviewing Your High School Transcript tip sheet will help you know what to look for. Your school counselor is an excellent resource for additional support.
Selecting the Right Courses
Your school counselor, your parents and your teachers are your best resource when it comes to selecting the right courses for you. Each student is traveling a different path so talk to those who know to help you make the best decisions. Below are a few things to keep in mind.
- Challenge yourself - don't take the easy way out (not even your senior year!) Consider taking Career and Technical Education Courses (CTE). These courses are available to EVERYONE!
- Explore - high school is a time to try new things. Check out that coding course, or that small engines class to help you discover your interests and talents.
- Develop your passion- are you passionate about engineering, health sciences or another topic? Consider taking multiple courses in this area throughout your high school career to build your knowledge.
- Meet requirements - make sure the courses you take meet the graduation requirements listed above.
MMSD offers opportunities for students to work toward and/or earn professional Industry Certifications through Career and Technical Education and other courses. These certifications provide evidence of learning and skill development as students transition to post-secondary education and future careers. Examples include: Wisconsin Employability Skills Certificate, Wisconsin Youth Leadership Certificate, NATEF (National Automotives Technicians Education Foundation), SP/2 (Safety and Pollution Prevention), ProStart (National Restaurant Association), Certified Nursing Assistant, ACCT (Assistant Child Care Teacher), Youth Apprenticeship Program.
There are several opportunities for students to earn college credit and high school credit (Dual Credit) at the same time while in MMSD. Some of those our outlined on our College Planning website. Below are opportunities for for our students interested gaining valuable hands on experience as they earn college credits.
Start College Now - Allows high school students the opportunity to take college courses at Wisconsin Technical Colleges. Students interested in taking courses in the fall semester must turn in the application to their high school counselor by March 1 of year year. For spring semester courses, students should submit the application to their school counselor by October 1.
Transcripted Credit Courses - Most of our high schools offer courses for transcripted credit (TC) to Madison College (these credits may transfer to other colleges). See your school's course guidebook or speak to your school counselor for a full listing of these classes. These courses are open to any student, no application is required.
Career and Technical Student Organizations
Career and Technical Student Organizations (CTSOs) support and enhance both school-based and work-based learning opportunities. CTSOs enable students to achieve both academic and occupational competencies, and to build the individual student's confidence and self-esteem. The Madison Metropolitan School District has active chapters in FBLA, DECA, FCCLA, HOSA, and SkillsUSA.
Academic and Career Planning (ACP)
Academic and Career Planning
Madison has a goal for all our students to graduate with the skills and abilities to be successful in college, career and community. This goal was developed with feedback from more than 2500 students, teachers and community members. You can see these skills above in what we call the MMSD Graduate Vision. Teachers support student development of Graduate Vision skills as part of the Academic and Career Planning process.
Through Academic & Career Planning students are beginning to answer these questions:
Career Planning Conversation Starters
The Career Conversations questions are based on ecosystems theory, counseling theory and an extensive review of counseling and career counseling literature. The questions can be used to work with individuals and groups of students, parents and community members.
- Career Conversation Starters (also available in Spanish)
- High School Career Conversations (also available in Spanish)
- Middle School Career Conversations (also available in Spanish)
- Elementary School Career Conversations (also available in Spanish)
- Postsecondary Academic Career Conversations
- Business and Industry-Partner Career Conversations
General Career Search
Don't know where to start? These resources will help you begin your career search:
Xello - The new Career Cruising. Xello is your one stop shop for your Academic and Career Planning needs. Log in through your school's home page. (Log in Instructions)
Health Science Pathway Career Search
Discover Health Administration - Learn more about Health Care Administration careers in Wisconsin
Information Technology Pathway Career Search
Computer Science Careers - Learn more about all careers in Computer Science (scholarships too)
Top 15 Hot Jobs in South Central Wisconsin
Information from WiscOnomy, DWD for projected jobs from 2018 - 2028
- Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers
- General and Operations Managers
- Maintenance and Repair Workers, General
- Sales Representatives, Wholesale and Manufacturing, Except Technical and Scientific Products
- Registered Nurses
- Accountants and Auditors
- Management Analysts
- Construction Laborers
- Market Research Analysts and Marketing Specialists
- Health Specialties Teachers, Postsecondary
- Computer Systems Analysts
- Computer User Support Specialists
- Human Resource Specialists
Finding Your Fit
How do you know if a particular college or career is right for you? The following resources can help you determine what you are looking for in a college and/or career.
Xello - Log in through your school's home page. (Log in Instructions)
Big Future - Open to anyone
University HQ - Open to anyone
Postsecondary Education (College)
67% of MMSD graduates enroll in a two or four year postsecondary institution or college. Our College Planning website is a great place to start to help you through the process of planning for college.
Skilled trades are occupations that require a special skill, knowledge, or ability which can be obtained at a college, technical school, or through specialized training. Skilled trades provide an alternative to jobs that require four years of college education. While skilled trades can be separated into many areas such as manufacturing, technology, energy, and healthcare, they are generally divided into the following three categories:
1. Skilled Industrial Trades: welders, machinists, mechanics, tool and die makers, programmers, for example
2. Skilled Construction Trades: electricians, plumbers, gasfitters, carpenters, bricklayers, technicians, insulators, for example
3. Skilled Service Trades: nurses, aides, orderlies, therapists, service technicians, for example
There are many benefits to joining the military and the benefits can last a lifetime. If you want to serve your country, then a choosing a military career might be for you.
Carer One Stop explains the many options in the five branches of the U.S. armed services.
Today's Military lists each field's careers, required training, daily responsibilities, and associated civilian careers.
Prior to beginning their career journey, many people are looking for the opportunity to serve others, personally grow, and possibly explore different cultures and locations. Being a part of a service organization can help people develop skills and gain contacts which will be helpful in their future careers. There are many options available, but some of the more well known organizations include:
AmeriCorps, Peace Corps, City Year, The Student Conversation Association, Teach for America
Applying for a Job
So you've found the perfect job for you. Now it is time to apply. Below are the recommended next steps you need to take to ensure that this job becomes yours! The Madison College Career and Employment Resources Center is a great resource in helping you through this process.
Benefits of Having a Job in High School
- Gain skills for your resume
- Meet new people
- Build self-confidence
- Gain interpersonal and communication skills
- Develop a work ethic
- Learn to manage your time
Creating a Resume
A resume is the first impression that a company will have of you. It is extremely important that it looks professional and that you've highlighted all of your skills and abilities in an impactful way. A resume should include the following headings:
- Name and Contact Information
- Work and/or Volunteer Experience
- References (These are not family members but are adults who can speak to your skills and abilities). It is important to always get permission prior to using someone as a reference.
Here is a great example of a resume for a high school students which includes a great list of words that you may want to include.
*Some jobs do not require you to submit a resume but they are helpful to have on hand as you complete the required Job Application. They can also help you stand out from the other applicants.
Nearly all jobs require you to complete an application. These may be online or pen and paper. Below are a few tips to help you in completing the application to ensure that you are called for an interview:
- Read the entire application before starting
- Be neat and complete (leave no blanks)
- Follow all directions on the application
- Do not use abbreviations (unless a sections is not applicable to you then you may put N/A)
- Proofread (and even have someone else look over the application before submitting)
- Be prepared to include contact information for your References
After submitting your application it is perfectly acceptable to call the manager after a few days to a week to follow up and ask if they have had time to review your application.
The interview is probably the most important part of getting hired. This is your time to shine and sell yourself to your future employer. Sharing your strengths and abilities is not considered bragging, it is you convincing this employer that you are the right person for the job. Below are some tips and strategies for acing your job interview:
- Dress nicely (Think clean, pressed and ready to impress!)
- Prepare (Do a little research about the company before your interview.)
- Practice (Role play with someone as you practice answering sample interview questions and prepare your elevator speech)
- Be on time! (In fact, show up 10-15 minutes early for your interview.)
- Shake hands with and Greet the interviewer.
- Be courteous and professional
- Follow up (send a brief thank you email or note a day or two after your interview)
Jobs For Teens HQ is a great resource for finding more information.
Requesting a Transcript
Some jobs may require that you submit your high school transcript. Below are the instructions for requesting your transcript from your school.
How Do I Order a Copy of My Transcript?
Transcripts may be ordered at Parchment.com by Madison Metropolitan School District graduates, guardians of students, and by current students (who are over the age of 18). This electronic service allows you to order transcripts online at any time and track the status of the transcripts that you have requested to be sent. Consult with your counselor determine if you qualify for a fee waiver.
How Do I Get a Copy of My Transcript for Personal Use?
Current Students and their families may download and print a copy of a transcript from Infinite Campus for personal use.
Personal transcripts are not considered official and will not be accepted for admission purposes to colleges and universities, the Common Application, or the NCAA. Most athletic offices, employers, and some scholarship applications will accept a printed copy of the personal transcript.
Transcripts needed for scholarship purposes are free. In order to request an official transcript for scholarship purposes, please contact your counselor.
Minors who will be 14 or 15 years old BEFORE OR ON their job’s start date are required by state law to get a work permit. Those 16+ do not need a work permit.
You will need the following documents in order to get a work permit. Please note that photographs are NOT acceptable and documents should NOT be expired:
- An ID issued by the State (Birth certificate, baptismal certificate, driver’s license/permit, State ID, or previous work permit), AND
- A letter from your employer stating they have hired you and lists what kind of business they are and what you’ll be doing, AND
- A letter from your parent/guardian giving permission for the student to accept the job and acquire a work permit (this may be a parent note or a signature on the employer’s letter), AND
- Social Security Card, or verification of number with a parent/guardian’s insurance or tax form, AND
- $10 (Typically in cash, bring exact change).
Where to get a work permit:
- MMSD Schools Currently Making Work Permits:
- Vel Phillips Memorial High School
- Visit your Neighborhood Office
- Madison West High School
- Visit your SLC Office
- Vel Phillips Memorial High School
- Community Organizations Making Work Permits (By Appointment ONLY)
- Briarpatch Youth Services
- 2720 Rimrock Road (South Side)
- Common Wealth Development
- 1501 Williamson Street (East Side)
- Briarpatch Youth Services