Lesson 4: The Degree I Need to Succeed in the Workforce as a Job Seeker who is Blind or Low Vision

Key Considerations

Some jobs require a certain degree or level of training. Therefore, as you think about the job you’d like to hold or career you’d like to pursue as a job seeker with vision loss, it is important to spend time researching the level of education or training required. If you are unsure of the career or job you’d like to hold, spend time exploring jobs that interest you and keep your options open.

Not only should you consider the type of degree or training required for a specific job, but the skills needed to perform that job are also important. For example, the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook lists an accountant as an occupation that requires a bachelor’s degree for an entry-level position but not a degree specific to bookkeeping. Skills you learn from earning a different degree may be related to a similar occupation.

According to O*NET OnLine, the following skills are needed to be a bookkeeper.

Bookkeeper Job Duties

  • Operate computers programmed with accounting software to record, store, and analyze information.
  • Check figures, postings, and documents for correct entry, mathematical accuracy, and proper codes.
  • Classify, record, and summarize numerical and financial data to compile and keep financial records, using journals and ledgers or computers.
  • Debit, credit, and total accounts on computer spreadsheets and databases using specialized accounting software.
  • Operate 10-key calculators, typewriters, and copy machines to perform calculations and produce documents.

Skills Required

  • Active Listening – Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times
  • Reading Comprehension – Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents
  • Speaking – Talking to others to convey information effectively
  • Critical Thinking – Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems
  • Mathematics – Using mathematics to solve problems

In addition to your research about occupations and jobs, having work experience or a part-time job as an individual who is blind or low vision is the ideal way to determine if you can perform the job you are interested in or if you should explore other related jobs.

Assignment

  1. Use the Occupational Outlook Handbook or O*NET OnLine to research the level of education or training required for five jobs you are interested in pursuing.
  2. List the skills needed to perform the duties or tasks associated with the job.
  3. What do your occupational interests suggest? Attending college, career school, or entering the workforce?
  4. Do you need to participate in a work experience or internship to learn more about your abilities to perform a job? If so, schedule a meeting with your state’s vocational rehabilitation office to learn more about Transition Services and employment-related training for job seekers who are blind or low vision.
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