Business Information Worker Pathway
“Employers can confidently look at the California Community College’s Business Information Worker Work Readiness Certificate/Pathway as a tool to identify qualified potential job candidates. This program provides the “hiring
for attitude and training for skills” foundations for entry-level jobs.”
Executive Officer - Manpower San Diego
Author of "Job Won" (job-won.com)
Follow these four steps to get started as a Business Information Worker.
Click the boxes on the right to find out more about each step.
Find out what courses you need to take and where they’re offered.
Reach out to other office professionals through dedicated social media pages and professional associations.
Learn about professional certifications that will help you get hired and advance in your career.
See who’s hiring in your area. Many employers across the state are ready to interview Business Information Workers!
In just two semesters you can gain marketable skills to get hired, then advance in your career as you develop more skills.
BIW Cohorts in the Works in Orange County
Colleges in the Orange County region are developing BIW cohort schedules to begin Fall 2017. A pilot effort to market the BIW pathway as a region is underway as participating colleges look to increase enrollment in pathway courses.
The region has formed relationships with the Orange County One-Stop Centers and local community groups, like CIELO, for help recruiting students into cohorts. Partnerships with the Orange County Department of Education (OCDE) and Orange Unified School District will give the program exposure to K-12 teachers and students.
Diablo Valley College Paves the Way for BIW
Diablo Valley College will launch its Business Information Worker certificate program this fall after about a year of planning. Yes, that’s right. The college gained buy-in and put together details of the program in just a year.
How did they do it? Claudia Eckelmann, a business faculty member at DVC, recently shared some of the college’s keys to success.
College of Marin Takes Business Information Worker Program to the Community
The word outreach is thrown around a lot in the higher ed world, but College of Marin has given it a whole new meaning with its efforts to show the community the benefits of the Business Information Worker (BIW) program.
Rather than relying on digital marketing to promote the program, the college went to the YWCA, a place where women from all walks of life come together to pick up new skills as part of the organization’s Fifty+ employment program.
Three Stages Along a Single Pathway to Career Success
BUSINESS INFORMATION WORKER I - Basic SkillsEntry level skills to get the job, with a solid foundation in Microsoft Windows and Office as well as strong digital and web literacy skills, the Business Information Worker brings efficiency and productivity to the workplace.
Increase your marketability and on-the-job success by taking the first eight BIW Pathways courses and the corresponding certification exams.
BUSINESS INFORMATION WORKER II - Add Skills
Becoming skilled in PowerPoint, QuickBooks, records management and collaboration software increases your value and promotability!
Build on the BIW Pathway by completing six additional courses and taking their corresponding certification exams.
BUSINESS INFORMATION SPECIALIST - Add Specialized Skills
Set yourself apart by bringing high-level administrative skills to your position. Advanced skills in project management, marketing support and graphic design are in high demand by employers.
The BIW Pathways courses listed teach advanced concepts in communication, project management and sales support.
While the suggested curriculum can be completed in two years, keep in mind that experience and practice are true keys to success and advancement in business. Pacing your learning and experience together may be a better long-term investment.
BIW Pathways Participating Colleges
Looking for ways to level-up your career? Check out these sites for the latest industry trends and opportunities, and connect with others who are dealing with everyday office issues like you. Let us know if you find a site to share and we will add it!
Prove you know you stuff and put it on your Linked In or other professional networking profiles. Nothing says I’m good at what I do like valued certifications!
Demonstrate that you have the skills needed to get the most out of Office by earning a Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) certification in a specific Office program. Holding a MOS certification can earn an entry-level business employee as much as $16,000 more in annual salary than uncertified peers.*
The California Community College system provides its students discounts on certification exams through the xVoucher program.
Click on the certification badges to go directly to the certification exam site.
Business Information Worker I
Business Information Worker II
Business Information Specialist* Anderson, Cushing, and John F. Gantz. Skills Requirements for Tomorrow’s Best Jobs: Helping Educators Provide Students with Skills and Tools They Need. IDC/Microsoft. October 2013.
The demand for Business Information Workers continues to increase, and there are many career options to explore. View the employer listing below to see who’s hiring in your area.
Click the links below for some tips to get you started:
70% of companies fill entry level jobs with temporary agencies – sometimes it is a ‘try before you buy’ approach for them. Find you local placement agencies and be willing to take a temp spot to be ‘seen’!
Click the button below to search for placement agencies near you.
It may seem old-fashioned, but being well-dressed, making an appointment to meet the manager and expressing a desire to work in their company are very important when seeking a job.
Engage Your Professional Network
Build your network of professionals and friends in by using your LinkedIn subscription and by joining the many listed groups in the BIW Professional Networking section.
There are many mentoring resources available such as Stacy Leitner's blog for becoming a Business Information Professional.
Keep Improving and Growing
Assuming you have completed the first pathway courses and earned your Certifications, you are a good candidate for a better job. But don't stop academically…you have only begun. Follow all the stages in the BIW Pathway.
With some experience on your resume it may pay to look at the popular on-line websites for employment, like Monster.com and Robert Half as well as the placement agencies in you region.
Your online reputation (keep your Linked-in profile up to date) as well as recommendations from prior employers are as important as your Certifications and education.
At this point, your discussions with peers that you meet on the job, online or in person will help keep you aware of who is hiring and what Certifications are valued for those jobs. However, you will find that business keeps growing and changing creating new specialties where general skills were once enough. Depending on the industry in your area, your professional preferences, and who’s hiring, you will have many choices and a well-paying dynamic career if you keep learning!