Alysia Ordway of the Boston Private Industry Council Discusses Connecting Students’ Interests & Skill Sets to Careers

An important first step for applying to college, and eventually finding the perfect job, is evaluating and connecting skill sets. But sometimes evaluating interests can be hard without some help. According to Alysia Ordway, Employee Engagement Director for the Boston Private Industry Council, helping people expertly navigate their interests is the best way to find a fulfilling learning experience.

“I think the most important work right now is helping people navigate [this] range of options and make the right match, so that they are connecting to learning experiences that are going to have credibility with whatever audience they want to share them with,” she says. “But also learning experiences that are going to extend their knowledge and skills and not to be duplicative.”

When planning a future career, it’s easy to get held up by stereotypical job expectations. But as the work landscape shifts, employers need to hire wide range of workers to keep their companies running smoothly. Alysia says it’s difficult, but crucial, to start your career search by narrowing down the overwhelming amount of job possibilities to fit your interests and skills.

“I think the most important thing that we can do is showcase for them the range of options,” she says. “So that they don’t think that healthcare is just doctors and nurses, and I.T. is just coders.”

“Really we need to show them the range of teams and individuals and how they work together, so that they can pick an environment where they’re going to be successful. But also a role that makes the most sense based on their skill set.”

Listen in to our interview with Alysia Ordway to learn more about job opportunities for people like high school students and veterans, and how to best connect employers with qualified and passionate employees.

This podcast episode is sponsored by Penn Foster.

For over 125 years, students, employers and partner organizations have relied on Penn Foster to build the skills and knowledge to power the middle-skilled workforce. Penn Foster provides career pathways to opportunity for youth and adult learners through diverse and affordable online diploma, certificate, degree, and apprenticeship programs.

To learn how Penn Foster’s online education and training solutions can upskill and educate today’s learners, visit

Mariel Cariker

Mariel Cariker

Mariel is a Boston-based freelance writer and audio producer who has covered news, technology and innovation for public media groups including WBUR and WGBH. Outside of work, she performs and writes spoken word poetry and voraciously reads true crime novels.