Frequently Asked Questions

1. What does VCN stand for?

VCN stands for Virtual Career Network.The VCN is an "open source” workforce services and online learning delivery platform built and operated by the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) under a grant from the Employment and Training Administration (ETA) of the United States Department of Labor (DOL).  This website was developed to help US workers transition into healthcare careers and has been extended for Green Economy. Healthcare and Green Economy are among the fastest growing fields in the US economy and offers workers good salaries and great opportunities for advancement. VCN users can learn about careers, locate education and training programs, build a robust career portfolio, and search for jobs.


2. What is a Career Management Account and why should I create one the VCN?

Creating a VCN Career Management Account (CMA) will provide you many benefits.  It enables you to save all your education, training, and work information together in one place and to access tools that help you create a resume, draft cover letters, store transcripts and develop a portfolio of your skills. With an account, you can store information about the decisions you make on the VCN so that you can come back later if you do not complete the entire process.  This might include Healthcare or Green Economy careers that interest you, but you have not yet decided if you want to pursue as a career or a specific job that you might qualify for now or a school or educational program in which you might want to enroll.   It is a convenient and easy place to store your resume, college application, links to key resources, test scores, and more.  You can also access social media, such as Facebook or LinkedIn, through your account.


3. Is data in my Career Management Account secure?

Yes.  Your data is secured and encrypted both at rest and in transit.  What this means is that the information about you is encrypted in our database.  It is also encrypted when information is transmitted across the network. No one can access it but you.


4. What is the source of the career data in the VCN?

Career data--such as salary, wages, and job growth--are drawn from sources in the US Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics.  The descriptive information in the Career Profiles come from many sources, including O*NET, the BLS’s Occupational Outlook Handbook, and the subject matter experts.


5. What is the Interest Profiler?

This profiling tool was developed by the US Department of Labor, and is self-assessment career exploration tool designed to help you discover the type of activities and careers that are relevant to you based on your interests.  It can help you identify and learn about broad interest areas and enable you to explore compatible careers.


6. What is the Wish List and what does it do?

The “wish list” is a way of saving those things of interest that you may have found while using the website--careers, instructional programs, credentials, jobs, or other items that you wish to save for further investigation.  The “wish list” is retained by the system as long as an individual is actively on the website, but is deleted when the user closes the browser. However, if the user has a VCN Career Management Account, the “wish list” can be saved into their account for use at a later time.


7. What is a Career Pathway?

A “career pathway” is a map that shows the relationship of jobs in the career you have chosen to other related careers and careers both higher and lower in a career ladder.


8. What does “EL” stand for in the Career Pathway maps?

EL stands for Entry Level. Most entry level careers require only basic credentials for entry, such as a high school diploma or completion of short duration training that result in a certificate.  You may be able to advance your career by obtaining additional credentials.


9. What is the difference between Get Qualified and Earn College Credit tabs on the Toolbar?

The “get qualified” tab is where a user can search for schools offering instructional programs related to the career they have chosen and the credential they must earn to secure a job in that career.  This feature provides access to more than 18,000 courses and training programs from around the country to prepare you for a variety of careers.  The “earn college credits” tab provides the user with the ability to determine whether they might obtain college credits based on their prior military experiences, their prior work experiences, college courses they may have already taken, and national placement exams.


10. What is the source of the accredited schools and instructional programs data provided in the Get Qualified feature?

Learning and training program data is provided by a variety of sources including IPEDS, a database maintained by the US Department of Education, and from direct searching of the websites of the individual colleges, universities and training programs featured on this site.


11. The VCN is an “open source” application, is there a plan to provide tools to registered external developers?

Yes, one of the key deliverables of the this project is the development of a VCN Open Source Registration and Distribution Portal for VCN code and the establishment of a VCN Open Source Development Community of registered external developers.  This portal will serve as the central online repository for managing the distribution and archiving of VCN code and VCN derived code, and provide a focal point for technical communication and collaboration among interested parties.


12. Information on education programs is very dynamic, every semester colleges and universities change their course offerings. Will VCN be able to keep this information fresh as the educational institutions change their programs?

Yes.  We are developing and testing tools which will collect, update, and maintain time sensitive information on instructional programs and other dynamic data contained in the VCN.