Finally I will be able to pilot my Chimera Carrier tomorrow. Not that I have anything I need it for right now, and besides it needs a lot more training before its actually useful.
First off I'll need at least four levels in the carrier skill itself since each one not only boosts shield resistances and Captial Energy and Shield Transfer ranges, but each level allows control of one additional drone/fighter. So with Caldari Carrier IV skill I can use up to 9 drones at once (compared to max of 5 for 99% of all other ships).
Then I'll need to train up to Jump Drive Operation V so I can train a few levels of Jump Drive Calibration to increase my jump range. Very useful tactically. To decrease fuel usage I'll need four levels in Jump Fuel Conservation.
Of course in order to make maximum use of the carrier's increased drone capabilities, I'll need Tech II Heavy Drones. As a Caldari pilot whose non-capital ships have pitiful drone bays (the best being the Scorpion and Raven and their Tech II counterparts at 75m3) I never felt overwhelming need for Tech II Ogres or Berserkers or Wasps but its practically mandatory for carriers.
But even more so is the unique drone class called fighters which can only be used on capital ships as they are so big (as big as Assault Frigates I hear) with impressive offensive and defensive capabilities. In order to train that skill I need Leadership V.
There are special capital ship modules called Drone Control Units which allow the ship to field even more drones, one per unit installed. The number of DCUs you can install on the ship is determined by the levels of the skill Advanced Drone Interfacing. With that skill at IV and the carrier skill at IV, that's 4+4+5= 13 drones that in theory can be launched.
Finally, a big ship requires big defenses. There is a Capital Shield Booster module designed for this purpose and it requires the skill Capital Shield Operation which in turn requires Tactical Shield Manipulation V in order to train.
All told that is about 126 days of training. The only good news is that the Tech II Heavy Drone skills are usable in other ships as well as the carrier so I'll probably start there. And I guess since I'm not playing a lot right now I don't have huge need for an effective carrier yet and by the time I'm ready for corporation and alliance life again my carrier will be ready to roll as well.