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WGU’s new initiative to help connect students with job skills

Updated March 3, 2020 - 9:32 pm

Western Governors University has partnered with a labor market analytics firm to help map the skills and competencies WGU students acquire that employers are looking for in the job market.

WGU has partnered with Emsi, a labor market analytics firm headquartered in Moscow, Idaho, for its recent initiative.

According to a press release from the nonprofit, competency-based university, “WGU is building on its legacy of student-focused innovation to further align its workforce-relevant curriculum to the most current and pressing employer needs by surfacing value and real-time career insights to students as they work their way to degrees.”

“Job seekers want to know what skills to learn that will translate into a successful career or promotion, so the creation of a personalized learning pathway that incorporates those skills and competencies will help students match their credentials with what employers want,” said Dr. Marni Baker Stein, WGU provost and chief academic officer, in the release. “WGU is building a comprehensive skills map across industries to serve as the ‘operating system’ that will maximize value to students by providing career-relevant programs, a clear way to communicate value to employers, and data-driven career assistance.”

Emsi has an open skills library that identifies nearly 30,000 skills, which are based on skills identified in hundreds of millions of job postings, resumes and other professional profiles. The open skills library is updated every two weeks, according to WGU’s release.

“Using artificial intelligence, the Open Skills Library will be used to match WGU’s competency-based curriculum with a list of workforce-relevant skills, allowing WGU to tailor the student learning journey even further by focusing on specific skills and competencies that match a learner’s goals,” WGU’s release stated.

“There is a lot of inefficiency in the labor market because three critical sectors – people, businesses and higher ed – have struggled to understand each other,” said Emsi Executive Vice President of Higher Education Luke Jankovic in the release. “Essentially, they need to speak the same language and we believe skills is that language. WGU is a real trailblazer in this work and their model is one of the truly innovative practices in higher ed today. We are eager to support this work so that more people can be connected to good work and so more good work can find the talent it needs to succeed.”

WGU offers over 50 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in business, K-12 teacher education, information technology and in health, which includes nursing.

For more, head to nevada.wgu.edu or call 877-214-7005.

Contact Pahrump Valley Times Interim Editor Jeffrey Meehan at jmeehan@pvtimes.com

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