Jonathan Lau, SVP for Skills at Cengage, discusses Skill Map, a new online tool to help learners explore in-demand skills and jobs and get started on the right “Career Journey.”
- What is Skill Map?
Skill Map is a new, free career exploration tool from ed2go, a Cengage company. Skill Map provides actionable information and data learners can use to make smart career decisions.
With Skill Map, learners can explore career options (for hundreds of careers) and find local job demand data and local salary information. They can also learn about the specific skills employers are looking for as well as see which local employers are hiring.
Taking things a step further, users can build a skill profile and receive personalized course recommendations to close their skill gap. Users can enroll directly in online courses with ed2go and its network of more than 2,100 college and university partners to develop their skills.
While anyone can access Skill Map directly, it is also a useful tool for Workforce Investment Boards who can use it to help get people back to work in the local economy.
- Why create Skill Map?
Skill Map was born out of the need to provide a better “Career Journey” for learners. The current Career Journey is a fragmented and complicated process—it’s broken. Many people enroll in education without a clear idea of what they really need to be successful. Students spend a lot of money, go into debt and often come out without a job. And while most adults know they must continually update their skills and training in order to remain competitive in today’s economy, it’s not necessarily clear to them what is needed to keep up with change.
while most adults know they must continually update their skills and training to remain competitive, it’s not necessarily clear to them what is needed to keep up with change
At Cengage, we really believe every learner has the potential to be unstoppable. And we want to serve learners across their entire Career Journey: from figuring out what jobs are right for them to helping them understand and acquire the skills needed for that job and, finally, helping them get the job.
Skill Map is the first of many Career Journey tools focused on the front end of this. It helps people explore career paths, figure out their goal and then work backwards to acquire the education they need to meet that goal.
But this is just the beginning. We’re also developing a new Employer Connection program which connects learners directly with employers to bridge the last mile. Pilots are underway in the fields of HVAC, Pharmacy and Truck Technician.
- What are the most in-demand skills and careers that users are learning about via Skill Map?
So far, we see lots of people looking at business and finance careers, but sectors with the most demand for workers are actually healthcare (such as medical billing and coding), trades (such as HVAC technicians and truck drivers) and computer science related jobs, including data scientists, information security analysts and software engineers.
The top 20 most in demand skills nationwide across all job postings, all occupations are:
- Communication Skills
- Customer Service
- Organizational Skills
- Microsoft Excel
- Problem Solving
- Physical Demand
- Team Work/ Collaboration
- Microsoft Office
- Computer Skills
- Building Effective Relationships
- Supervisory Skills
- Project Management
- Customer Contact