University of Phoenix has always been the champion of the career minded, keeping its ear to the ground in order to provide students with whatever emerging skills are needed in the current workforce. It’s a big job surveying industry leaders and top executives to gain intelligence that can be used to help turn out graduates who are equipped and ready to launch their careers. These efforts are worthwhile as they can help prepare graduates with the necessary knowledge, skills and abilities to be competitive in their chosen career paths.
In early September 2021, University of Phoenix participated in the annual SHRM Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada. At the event, the University announced its recent collaboration with labor market analysis giant, EMSI. While University of Phoenix has always been a leader in equipping students with real world skills, this strategic move brought the efforts to the forefront. It is changing the misconceptions that have long been held about how higher education is intricately connected to careers.
The Link Between Learning and Employee Skills
In 2015, University of Phoenix was one of the first universities to utilize EMSI Data during the early stages of the program. Since that time, the University has consistently used this resource to mold programs that meet the rapidly changing job skill needs in the market. With a focus on skills-based learning, the University uses insights and workplace data to design coursework that reflects skills employers seek based on EMSI data.
A majority of the students enrolled at University of Phoenix are adults, and most are already working at a job. They are fully aware of the importance of a solid education that can prepare them for life beyond the classroom. These students are looking for a connection between their coursework and career goals. They want to know that they are learning skills that can help them compete in the job market, whether changing careers or advancing in a current one.
EMSI Data: Looking at the Labor Market
EMSI collects data from a variety of sources. Real-time job postings and government labor resources make up a portion of their resource cache, but the company has also developed algorithms designed to survey and analyze the labor market in order to identify what is in demand regarding abilities, skills and knowledge. Because the data comes from many different sources, it provides one of the most current views of the labor marketplace available today.
This data covers several key areas including:
- Traditional labor market information
- Job posting analytics (job postings that are online)
- Profile data (resumes and online profiles)
- Compensation data
- Global data
All of this information aggregated to create a job market picture unlike any other. Students can understand what they will encounter right from the start and what they may need to navigate their next moves. They can also see that University of Phoenix is diligently improving and adding programs to keep up with the increasing demand for specific, qualified talent in the workplace.
Student Empowerment at the Heart of University of Phoenix
Educating students empowers them to reach higher and work harder so that they can take advantage of the opportunities presented. The University’s infrastructure supports the development of curricula that embed skills into coursework so that students learn more and learn it faster.
“Adult students want to know if what they are learning is useful and how it applies to their career goals,” said Ruth Veloria, chief strategy and customer officer for University of Phoenix. “Our work with EMSI will help our graduates to become more career-ready and demonstrate their newfound skills. We want our students to feel empowered with the knowledge that they have the skills necessary to pursue opportunities in their chosen fields.”
The University’s goal is to turn skills learned in the classroom into skills that are career ready. In combination with expertise from University of Phoenix practitioner faculty, this approach is working well. EMSI’s work is a complementary addition to the groundwork the University has already established.
“The future of higher education will be built on the innovative application of data,” continued Veloria. “Providing skills-outcome data for courses and programs is like reviewing a nutritional label before eating a meal. Students now have a direct line of sight into the skills they will build, providing transparency into their academic experience.”
The Leading Change course, a part of the University’s Master of Business administration degree program, is a great example of how these vital skills are linked to a curriculum through skills mapping. Students are taught how to build effective and healthy organizational cultures. The assignments in the course center on assessing and building the culture and applying their skills to real-life examples in the workforce.
University of Phoenix also aids graduates and active students throughout their entire career, not just while they are completing their coursework. With career services like networking and coaching, students and graduates can make the most of their University education for decades to come.
About University of Phoenix
University of Phoenix is a leader in education for working adults and other non-traditional students. The University is constantly innovating to help these students improve their careers or pursue new opportunities. University of Phoenix strives to equip students with the skills they need to operate professionally in a rapidly changing world. With an emphasis on flexible schedules and courses relevant to the workforce across many industries, the University offers interactive learning to help students to achieve their goals.