Ask employers if new college hires are "career ready" and they may have a different perspective than if you ask college students if they are "career ready." Over the years, industry leaders have described the importance of soft skills and how critical they are to the success of new college graduates. Career readiness of college graduates is important in higher education and the workforce. But it’s been challenging for leaders in higher education, career development, and government effectively collaborate to ensure the career readiness of today’s graduate.
In recognizing these challenges, the Minnesota State IT Center of Excellence has made it a priority to help prepare college students with the career readiness skills necessary for them to thrive in today’s evolving workforce.
The Center’s goal for this initiative is to help I.T. faculty develop and utilize online curriculum and resources to better instruct and prepare all information technology and computer science college students in Minnesota.
We are looking for 8-10 I.T. college faculty to help develop contextual information technology learning strategies and assessments for each of the 8 career readiness competencies:
- Critical Thinking/Problem Solving: Exercise sound reasoning to analyze issues, make decisions, and overcome problems. The individual is able to obtain, interpret, and use knowledge, facts, and data in this process, and may demonstrate originality and inventiveness.
- Oral/Written Communications: Articulate thoughts and ideas clearly and effectively in written and oral forms to persons inside and outside of the organization. The individual has public speaking skills; is able to express ideas to others; and can write/edit memos, letters, and complex technical reports clearly and effectively.
- Teamwork/Collaboration: Build collaborative relationships with colleagues and customers representing diverse cultures, races, ages, genders, religions, lifestyles, and viewpoints. The individual is able to work within a team structure, and can negotiate and manage conflict.
- Digital Technology: Leverage existing digital technologies ethically and efficiently to solve problems, complete tasks, and accomplish goals. The individual demonstrates effective adaptability to new and emerging technologies.
- Leadership: Leverage the strengths of others to achieve common goals, and use interpersonal skills to coach and develop others. The individual is able to assess and manage his/her emotions and those of others; use empathetic skills to guide and motivate; and organize, prioritize, and delegate work.
- Professionalism/Work Ethic: Demonstrate personal accountability and effective work habits, e.g., punctuality, working productively with others, and time workload management, and understand the impact of non-verbal communication on professional work image. The individual demonstrates integrity and ethical behavior, acts responsibly with the interests of the larger community in mind, and is able to learn from his/her mistakes.
- Career Management: Identify and articulate one’s skills, strengths, knowledge, and experiences relevant to the position desired and career goals, and identify areas necessary for professional growth. The individual is able to navigate and explore job options, understands and can take the steps necessary to pursue opportunities, and understands how to self-advocate for opportunities in the workplace.
- Global/Intercultural Fluency: Value, respect, and learn from diverse cultures, races, ages, genders, sexual orientations, and religions. The individual demonstrates openness, inclusiveness, sensitivity, and the ability to interact respectfully with all people and understand individuals’ differences.
At this year’s New Direction in IT Faculty Education, Amy Lane, Director of FUSION will be meeting with interested faculty on Friday, May 18 to develop goals and timelines for the Center’s career readiness initiative. Selected faculty member will be expected to commit 8 weeks over this summer to developing strategies and assessments. The target date for a finished product is the first week of August. If you would like to join the MNSCOITE Career Readiness Cohort, please contact Amy at 612-659-7225 or firstname.lastname@example.org.