University of Phoenix has launched its new Career Navigator™ career guidance platform to help students and alumni as they navigate their career journey. The Career Navigator™ platform brings together career-focused tools in a user-friendly interface where students can view demonstrated or self-identified skills in their Skills Profile, learn about careers based on fields or industries they are interested in with a Career Explorer, plan and identify their next steps in a Career Planner, and explore job postings relevant to their most recent program of study using a Job Explorer.
“University of Phoenix is career-focused for working adult learners and this platform was built to help our students and alumni take charge of their career goals,” states Sandip Bhakta, vice president, Career Services and Support, at University of Phoenix. “The platform expands the ecosystem we built around our Career Services for Life® commitment and centers student and alumni career planning so that they can build a highly individualized career pathway.”
Students and alumni can now access Career Navigator through their secure student portal. Once there, they will find the following elements:
- The Skills Profile, to help users view all their University of Phoenix demonstrated and self-attested skills in one place and understand the value of their own skills as they track their progress in courses or degree programs.
- The Career Explorer, allowing users to do a deep dive into careers, comparing information such as job growth outlook, daily tasks, skills required, and salary range. They can also review job titles related to that career at various experience levels, enhancing understanding of job market trends for roles specific to where a student or alum might be in their career journey.
- The Career Planner, to view saved career and job titles. Users can identify their career goals and jobs in which they may have interest, understand where they may have skills gaps that they should focus on filling, and providing clarity for how the skills they are gaining will help prepare them to pursue the next step in their journey.
- The Job Explorer, supporting a personalized job-search process. It aggregates open positions from several online job boards in one convenient place. Job listings are presented based on degree program and geographic location. Relevant jobs are displayed based on the number of aligned skills in a user’s Skills Profile from high to low as they relate to their city, county, and state. Users can refine the results even further based on their unique needs, such as remote availability, and experience level.
The Career Navigator™ platform was built by the Career Accelerator Team, a product team collaborating talent across functions and departments. The team, working from a user centric product methodology, brought together lead engineers and designers in an Agile model to design a platform that integrated existing career tools being used by students and alumni.
“Previously, a career hub and job explorer/skills profile existed in individual locations,” shares Francisco Contreras, senior product manager. “Career Navigator combines these separate sets of tools into a single authenticated experience, allowing students and alumni to seamlessly navigate between all the sets of tools from career exploration, goal setting, skills, tracking and browsing potential job opportunities.”
The design team focuses on student and alumni experience and engaged students and career advisors early in the integration planning. “This gives us a deep understanding of our customers as career-focused platform users,” states Jack Gannon, senior designer, UX/UI Marketing. “Our customer interview process informed initial design decision which is so critical in the field of careers.”
The team frequently interviews students to learn how they experience and use the platform in real-time. A student, Maria Millentree, shared her experience in using the Career Navigator to help her prepare for a recent job search: “With the help of the navigator tool, I was able to identify both the skills that I have developed as well as the ones that I already possess. I was able to quickly and easily identify what I needed to focus on to enhance my skills and understand existing skills.”
Using the Career Navigator™ platform opened an opportunity for reflection as well as unexpected pathways for Millentree. “The experience also provided me with the opportunity to identify careers that I had not previously explored. It enabled me to take the time to reflect on my professional and personal development. By using it, I was able to connect with potential jobs that I would not have considered applying for otherwise.” This experience informed her next steps, and she took quick action. “As soon as I became aware of my abilities, I was able to use the information and think outside the box and pursue a completely new career path.”
University of Phoenix recently announced that its skills-mapped curriculum, focused on the working adult learner, has culminated in 100 percent of associate, bachelor’s and master’s degree programs open for new enrollment now being fully skills-mapped.
The Career Navigator™ platform design builds on the University’s skills and career focused approach and continues to expand with enhanced functionality planned for release later this year.