Chicago Here We Come! Let’s Talk The Future of Career Services

Jul 08, 2017
Chris Flanagan

I’m hitting the road in September to speak at the Close It Summit in Chicago from September 25-27. This national conference, hosted by Innovate+Educate, focuses on revolutionizing the learning to employment experience by bringing together entrepreneurs, wonks and investors to identify new solutions and scale the implementation of these solutions across the education landscape.

The 2017 theme of the conference is “Shift Happens,” which imagines the future of education and work through new pathways. My topic will be on the future of career services in colleges and universities. Hint: It’s a boondoggle!

Here are some of the highlights I’ll be sharing:

  1. Forces and trends in both education and work sectors make it clear that Career Service Offices as they exist today are generally understaffed, grossly underfunded and under-resourced (think people, processes, technology and data), lacking sufficient status within institutions, and lacking in innovative thought and action.
  2. There are, however, promising developments in an emerging institutional career services innovation movement that’s working to build connected career communities. A small group of innovators in this space have been successful in getting the attention of leadership inside the organization, elevating career development as an essential support in the student lifecycle, raising significant funds to launch new models of delivery, demonstrating impact, and building a following of other IHE Career Service peers looking to learn how to innovate at their own institutions.
  3. Adjacencies are presenting additional opportunities for better connecting college with career. For instance, proactive career to credential programs (think reverse pipeline) where employers engage directly with Academic Affairs or Career Service Offices are cropping up. Networks of secondary education, employer, community colleges, or city and regional workforce development groups are creating new pathways to career and credentials. From these networks, a growing recognition of the need for a systems or ecosystem approach to learning and work is emerging.
  4. Despite the complexity, uncertainty and potential disruption inherent in the college to career space. if we think about the context of career services as a “design space” that takes into account different drivers (i.e. new customer segments, emerging technologies) and constraints (i.e. changing work habits and shrinking resources), higher education institutions can ultimately yield new approaches to supporting better, stronger connections between the world of learning and the world of work.

I’ll be bringing along a lot of examples related to these topics with me. And there are still tickets to the conference available. Check out the agenda and lineup here.

(image courtesy of gapingvoid)

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