WGU to map skills needed for real-world jobs

Revolutionary new initiative will help students match skills across industries

NASHVILLE– Western Governors University (WGU), parent university of WGU Tennessee, has announced the university will partner with Emsi, a leading labor market analytics firm, to support a groundbreaking new initiative that will map the skills and competencies WGU students acquire to real-world jobs. A leader in preparing students for career success, WGU is building on its legacy of student-focused innovation to further align its workforce-relevant curriculum to the most current and pressing employer needs by surfacing value and real-time career insights to students as they work their way to a degree.

“This partnership bridges the gap between WGU students and potential employers in Tennessee by providing information on the skills they look for in job candidates,” said Kimberly Estep, Ph.D., chancellor of WGU Tennessee. “It will allow WGU Tennessee to offer personalized experiences for students by creating a system of career insights to help working adults earn a postsecondary credential and get a job in their desired field.”

Emsi’s Open Skills Library identifies nearly 30,000 skills from hundreds of millions of job postings, resumes, and professional profiles and is updated every two weeks. Using artificial intelligence, the Open Skills Library will be used to match WGU’s competency-based curriculum with a list of workforce-relevant skills, allowing WGU to tailor the student learning journey even further by focusing on specific skills and competencies that match a learner’s goals. WGU is already teaching and assessing the marketable skills industry values. This new partnership will highlight the workforce relevance of a WGU degree by translating credentials and experience into the high-demand skills they represent.

“There is a lot of inefficiency in the labor market because three critical sectors – people, businesses and higher ed – have struggled to understand each other. Essentially, they need to speak the same language, and we believe skills is that language. WGU is a real trailblazer in this work, and their model is one of the truly innovative practices in higher ed today. We are eager to support this work so that more people can be connected to good work and so more good work can find the talent it needs to succeed,” commented Luke Jankovic, Emsi’s executive vice president of Higher Education. 

About WGU

Established in 1997 by 19 U.S. governors with a mission to expand access to high-quality, affordable higher education, online nonprofit WGU now serves more than 121,000 students nationwide and has more than 163,000 graduates in all 50 states. Driving innovation as the nation’s leading competency-based university, WGU has been recognized by the White House, state leaders, employers, and students as a model that works in postsecondary education. In just 22 years, the university has become a leading influence in changing the lives of individuals and families, and preparing the workforce needed in today’s rapidly evolving economy. WGU is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, has been named one of Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies, and was featured on NPR, “NBC Nightly News,” and CNN, and in The New York Times. Learn more at www.wgu.edu.

About Emsi

Emsi provides colleges and universities with labor market data to build a better workforce and nurture strong economies, businesses, and graduates. Hundreds of institutions use Emsi to align programs with regional needs, drive enrollment, connect students with in-demand careers, track alumni employment outcomes, and demonstrate their institution’s economic impact on their region. Visit www.economicmodeling.com/higher-education/.

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