College to career is the dream for most parents, educators, and students. Unfortunately, times have changed, and it is a little more complicated for recent college graduates to qualify to enter the workforce. Today, businesses seek industry experience even for entry-level positions. Business professionals from all major industries agree that students who lack job experience are less likely to be hired because the skills gap ultimately hurts their bottom line. Therefore, it is critical that students find opportunities to gain experience through internships, volunteering, and other experiential learning pathways.
Going to job boards does not give users relevant information about learning on-ramps. As an emerging career seeker, it is recommended to use an intermediary platform that connects businesses and students, who agree regarding this new training phase of “work-learn”, which occurs prior to acquisition of an entry-level career.
Students need to be able to create a profile and connect with work-based learning jobs for those businesses that want to help with this new phase in the educational process. Fieldr.app, a Florida-based startup, is offering businesses and students the opportunity to use their new software solution, which achieves this connection, for free. The platform is designed so that students can quickly match, communicate, and send documents that facilitate the relationship with businesses willing to take on these apprentices. Fieldr helps students to gain knowledge and experiences enhancing the opportunity of ultimately getting hired for their dream career. Consequently, students learn what it is like to work in industry and they can quickly choose a different learning pathway should the chosen field fall short of expectations.
This early misfit realization is good for the student and the industry. In the long run, industries that choose to participate in work-learn programs will see an increase in qualified candidates who are ready and interested in working for their firms. For the businesses who choose to work with Fieldr, they will be able to eliminate the skills gap, reduce hiring costs by increasing retention and create a positive work environment for all employees.
Dream2Career talked with Connor Firmender, Co-Founder & CEO of Fieldr and he believes that learning engagements like internships, project-based or work-based learning, part-time jobs, and service learning are “the building blocks to college and career readiness” His company is dedicated to providing the “education side of readiness” and they are developing a Fieldr Academy for high school students to earn career-related credentials that will launch in early 2021.
Firmender, even as a student, was quick to realize that gaining experience while in college was a challenge. Because of his interest in solving a real-world problem, he has been able to develop quality relationships and support from chambers of commerce, economic development offices, college career centers, district career and technical education departments who have helped to bring his concept to fruition. It is exciting for Dream2Career to work with another socially responsible solution that helps to connect students to opportunities that they may not have known existed, that helps schools do what they do best, and that fixes the skills gap for businesses.
Let’s help more students find and prepare for dream careers. Tell us below what your organization is doing to support the work-learn engagements.
Kathleen Houlihan is a leader in workforce innovation and she is the Founder of an agency that reimagines talent acquisition and optimizes the system for candidates and employers. Her company, Dream2Career, provides human-centric ROI solutions that filter-in candidates who exceed expectations in the workplace.