[MUSIC] The concept of a benchmarks, or rubrics, or frameworks, can you talk a little bit on how those, those measurements, those tools work? So, if I'm an individual and I'm looking for a job, what do I need to understand about benchmarking, rubrics, hiring rubrics and frameworks? How are they sort of working? And you can take this in any direction you wish. It's a pretty broad topic. >> Sure. Yeah, benchmarks usually are based on evidence or research that give us a clue for what level of skill or knowledge you need to succeed in whatever occupational interests you have as you explore those careers. Most entry levels jobs are easiest to define because, like any learning process, once your on the job, you learn what's specific to that job in that particular industry in ways that you can't get in the classroom. So if we look just at entry level jobs, the categories of skills that I mentioned that we assess around applied reading, reading for information, applied mathematics, locating information. Those are categories of skills that, from our research say, if you score in a particular range on these. On an assessment for those skills, we can reliably predict that you will be prepared for entry level work and success in a particular job and we can correlate that level of skill that's needed to a particular job that you may have. We have our own free database online where you can do that, explore careers. The US Department of Labor has one called O*NET, kind of comparison. And our work is correlated with the Department of Labor and is on the occupational scheme as well. So, for an example. Those basic assessments comprise what we offer as a national career readiness certificate. It's a portable and employer recognized certificate, and it, it's scored in ranges, six levels are scored in that certificate. Tt's important to note that unlike a lot of academic assessments that have a cut scored rate, this is measure in a range because jobs vary so much. So the lowest three levels are probably too low to really offer much success in the work place without some effort to beef up your competency. So at level three you can get a bronze, at level four you can get silver, at level five you can get a gold. And platinum at the top. And for an example, to use that as a benchmark or a guide, if you have a bronze certificate, you will qualify for about 17% of entry level jobs across the country. If you have a Silver, it's about 69% of the jobs across the country. You have gold, you're in pretty good shape. About 93% of the jobs. So, the benchmarks are a reflection of what research is telling us is required in the real world. It's not made up. It's not somebody's best guess. It's really based on experience and informational gathering from employers and from educators, from across the country. >> Mm-hm. >> So if you think of it, if you're a student and you're really looking to see how you measure up against what employer and educator expectations are, benchmarks are the place to start. To see what levels of these skills are required for certain occupations. >> I think, I mean I couldn't emphasize enough to you, how important even in parting this language. You know? There's almost a vocabulary. Involved it's sort of something like I don't know the question, I don't know what I need to know unless I have the question to ask, and I don't have the question to ask, right? So I think what you're doing is really teaching all of us the discourse of self-branding. How do I take this bundle of me and look across a variety of potential occupations and really see where I stand. In relation to a series of thoughtful decisions, made by a given industry or a bundle of industries, a profession, etc. And then determine my strengths and potentially gaps. And then where I might need to go from there. I think, I'm curious what you think. I'm watching our time together here. I'm curious what you think if you had to talk about the biggest change, even in your own, let's even say in the last 20 years. So with the acceleration of technology, with this sort of webbed environment. Things seem to be moving so quickly, and changes are here, there, and everywhere. It's global. It's webbed. It's interconnected. With respect to what your work is, or how benchmarks are functioning, or how does this work connect to this volatile landscape, in terms of predictive analytics? We spoke a little bit about this a few minutes ago, but what's the importance of what you're doing? >> I think that it's important for somebody, and perhaps an independent group to have their finger on the pulse, where some of these industries are moving and what technology is doing to this skill base. How the workplace is changing. What impact that has on individuals and their ability to adapt and learn, gain new skills. Force stability. If they change occupations, how do beginning students navigate that problem. Since jobs are less stable than they used to be, being able to move from job to job requires a set of skills to demonstrate that you've got what the next employer wants, in order to succeed. So there are several ways to do that, if you really have a particular interest in an occupational field. Aerospace, health, whatever it is, transportation. There are industry sectors like that that have developed competency models, and have stackable certificates and credentials that demonstrate your skills and completely portable among the employers in that industry. That's another route to go to stay current and to demonstrate value to an employer. You can commit to a particular occupational field. I think the emergence of new skills is another problem that really is worth paying attention to. We're beginning to see that, issues like language skills, multiple language skills in international business and marketing is important. Clarity in writing is a particularly important skill that's beginning to emerge, largely because we're seeing less of it coming out of the school system, but it's just indispensable for success. So that's what I think groups like us, who begin with the research base, and then try to develop solutions, can offer. We can do it through information on the web, or do our partnerships with other industry groups. And a good bit of that information is available on the internet. I can provide many of those contacts to your students as well. >> That's great. No I think that's great, and perhaps you can I can make a list and share some resources even to our learners today so I can sort of gather it in one place for them. I think it would be, again, invaluable. And I'm thinking just even in the time I was teaching in the face to face environment over a span of 13 years. We had Facebook, we had text messaging, and the first time I saw U instead of y-o-u in a paper, I thought, well, this is a different. >> [LAUGH] >> This is different, right? So then it speaks to your point about, you know, writing competencies and things that were perhaps taken for granted or presumed, 30 years ago. Their micro reality doesn't match, macro need. And then again, there that sort of a misfit, so it's great organizations like yours are constantly at least scanning for these mismatches. >> Yes, you've touched on a very personally important skill, the writing skill. >> Yeah, yeah. >> In a business environment. It reflects the level of professionalism, the image of the business, the permanent record of the business. All of those things are very important for grammar accuracy and clarity, so. It's important to keep in mind. >> That's great, thank you. So in our last few minutes together, what have I left out of our conversation today? What would you like to end on? >> I think I would just suggest that - >> compared to even two or three years ago, the number of tools that are available to students to explore careers and their skill levels, has expanded enormously. It's continuing to be a clear focus for non-profit organizations. We're working with a national initiative to kind of catalog the range of certificates and industry certifications that are accessible to anyone who wants to get an occupation in the field in addition to whatever their academic degree is. In order again to help give them an edge in succeeding in that occupation, demonstrating to employers in a valid way that you really do have the skills that are important to have on your resume. So all of that has improved enormously in a hopeful way. I think for people to be able to demonstrate their skills, as they begin to look for a job. One footnote to that process, I would caution folks to look beyond whatever the Human Resource department posts as a job description, very often those are generic. Cut and paste jobs that don't really reflect what they are looking for. So, if you can decipher hence, in that occupational field that you can pull your own skills forward and demonstrate them, then you are more likely to get looked at than somebody who is just, is very vanilla or general in their skill description. >> That's great advice, that's great advice. Thank you so much. No, it's really, I mean it's really important, because It's sort of thinking beyond those boundaries, again. So thank you so much for joining us today. I really can't thank you enough. I've been- >> Thank you Michelle. >> Thank you. >> It's been my pleasure. >> And hopefully I will see you around, our various webinars together. We'll look forward to future conversation. >> Thanks very much. Good luck to all the students. >> Thank you.