Mapping career pathways for success

August 7, 2018

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Have you ever thought it’d be cool to chart your career path, learn about new occupations based on your interests, figure out how to land your dream job or make a career jump? Well, there’s an app for that.

Journeys Map, launched in 2017, is an interactive learning map designed to engage users in exploring life’s possibilities and providing personalized directions while navigating life’s major educational and professional transitions.

A finalist in former First Lady Michelle Obama’s Reach Higher Career App Challenge in 2016, Journeys was named by a U.S. Council on Foreign Relations report as an example of how to better prepare young Americans to succeed in the workforce and praised on CNBC by former Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker.

Users can find routes to careers, colleges, certifications and even pathways to class subjects by entering occupations they are interested in, with as many stops along the way as appropriate for the user’s personal journey and built-in resources and personalized assistance provided along the way. The resulting map locations that pop up offer new occupation possibilities that they may not have thought of. Users can zoom in or out—just as one could with other mapping software—to see adjacent occupations and pathways.

Journeys is also meant to act as an aggregate for data and third party platforms, currently pulling from O*NET OnLine, College Scorecard and Indeed to offer a large database of search results. Users can explore more than 1,800 career opportunities and 9,500+ colleges and institutions as well as find information about degrees and certifications, tuition rates, test scores, financial aid, and expected earnings.

“The current rate of innovation we are experiencing is accelerating faster than any other time in human history,” said Journeys CEO Peter Sibley. “Sixty-five percent of today’s grade school students will enter jobs that haven’t been invented yet. Innovative and disruptive solutions are needed in order to address the need for a regional approach to connecting education to the world of work.”

Journeys is built by a team of education technology experts in San Diego who had a goal to build a platform that would support users of any age or ability along their lifelong journey. To date, Journeys has been implemented at 25 sites, such as schools or career centers, helping users better explore career pathways of interest to them.

Scott SibleyThe vision is to provide every individual with access to Journeys, empowering users to pursue the skills and knowledge necessary to be successful in life. Journeys Director Scott Sibley said, “We hope in 5 to 10 years Journeys and our learning map will be as commonplace as Google Maps is today.”

With wider implementation outside of school districts, Journeys can potentially help close achievement gaps for the 41,000 opportunity youth in San Diego County, or young adults ages 16–24 currently not working or in school.

In addition to helping individuals navigate career pathways, Journeys is also actively helping to close employment gaps as an employer.

Working with TechHire San Diego—administered by the San Diego Workforce Partnership—Journeys brought on five subsidized interns in 2018: Christina, who worked on UI/UX, Kim in customer service, Michael in data analysis, and Wahid and Sushanthi as engineers.

TechHire aims to level the playing field for those trying to work in tech. Job seekers applying to an internship through TechHire must have training in information and communication technologies and come from a low- to moderate-income households or a part of a population that is underrepresented in San Diego’s tech sector.

As Scott Sibley said, “Tech companies need not be afraid of bringing on interns, as long as the company has identified its needs and gaps first.”

A key component in Journeys’ vision will come from working directly with industry sectors. To that end, Journeys has partnered with the San Diego Cyber Center of Excellence to develop an interactive pilot to map cyber education, training and career pathways in San Diego. This work includes the creation of a cyber-specific version of the Journeys map that is powered by the National Institute of Cyber Education framework, as well as course catalogs from local universities such as the University of San Diego, San Diego State University, California State University San Marcos, University of California San Diego and National University. This collaboration cuts across the military and intelligence community, high tech industries, academia and the region’s government, municipalities, utilities and transportation agencies to foster a more secure cyber environment, cultivate the cyber workforce and showcase cutting edge technology and solutions.

To learn more about Journeys, visit journeysmap.com.