How Skillifying Can Make our Institutions More Employer-Friendly

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Kelly Ryan Bailey, Global Skills Evangelist at Emsi joined the podcast to talk about forging new partnerships with local employers by creating a shared skills language between us.

The majority of students that come to our schools are coming because their goal is to get a job from move forward in their career. You're listening to enrollment growth university from Helix Education, the best professional development podcast for higher education leaders looking to grow enrollment at their college or university. Whether you're looking for fresh enrollment growth techniques and strategies or tools and resources, you've come to the right place. Let's get into the show. Welcome back to enrollment growth university, a proud member of the connect Evu podcast network. I'm Eric Olson with Helix Education, and we're here today with Kelly Ryan Bailey, Global Skills Evangelist at MC and host of the innovation and skills based hiring and learning podcast. Let's talk about skills baby, Kelly. It's great to have you on the show. Thank you so much for having me. Eric, really excited to talk with you today about forging new partnerships with local employers by creating a shared skills...

...language between us. Before we dig into that, can you give the listeners a little bit of background of both MC and your role? They're sure, of course so. Mzy Is a labor market analytics firm based in Moscow Idaho, but they actually work thelobally. My role there is really she you facilitate change to a skill based hiring and learning economy through open skill standards, innovative products and services and global initiatives and partnerships. I love it's so so excited about this conversation. Let's start on the scary side and then work our way back to hope by the end. Kelly, so many colleges have increased their focus on employer partnerships as enrollment growth channels. But scare us a little bit. Why don't employers need colleges anymore? Well, in all honesty, there are so many alternative learning and development options now. Employers typically need to move...

...a lot faster than traditional higher education can move. So they are looking at these alternative resources really closely and partnering with them. You know, one example would be late last year Ronstad partnered with you to me, and you know obviously plenty more examples like that. But because they need those employees up skilled in a very quick fashion, they have a lot of options now, and so in order to secure new employer partnerships, you believe it's more important than ever for institutions to prove and show their value to an employer. Can you walk us through your recent case study with southern New Hampshire University and how they're attempting to do that by deconstructing their programs into a shared skills language for employers, of course. So you know, I think the work that we're doing with Snhu is really fascinating because the idea is that what higher education offers is...

...extremely valuable. The biggest issue is just that employers don't understand it, because they understand but they need in terms of skills and that's not necessarily what higher education talks about when they're talking about what they offer in terms of program so at Snhu they're working with MV to actually break down all of their programs, courses, everything they offer into skills and that common language of skills that employers use. That envy has kindly open source as available to everyone higher education organizations, you know, government, etc. And they're allowing we call it here, skillifying education. But but essentially you know, they're they're just making it so that they understand and have in some visible fashion what they're teaching in terms of field. So let's walk through an example of what this would look like. To establish this kind of employer partnership. Let's say the institution is doing...

...a really good job listening. They're hearing a local employer who is looking to both upscale their current workforce as well as higher in a new set of skills. What are in the institutions next steps, after hearing those problems, to create a program proposal from that? Well, let's talk about this sort of like before you actually understood the skills that you taught in your programs, right, so, traditionally, what would happen when an employer came to you as an institution to ask that question? You serve scramble and create this brand new custom curriculum because you wanted to make sure that right you are offering what theyanced for. But the thing is that once you actually have visibility into the skills that you're offering in your program sort of broken down to its smallest component, let's say in the majority of schools, that's at a course level, you then have the ability to use what you already have created at your fingertips to...

...cust you know, when I say custom, I mean just reshuffle and repackage courses that you already have into something like a badge or a micro credential or you know whatever flavor of that you offer. Yeah, and so you mentioned about, you know, trying not to scare us the way in terms of this hyper customization. But I'm sure most of our academic listeners are have gotten those conversations before where it's a Collie, we have to create a new, completely customed program for their employer. I'm sure there's still some fear in the lift involved in creating these one offs, even for a big potential feeder employer. Why does that big lift not necessarily have to be the case once you scalify your program yeah, I think, you know, I really would envy has created and really wonderful software that sort of handles this. But I think just generally speaking, and I can talk about that a little bit more specifically...

...if you're interested, but generally speaking it's sort of this. You know, it's more the visibility. So if I can paint a picture for the listeners in their minds, the idea being that what if I could take let's say a syllabus document or a course description and I could actually see what skills I'm talking about and then make that comparison to also what is going on in the labor market to determine, you know, am I actually talking about all of the skills that I'm teaching in the way that employers understand and almost have it available in a software interface where I then can search and quickly and easily just click on a few courses based on the skills that this employers looking for to create that custom program. And again, I say custom loosely because, of course right it's this is custom in a very different way. It's a repackaged solution as opposed to creating from scratch. To what are some other benefits of...

...that repackaging? If we are moving from this storytelling experience where we are telling the outcomes of our program but now we're telling it from a skills perspective, how can this scalified program storytelling also help us better recruit new students? Well, on the flip side, just as an as you're noticing now with employers, you know, them understanding the return on investment in partnering with you as an institution, these same hugely enormous options are also available to students when it comes to what option, you know, where they want to turn for their education and learning needs. So I think the idea being that students are changing. You know, the average person has ten jobs throughout their life. We're living longer, there's so many things. You know, the labor market is changing so quickly that they've really looked at their ability to, let's say, sit down for that four year degree, maybe in a slightly different way.

And so when you're able to express to them you know, hey, this is really what you're learning, it's sort of a you know, marketing, because of course you know about all these other resources out there that are sharing the same messages as return on investment with your potential students, and so you're really talking about the value that you're bringing to them and focusing in on their goals right, because the majority of students that come to our schools are coming because their goal is to get a job from move forward in their career. You mentioned this focus on helping us to evolve what our learning economy looks like. Can you give us a future sneak peak? Ten years from now, let's say a lot more institutions are taking this skillified methodology to create, construct and customize their programs. What does that future learning economy look like, both from a student perspective and from an employer perspective. In all honesty, I think the three work more closely together, meaning the students, employees, the...

...employers and, of course, the education institutions. But the way that I see this, in all honesty, I think it's not going to be surprising to hear that you know my take and and this is not the envy take, this is the Kelly Ryan hilly take. Is that you know. I will just preface with that. My take is that in that time frame we're going to start to see less status of a degree holder as opposed to how quickly I can move an upskill myself through my life, career and learning pathway and the idea that I need to step in and out of education and and I would love to have a trusted resource in my alma mater to turn to, maybe I'm working towards a bachelor's degree or a master's degree or more throughout that life. But I need more options and I need faster, quicker options, as does my employer. So that's kind of the vision that I see...

...when someone asks me about what does this future of education and work look like? It's a closer tied relationship and it's better return on investment for all such good stuff. Kelly, any final next steps? Advice per institutions who are hearing this, nodding along, slightly terrified, but also with feelings of excitement and looking to create, or at least progress toward the shared skills language between their institutions and their local employers? Where should they start first? Yeah, I think you know. In all honesty, I would also say do not be scared. This is a fantastic opportunity for transformation and growth for your institution and those that you serve, which is a great place to be. There's so many options. Of course, since I am here today on behalf of MV, you know what I suggest, and I'm here, you know, on behalf of Mv because I truly believe in the work that we're doing it.

MV IS A number one. They have an open sourced skills library that any institution or organization can use, and it's a great way to start to understand what ways you can look at your curriculum in this shared skills language of employers. There are also some free resources on the skilled website, which is skilled dot MZ Datacom, that allow you to actually copy and paste in a syllabus document or course description and start to view what type of skills you are talking about in your curriculum, because there are times to remember that it's not that you are not teaching the skills, you may not be communicating them in your course descriptions and your syllabus document. So that is a great sort of entry level place to start. And then, of course, if you really want to get into this and start to look at this more broadly across all of the curriculum that you offer. Your institution, envy, is just a...

...few weeks shy of releasing their software solution around this, which is called Skillaby, and so I highly suggest that is the technology that we tested out with groups like southern New Hampshire University and others, and it has made a whole host of difference in the way that they can look at their curriculum and creating again, like I said, repackaged solutions for employer partnerships and other potential partnerships. Kelly, thanks so much of your time today. What's the best place for listeners to connect with you if they have any follow up questions? I am probably most active on Linkedin and I'm there at Kelly Ryan Bailey. I'm also on twitter if anyone wants to jump over their platform or platform of choice of course. But yeah, I would say if you don't mind messaging me on Linkedin. That's where you can find me and I'd love to connect with you. Awesome. Thanks so much for joining us today, Kelly. Thanks again, Eric. Attracting today's new post traditional learners means adopting new enrollment strategies.

Helix educations data driven, enterprise wide approach to enrollment growth is uniquely helping colleges and universities thrive in this new education landscape, and Helix has just published the second edition of their enrollment growth playbook with fifty percent brand new content on how institutions can solve today's most pressing enrollment growth challenges, downloaded today for free at Helix Educationcom. Playbook. You've been listening to enrollment growth university from Helix Education. To ensure that you never miss an episode, subscribe to the show in Itunes or your favorite podcast player. Thank you so much for listening. Until next time,.

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