Just last month the University of Nebraska-Omaha, in partnership with Metro Community College and other organizations, launched Career Coach to the public. In that short time the easy-to-use career exploration tool has already created a healthy buzz.
This morning, the Omaha World-Herald wrote an in-depth article on the public-facing web app and how it was tailored to Omaha students and jobseekers thanks to collaboration between UNO, Metro CC, the Avenue Scholars Foundation, and the Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce.
From the story:
A new website helps job seekers figure out what skills they need for available jobs — and where to get them if they don’t have them.
Career Coach provides data on wages, employment trends, education opportunities and job postings in Omaha and cities within a 50-mile radius.
“The site helps people find jobs and good careers and helps them understand what kind of academic preparation they need to achieve their goals,” said Linda Mannering, a leader in developing the project and the previous director of Institutional Research at the University of Nebraska at Omaha.
After a user types in an occupation, the website generates a list of data and charts, including a career preparation tab that shows what applicable programs are offered at UNO and Metropolitan Community College.
“It’s wonderful for students to see those two options side by side,” Mannering said.
While the website is geared toward students, job seekers and people looking to switch careers also may find it useful.
“They can look at the skills gap analysis and see what they need to do to transition,” Mannering said.
The World-Herald piece describes what sets Career Coach apart from other tools, and how Avenue Scholars Foundation has already used the tool during a testing phase to give high school and college students career information. UNO, meanwhile, plans to use Career Coach in workshops for K-12 teachers, who would then be able to highlight the resource in the classroom — and even allow students to do career-searching on their own.
Unlike other job-searching tools, the website offers all necessary information in one place, Mannering said, including a résumé-building feature.
It’s also expected to be used in classrooms. Mary Lynn Reiser, director of UNO’s Center for Economic Education, will implement Career Coach this summer when teaching economics and personal finance workshops for K-12 teachers.
“A teacher would use the website in class and just have kids explore an occupation,” she said. “You can type in ‘architect’ and find related occupations, like draftsman. For an elementary class teacher, that would be interesting in and of itself and … would encourage students to do some more searching.”
Career Coach is a “one-stop shop” for career conversations, said Wayne Brown, director of career development at Avenue Scholars Foundation, which helps poor students transition from high school into college and the workforce.
The past six months, Brown has used a test version of Career Coach to help more than 175 high school and college students research careers.
“In the past, in order to have that conversation, I’d have to look at six websites and use sites I’m not sure about,” he said. “Now, I can have that same conversation within 15 or 20 minutes. It allows me to be more efficient. I can serve more students.”
The website has had about 3,000 hits since it launched publicly a month ago, but Mannering expects that number to spike when school starts again in the fall.