Launching SkillSets for Coursera for Campus: Preparing Students for High-Growth Entry-level Jobs

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Launching SkillSets for Coursera for Campus: Preparing Students for High-Growth Entry-level Jobs

By Shwetabh Mittal, Senior Director, Product Management

University students are graduating into a new labor market, changed drastically by automation and the pandemic. The World Economic Forum estimates 85 million jobs will be displaced globally by 2025, with 40% of core skills changing for jobs that are set to remain.

The shifting skills landscape is also creating opportunities in the workforce, with 149 million new digital jobs expected by 2025. However, companies feel there is a mismatch between the skills students are graduating with and the skills required in the modern workplace. Recent research by Burning Glass Technologies found that hiring for entry-level college graduate positions has fallen 45%

Skills can connect academic curricula and the needs of employers. Today, we’re excited to announce that after a successful pilot, SkillSets are now available to any university using Coursera for Campus, an innovation that enables higher education institutions to prepare their students for high-demand jobs at scale. Students choose their target entry-level job, and SkillSets determine the exact skills they need to land those jobs and the content that will help prepare them. 

SkillSets are job-based learning programs that help universities: 

  • Drive target skill proficiencies needed for specific high-demand jobs for students at scale, with world-class content from leading university and industry educators like Johns Hopkins University, University of Michigan, Google, and IBM 
  • Accelerate skills acquisition through dynamic, personalized learning experiences for each student that curates content based on current skill level and target proficiency 
  • Integrate hands-on learning with Guided Projects to drive mastery of digital tools like Google Ads, WordPress, and Excel, and create portfolios of work 
  • Track skills development and proficiency at the student and cohort level, benchmarked against real employees in the industry 

Employers and students are increasingly looking to universities to prepare graduates for a competitive and fast-changing workforce. Universities are responding to the new paradigm, evolving their approach to deliver strong student outcomes by providing skills-first employability curricula.    

Within SkillSets, a given skill is assigned a target score between 0 (a true beginner) and 500 (the highest level of proficiency and mastery). 
Learners are then presented with a set of dynamic, data-driven course recommendations that tie to their skill goals. When a learner successfully completes a course assessment, the corresponding skill score increases.

With SkillSets, students can gain both the theoretical and applied knowledge they need to secure their chosen job upon graduation, and they can track their progress against their goals. Skills development analytics are important because universities need to know not only the skills required for specific jobs, but be able to communicate the level of skill proficiency their students can bring to that role. This creates the opportunity to connect skills-first learning with skills-first hiring. 

By developing the language of industry, universities can build relationships with recruiters and employers and match candidates to the right opportunities based on their skills. 

PROFICIENCY BY SKILL

PROFICIENCY BY SKILL INDUSTRY BENCHMARK

Measure the impact of SkillSets through the Skills Development Dashboard. 

With SkillSets, employers can hire with more confidence that university students are graduating with the same skills as current industry professionals. Collaboration between universities and employers will help prepare graduates for the new digital economy. To learn more about how you can use SkillSets to unlock employment opportunities for your students, visit coursera.org/campus.