The events of the past year have had an immense and likely long-lasting impact on the global economy, the job market, and education systems. Last year, Microsoft and LinkedIn committed to an ambitious goal of helping 25 million job seekers around the globe get the skills they need to land a job in the digital economy. We exceeded that goal, reaching over 30 million people—but we know there is still a lot more to do, especially for higher education students. To be successful, students not only need the right skills, but also insights into the job market in their fields as well as guidance from connections and peers.

To support higher education students and institutions with workforce readiness, we are excited to announce Career Coach in Microsoft Teams for Education, powered by LinkedIn. Career Coach will provide personalized guidance for higher education students and help them navigate their career journey. It will be available to higher education institutions to offer to their students beginning in May 2021. See Career Coach in action on April 22 at the virtual event, “Higher Education Reimagined.” Save the date to attend this free event!

Career Coach supports students from their first day of higher education, and throughout their time at the institution. It will assist them in identifying career goals aligned with their passions, interests, and strengths. It will also help them find opportunities to develop real-world skills and connect them with alumni, peers, and faculty who can support them on their career path.

Many of today’s higher education students are concerned about their future. When the Class of 2021 graduates, they are likely to face an uncertain and challenging job market. According to EIU survey data (2020), 46 percent of students report being extremely concerned about getting a job after graduation, and over half said they had lost confidence in the value of a university/college education.

Higher education institutions are facing increased challenges as well. Some colleges and universities are seeing a decrease in applications and enrollments due to students losing confidence in the value of a university or college education. A recent survey of 2,200 teenagers showed that half were questioning the value of a traditional ­­four-year college experience and were open to alternative paths to careers.

Offering personalized career guidance that equips students with real-world skills can help institutions not only demonstrate positive employment outcomes, but also encourage new student enrollment and persistence through graduation. However, career services departments are not always scaled to provide personalized guidance to all students. This is where Career Coach comes in.

“Career Coach is embracing innovation and technological change, enhancing skills to enable our students to be resilient, innovative, and globally connected—capable of coping with technological and other transformational changes ahead for the future of work.” says Eleanor Donoghue, Head of Career Services at University College Cork. “Students can learn at their own pace, in their own time and be supported on their bespoke career development pathway.”

Students can access Career Coach to harness the power of LinkedIn to answer questions, like: What skills do I already have? What career options are out there? What new skills do I need for the job I want? What is the job market for my preferred profession? What paths have others in this profession taken?

Institutions can offer their students access to Career Coach within Microsoft Teams, a collaboration platform many higher education institutions are already using today. Teams provides a space for faculty and students to chat, collaborate on documents, attend lectures and meetings, and access their apps—all in one place. With the addition of Career Coach provided by their school, students will have a personalized career advisor in the same place they manage all their work.

Career Coach provides faculty and staff advisors with a deeper understanding of students’ skills and career goals so they can align curriculum development with student interests and job market trends. It allows institutions to bring together their course offerings with in-demand industry skills, connect students with real-world experiences, introduce them to a network of peers and alumni, and help them learn how to get the most out of LinkedIn.

Institutions that have a LinkedIn Learning* campus agreement can provide students access to LinkedIn Learning’s full 16,000+ course library, ensuring they can seamlessly identify and grow the skills needed to stand out in today’s job market. Students can also find learning resources in Microsoft Learn to prepare for industry-recognized Microsoft certifications. Career Coach also helps them track progress toward their goals and learn about the career journeys of alumni. 

To learn more about how Career Coach works, check out this demo to see the app in action. And stay tuned for details about how Career Coach can help your institution guide students and bring together the curricula, skills, and networks that will guide students toward fulfilling their career goals.

*Requires Career Coach + LinkedIn Learning