The Career Engage badging pathway offers fully online engineering management, hospitality and tourism management, and public health students an opportunity to collect certifications, as well as the hard & soft skills needed for today’s in-demand job competencies.
While no career is exactly like another, there are a few core competencies that make graduates stand out. In specific, well-rounded, professional-readiness skills have become more important than ever in our remote world. They go beyond basic tips on how to interview well.
Understanding this, FIU Online created the Career Engage program in 2019. The program helps the university’s fully online engineering management students close the skills gap, hone communication abilities, and harness the skills they need for their respective industries.
An Edge for Students
Since 2019, the program has expanded to include fully online students in hospitality and tourism management degree programs, as well as those earning degrees in public health. Currently, Career Engage has more than 2,100 students enrolled. Many of whom are navigating the changing job landscape in the wake of COVID-19.
“The job search has become more challenging and competitive, discussed Nico Rose, Associate Director for Academic Program Management, FIU Online. “Career Engage was created to give our students an edge,” he said.
Career Engage: Tied to Industry Need
“At FIU we are constantly searching for ways to enhance our student experience, which in turn, will translate into student success,” reasoned Cynara Suarez, Associate Director of Online Student Services, FIU Online.
Rose added that Career Engage was designed to help augment traditional academic models. He explained that graduating students who want to stay relevant will need to consider ongoing learning through micro-credentials. This trend has fueled the rise of certifications and badges for a range of industries like engineering management, hospitality & tourism management, and public health.
“We connected with our unit liaisons in the college and their industry partners, which identified critical workforce competencies, as well as skill gaps that helped us focus on what experience to create within Career Engage,” he disclosed.
Three Step Badging Pathway
Completion of the three-step Career Engage pathway is self-determined and completely online. Also, It is built in the Canvas learning management system, so online learners can work at their own pace. Students are encouraged to complete their certifications and badges by the time they graduate.
When students start Career Engage, they begin a three-step badging pathway. The first step is to earn professional certifications. The second step encompasses soft skills that are in-demand and in need. The third step guides students to build their personal brand with a capstone project to create a career action plan.
Within Career Engage, students practice their skills with a mock interview that features role-play scenarios. When a student completes the entire badging pathway, they receive a Career Engage university badge. They can use the badge for their personal branding, such as on social media, email signatures, or resume.
Rose offered that additional Career Engage experiences will be added to pair with more fully online degrees in the future.
“Our hope is to foster a culture of lifelong learning. We want to be a university that goes beyond graduation,” concluded Suarez.