• Strategic Upskilling: Fueling Retention in the Age of Innovation


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    In the dynamic landscape of business, the evolution of skillsets plays a pivotal role in determining the success of companies. A key question arises: which types of roles are vital for your company's growth at this moment? Chances are, your team is encountering gaps in skills at multiple levels, and filling those skill gaps can give your company a competitive advantage. 

    Embracing a Skills-Based Approach

    One significant shift that has garnered attention is the shift towards hiring based on skills rather than traditional metrics like degrees or job titles. Relying solely on academic credentials or past job positions no longer provides a comprehensive understanding of an individual's potential contribution to a team. It's crucial to consider a diverse range of skills – including soft skills, technical expertise, decision-making abilities, life experiences, and motivation levels.

    A skills-based approach to talent development encompasses various formal and informal learning initiatives. These can range from strategic educational benefits to mentorship programs and experiential learning opportunities. Research from the Working Learners Index indicates that a staggering 90% of employees express willingness to remain with their employer if educational opportunities are provided as a benefit. Just envision the cost savings and productivity enhancements achievable with such a high retention rate!

    Education and Skills Development without Interruptions

    Turning vision into reality is exciting for everyone involved. Partners like GEDWorks™ and Accelerated Pathways can facilitate seamless education and skills development for employees without disrupting their careers. GEDWorks empowers individuals to attain their GED® high school equivalency credentials while continuing to work, while Accelerated Pathways offers flexible online higher education options ranging from Associate to Bachelor’s to Master's degrees and graduate certificates.

    These programs revolutionize traditional education by meeting learners at their current life stage, thereby preparing them for future careers brimming with fulfillment and success.

    Thriving in the Digital Economy

    Innovation knows no bounds, especially when it comes to addressing the demands of the digital economy. Collaborating with pioneering entities like WithYouWithMe, we've introduced the GED Tech Apprenticeship™ Program. This initiative equips GED learners with globally accredited training in high-demand tech fields such as software development, cybersecurity, and data analytics.

    For employers, this program presents an innovative and cost-effective solution to bridge skills gaps. By hiring pre-trained, diverse entry-level candidates at minimal expense, businesses can address their talent needs efficiently.

    Championing Bright Futures

    In today's landscape, complacency is no longer an option. Every individual deserves access to education and multiple pathways to achieve their career aspirations. We must challenge the status quo and embrace diverse avenues to foster promising careers for ourselves, our employees, and future generations.

    In conclusion, the paradigm shift towards skills-based hiring and education heralds a new era of business excellence. By prioritizing skills development, embracing innovative programs, and championing inclusive career pathways, businesses can thrive in the ever-evolving landscape of the modern economy.


    Dive deeper on a quick call with an upskilling expert at Accelerated Pathways.

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  • The ROI of Learning: How to Measure the Impact of Education on Business Growth


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    Many organizations agree that education leads to growth for employees and companies. Research shows that education is a wise investment for organizations: “68% of workers say they would stay with their employer throughout their career if the employer made an effort to upskill them” (Source: Annual Career Optimism Index)

    However, it’s often difficult to understand just how much and which education benefit programs are the best investments. The tips below will help you measure results more effectively. 

    Top challenges in measuring ROI in learning initiatives 

    When it comes to measuring return on investment (ROI) from learning initiatives for employees, it can be challenging due to various factors.  

    • Intangible benefits: The impact of learning initiatives on employee performance and productivity is often intangible and not easily quantifiable. Soft skills development, improved collaboration, and enhanced communication are examples of outcomes that may not have straightforward metrics – but are still valuable.
    • Measurement tools and methods: Selecting appropriate measurement tools and methods is crucial. Traditional assessment tools may not adequately capture the effectiveness of certain types of learning, such as experiential or on-the-job learning. 
    • Complexity of job roles: Measuring ROI becomes more challenging in complex job roles where performance is influenced by a combination of factors. It may be difficult to attribute changes solely to a learning initiative when other external factors play a significant role. 
    • Lack of baseline data: Without adequate baseline data on employee performance before the learning initiative, it becomes challenging to measure improvements accurately. Establishing clear performance benchmarks is essential for meaningful ROI calculations. 
    • Technology: In an increasingly digital learning environment, integrating and leveraging technology for tracking and measuring employee progress can pose challenges. Issues such as data privacy, security, and compatibility can impact the effectiveness of measurement systems. 

    To overcome these challenges, you’ll need to choose education programs with measurable objectives, and continuously assess the effectiveness of their learning programs over time. Regular evaluations and adjustments can help improve the accuracy of ROI measurements for employee learning initiatives. 

    Key metrics for measuring ROI for learning initiatives 

    Education benefits can also help save tens of thousands of dollars – per person – in costs related to replacing employees in turnover situations. In many industries, replacing a robust frontline workforce is an enormous expense due to high levels of turnover, some averaging over 100% annually. “Among positions earning $30,000 a year or less, which includes more than half of all U.S. workers, the cost of replacing an employee is almost equal to those positions earning less than $75,000 annually.” (Source: Center for American Progress)  

    Investing in the right education programs can increase retention, saving an organization on the cost of turnover. 

    In order to take into account the tangible and intangible benefits of gaining knowledge and skills, it’s important to consider a mix of quantitative and qualitative metrics.  

    Quantitative Metrics: 

    • Cost of learning: Direct costs include expenses related to designing, developing, and delivering the learning program. Indirect costs are associated with employee time away from work during learning.
    • Productivity metrics: Output measures assess changes in employee productivity, efficiency, or output after completing the learning. 
    • Employee performance: Key performance indicators (KPIs) help link learning outcomes to elements that are relevant to each individual’s role.
    • Retention rates: Track the retention of employees who have undergone learning compared to those who haven't.
    • Time to competency: Measure the time it takes for employees to reach full productivity after completing the learning.
    • Employee engagement: Gather number-driven feedback through surveys on the learning program and its impact on engagement. Participation rates demonstrate the level of employee engagement in voluntary learning programs.
    • Employee development: Track the number of employees who create and follow through with personal development plans post-learning.
    • Return on time invested: Calculate the time employees spend in learning versus the resulting performance improvement.
    • Technology adoption: Track the adoption and proficiency in using new technologies or tools introduced during learning.
    • Cost savings: Identify and quantify any cost savings resulting from improved efficiency or reduced errors. 

    Qualitative Metrics: 

    • Employee feedback: Collect qualitative data on how employees perceive the learning, its relevance, and its impact on their work. This can be done through focus groups and surveys with open-ended answer fields.  
    • Skill acquisition: Self-assessment: Ask employees to assess their own skills before and after learning. Manager assessments: Gather feedback from supervisors on observed improvements in skills.
    • Knowledge transfer: Assess how well employees can apply the knowledge gained from learning to their daily tasks.
    • Leadership development: Discover potential leaders within your organization as a result of leadership learning programs.
    • Team collaboration: Evaluate improvements in team collaboration and communication.
    • Innovation and problem-solving: Get a sense of upticks in innovative ideas and creative problem-solving after learning.
    • Employee satisfaction: Observe changes in attitudes and motivation before and after participating in learning programs. 

    The selection of metrics needs to align with the specific goals and objectives of the learning program and your organization's overall strategy. Combining both quantitative and qualitative measures provides a more comprehensive understanding of the impact of learning initiatives on employee development and organizational success. 

    Turnkey solutions like Pearson Accelerated Pathways help achieve goals without the stress 

    By offering employees a means to get the development they need to support the career they desire, the potential benefits are many and measurable. Plus, you don’t have to worry about time and resources needed to manage the learning experience – it’s all part of Accelerated Pathways. 

    Options include Associate, Bachelor’s, and Master's degrees as well as graduate certificates. Remedial courses are also available for learners who have completed high school education but may not be fully ready for college-level work. You can learn more and schedule a time to speak with an education benefits expert here.  

    Your organization will benefit from the following advantages:   

    • Improve employee skill sets with future-focused, career-applicable education
    • Reduce turnover and absenteeism
    • Deliver new skills to roles impacted by technology and automation
    • Minimize speed-to-competency for roles affected by worker retirement
    • Boost productivity, morale and brand loyalty
    • Encourage efficiency and profit gains
    • Increase employee engagement
    • Increase talent pipeline
    • Improve Net Promoter Score
    • Increase employer brand value 

    Don’t hesitate – connect with a representative at Accelerated Pathways soon! 

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  • How Skills-Based Learning Can Elevate Your Career


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    Do you often dream of taking your knowledge to the next level? Whether it’s to advance in your career or accomplish personal learning goals, certificates are quickly becoming the most in-demand form of post-secondary education. In a nutshell, they’re time-efficient, cost-effective, flexible, and focused. Certificates are all about skills-based learning. Online college courses for skills-based learning span many disciplines. You can zero in on the knowledge you need without spending time or money on concepts that may not be directly relevant to your career path and aspirations. 

    Skills-based learning is popular among working professionals because it’s an educational approach that focuses on developing specific skills and competencies relevant to a particular profession or industry. It is designed to enhance the practical knowledge and abilities for your respective fields, allowing you to stay sharp in your current role, adapt to changing job requirements, or go for that promotion you’ve been dreaming of!

    "Certificates provide post-secondary level education without worrying about large student loan debt; they can be achieved in a matter of weeks or months, not years. They are flexible, allowing learners to build knowledge and skills at their own pace." — Vicki Greene, President of GED Testing Service and SVP Workforce Skills

    The Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce conducted a research study called “Certificates: Gateway to Gainful Employment and College Degrees”. Just a few findings from the report include: 

    • 1,000,000+ certificates were awarded in 2010, which has risen more than 3x from 300,000 in 1994

    • 44% of certificate holders work in a field related to their certificate training.

    • The most common occupations of certificate holders are in fields such as business, transportation, healthcare and metalworking.

    Why consider skills-based learning?

    • Targeted Skills Development: Skills-based learning identifies the specific skills required for success in a particular profession or industry. These skills could include technical expertise, problem-solving, critical thinking, communication, leadership, project management, or any other relevant skill set.

    • Practical Application: The emphasis of skills-based learning is on practical application rather than theoretical knowledge alone. Professionals are encouraged to apply the acquired skills in real-world scenarios through hands-on projects, case studies, simulations, or workplace-based assignments.

    • Customized Learning Pathways: Learning programs are often tailored to the needs and goals of individual professionals or groups within a specific organization. This customization allows participants to focus on the skills they need to improve or acquire based on their job roles, career aspirations, or current industry demands.

    • Flexible Learning Formats: Skills-based learning recognizes the time constraints and commitments of working professionals. As a result, it often offers flexible learning formats such as online courses, part-time programs, evening classes, self-paced modules, or blended learning approaches that combine in-person and virtual components.

    • Continuous Learning and Upgrading: Skills-based learning is an ongoing process that encourages professionals to engage in lifelong learning. It recognizes the importance of staying updated with emerging trends, technologies, and industry practices, enabling individuals to remain competitive in their fields.

    • Recognition and Certification: Successful completion of skills-based learning programs may be accompanied by certifications, badges, or credentials that validate the acquired skills. These credentials can serve as proof of competency and enhance professional credibility when seeking new job opportunities or career advancement.

    What are the benefits of skills-based learning?

    • Enhanced employability: By acquiring in-demand skills, professionals become more attractive to employers and are better positioned for career advancement or job transitions.

    • Adaptability to industry changes: Skills-based learning equips professionals with the ability to adapt to evolving industry demands, technological advancements, and changing job requirements.

    • Improved job performance: The practical nature of skills-based learning allows professionals to apply their newly acquired skills directly in their work, leading to improved performance and productivity.

    • Confidence and self-efficacy: Developing and mastering specific skills through targeted learning can boost professionals' confidence, motivation, and belief in their abilities.

    • Networking opportunities: Skills-based learning often provides opportunities for professionals to connect with peers, mentors, and industry experts, fostering valuable networks and collaborations.

    Overall, skills-based learning can serve as a catalyst for professional growth so you can remain competitive, adaptable, and successful in your career. Explore dozens of courses available through Pearson Accelerated Pathways.  

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  • Pearson Accelerated Pathways and Edcor Reinforce Partnership and Now Offer Graduate Certificates


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    Pearson Accelerated Pathways and Edcor Reinforce Partnership and Now Offer Graduate Certificates
    Graduate-level certificates allow busy professionals the opportunity for career advancement

    SAN ANTONIO, Texas — Pearson Accelerated Pathways and Edcor are expanding their partnership to provide a Master's Advising pathway, including graduate certificates, to their portfolio of clients. Academic advising and career coaching are also part of the program. This new pathway offers Edcor clients more opportunities to meet learners where they are in their careers and educational journeys. Graduate certificates will empower learners to earn stackable credentials that will prepare them for advanced degrees and give them specialized training that can lead to career advancement.

    According to a recent study by the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, certificates are the fastest-growing form of post-secondary credentials in the United States. This is one of the main reasons propelling Pearson and Edcor to focus on meeting this increasing need in the market.

    “At Edcor, we continuously work with our partners to develop resources and technology to solve complex business problems through innovation in order to help clients face the challenges of a dynamic and emergent workplace. We are thrilled to introduce graduate certificates with Pearson Accelerated Pathways to fill the knowledge gaps for in-demand skills.” — Adrienne Way, CEO and Owner, Edcor Data Services LLC

    Edcor, a leading provider of education benefit administration, has been offering debt-free college degrees for client employees through tuition benefits. Micro-credentials and certificates provide post-secondary level education without worrying about hefty student loans; they can be achieved in a matter of weeks or months, not years. For organizations and individuals, these benefits help fill knowledge gaps and upskill employees for more advanced roles.

    “Leveraging the established relationships between Edcor, Pearson Accelerated Pathways and university partners, learners can take advantage of graduate-level courses at a fraction of the cost compared to traditional graduate programs. Learners can benefit from $0 out-of-pocket costs in most cases through their employers’ tuition assistance program. This leads to win-win results — significant savings for organizations and employees.” — Vicki Greene, President of GED Testing Service and SVP Workforce Skills.

    Career-focused graduate certificates will be available for clients across industries to enable their employees to achieve higher education through a flexible online program that fits even the busiest schedules. Graduate certificates transfer into graduate degrees for a seamless learning experience. Along with Pearson’s proprietary Global Digital Classroom platform for Bachelor-level, this new addition creates a truly holistic offering.

    For more information, please contact:

    Kate Slivinski, Director of Marketing, Pearson Accelerated Pathways 866-989-5432 | kate.slivinski@pearson.com

    About Pearson Accelerated Pathways

    Pearson Accelerated Pathways provides higher education, upskilling and reskilling through a flexible online college experience. Professionals get the opportunity to earn degrees without interrupting their careers. Options include Associate’s, Bachelor’s and Master's degrees as well as graduate certificates. Learners earn credits that are transferrable to over 2,000 colleges and universities across the United States. More information is available at pearsonaccelerated.com

    About Edcor

    Edcor, a certified woman-owned business, is the benchmark in education benefits administration. For over 40 years, our customized service and software solutions have allowed clients to use education benefits programs, including tuition assistance and student loan assistance, for employee recruiting, retention and development. Additional information can be found at edcor.com

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  • Top Reasons to Get an Online Graduate Certificate


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    When life moves at a hundred miles an hour, it can be tough to even think about stopping to pursue a graduate degree. But what if you didn’t have to stop, or even pause? What if you could benefit from graduate-level learning while working and juggling everything in life? It’s possible, surprisingly affordable — and can fit into even the busiest schedule. Here’s how and why you should totally go for it!

    Why it’s a solid decision to pursue a graduate certificate online

    Flexibility: Online graduate certificate programs like Accelerated Pathways offer the flexibility to balance work, family, and other responsibilities while pursuing advanced education. Online learning enables you to access courses, classwork, and assignments anytime, anywhere. You’ll find there’s even space for “me” time to relax and recharge.

    Career advancement: To stay competitive at work — whether you’re aiming for a promotion or searching for a new role — enhancing your skills and knowledge help make your profile stand out.

    Professional development: Online graduate certificate programs can help introduce competencies in new areas and/or expand on existing knowledge. Say hello to a broader range of professional opportunities!

    [Much!] Lower cost: Online graduate certificate programs are less expensive than traditional on-campus programs, which means less debt. Some employers even offer tuition assistance — be sure to ask your HR department.

    For example, according to a study by the Education Data Initiative: “the cost of a Master's degree typically ranges between $30,000 and $120,000 depending on the school, the major, and the length of the program. The average cost of a Master's degree is $62,650.”

    At Accelerated Pathways, our high-quality college courses are 36% less expensive than the national average. And with the freedom to pay as you go, there’s no need for student loans.
    There are also obvious cost savings associated with not having to live on campus or commute to class.

    Interactive learning: Online courses often incorporate interactive elements like discussion boards, multimedia presentations, and online simulations, which can make learning easier, more engaging, and more collaborative. As a plus, students who participate in online courses often develop stronger digital skills, which can be beneficial in many areas of work and life.

    Personal enrichment: You may want to pursue an online graduate certificate without going for the full Master’s degree. Learning is rewarding and healthy; it doesn’t always have to be tied to a career plan.

    Check out some of our most popular online graduate certificates at Accelerated Pathways: Leadership, Marketing, Human Resources Management, Criminal Justice Leadership, Social-Emotional Learning, Public Administration Leadership, Healthcare Management, Instructional Design and Technology, Sport Management, Emergency Management Leadership, Fire/Rescue Executive Leadership, Project Management...So many great learning opportunities to choose from!

    How to obtain your online graduate certificate through Pearson Accelerated Pathways

    You’ve read this far down, so you must be feeling pretty convinced by now. Below are the steps to keep in mind for a graduate certificate through Accelerated Pathways. You can read on for more details about how the program works.

    1.  Choose a program: Select an area of study that fits your interests and career goals. All courses are 100% online and have monthly start dates for ultimate flexibility.
    2.  Apply: Once you have chosen a program, you will need to submit an online application. The application usually requires personal and academic information, including a transcript from your undergraduate studies.
    3. Complete the program requirements: Upon acceptance, you will need to complete the program requirements, which typically include completing a set of courses and maintaining a minimum GPA.
    4. Obtain your graduate certificate: After completing the program requirements, you will receive a graduate certificate from Pearson Accelerated Pathways. Certificates count for credits at partner universities where you can continue your studies if you wish to pursue a full Master’s degree.

    You can find the answers to questions that are floating excitedly around your brain. You can even sign up to connect with an advisor for a commitment-free conversation.

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  • How to Choose a College


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    Feeling overwhelmed by the thought of choosing a college? We understand how intimidating it can seem. Choosing a college is one of the most important decisions you can make in life—with tons of factors involved like affordability, accreditation, location vs. online.

    While these considerations may seem complicated and overwhelming, don’t get discouraged! We’re experts at helping students research colleges and choose the right degree path.

    Check out these tips to get started!

    1.       Clarify your career goals

    Figuring out your professional goals may seem like a tough place to start. Perhaps you’d prefer to delay choosing a college major until after you’ve started college. However, we encourage you to start with the end in mind.

    Having a general idea of what you’d like to do after college will help you determine what type of education you’ll need. In turn, you’ll be able to narrow down your choices based on colleges that specialize in your preferred subjects of interest.

    To figure out your career goals and preferred degree majors, start by answering these five questions.

    2.       In-person or online college?

    Now that you have an idea of what you’d like to study, it’ll be easier to look for colleges that specialize in your major. But wait… there’s another decision to make first! Do you want to go to college online or in-person?

    Here are a few of the top reasons you might choose one over the other:


    • Flexible schedule
    • Lower cost
    • Greater accessibility


    • Hands-on learning
    • Social/extracurricular activities
    • Campus living

    If you choose online college…

    You’ll have an array of options readily available at your fingertips. Even many previously in-person campuses now offer online degree programs – or a mix of online and in-person. You’ll also have opportunities to knock out your general education courses through a flexible program (like ours)—at a lower cost—and then transfer that credit into your graduating institution to finish out your degree.

    Since the pandemic, online degrees have become more mainstream and legitimized. Still, it’s important to find quality online learning. You can do that by making sure your online institution has regional accreditation. This is the standard accepted across a broad spectrum of institutions. It ensures that your hard-earned college credit is valid and can transfer to almost any college or university of your choice. (All of our Accelerated Pathways courses are regionally accredited and guaranteed to transfer!)

    If you choose in-person college…

    There will be several factors to consider, including whether you want to live on-campus (in a dorm) or off-campus. In addition to researching housing options, you’ll need to consider location, transportation, campus atmosphere, facilities, accessibility, course schedules, extracurricular activities and additional costs like meals, utilities, facility fees, etc.

    Once you have a few colleges in mind, it’s a great idea to visit them or do a campus tour. This will allow you to get a better understanding of the logistics and other details you may not have previously considered. You’ll have a better opportunity to compare campuses and figure out the best fit based on your unique needs. On your visits, be sure to ask any questions that you’re still unsure about—clarify your perception vs. the reality of attendance.

    3.       Talk with an academic advisor

    Here’s the best news about choosing a college… help is available! There are experts who know all the ins-and-outs of college admissions, degree programs, costs and more. They can help you navigate your way to the right school.

    In fact, our academic advisors do your college research for you... for free! We factor in:

    • Which majors interest you?
    • How many hours per week can you study?
    • What do you want out of your college experience?
    • Have you’ve already earned any college credit?

    Our academic advisor will conduct intensive research of thousands of colleges based specifically on your circumstance and preferences. They’ll even find out which colleges accept any prior credit you may have. Finally, they'll give you a custom College Options Report with a side-by-side comparison of the degree programs that best fit your preferences.

    While each educational institution has its own academic advisors who can tell you about their specific college programs, the academic advisors at Accelerated Pathways help you shop around and compare colleges. Why? Because we provide a different type of degree program—one that empowers you to earn your general education credit—fast and cheap—and then transfer it seamlessly to the college of your choice.

    4.       Compare your final options

    Once you narrow down your options, you’ll want to make final comparisons.

    Consider key factors like:

    • Which of the degrees can I obtain the fastest?   
    • Which of the schools costs the least?
    • Which of the options accepts most of my prior credit?
    • Which degree can I finish completely online?

    If you chat with one of our academic advisors, we'll carefully walk you through the College Options Report and explain the breakdown of colleges by degree, transferable credit, time to completion, cost and other important factors. In addition, you should go over these comparisons with parents, mentors or significant others. This is a big decision that may affect them too.

    5.       Commit and work hard

    Once you have enough information to make a college choice, commit to it and work hard! College will be difficult. It’ll require a lot of your time, focus and energy, and there will be moments when you just want to give up. Try to remember your intrinsic motivation, and think about why you wanted to be a better version of yourself—personally and professionally. Just know, you’re building a better future each time you sit down to study!


    Ready for a free college consultation from one of our world-class academic advisors? Why not find out your college options and get expert help making the right choice. Get started here!

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  • 4 Steps to Start a New Career as a College Grad


    two accomplished multiracial businessmen discussing idea new business projects at office desk, multi ethnic business group having pleasant time

    Breaking into a new career can be… tough business! Even if you’ve just earned a degree – in that field – most job descriptions will still require several years of experience to apply. We encourage you to apply anyway!

    Here’s why.

    As a college student or recent grad, you’ve probably already developed a lot of the knowledge and qualifications to ready yourself for the role. Even without the exact years of experience they want, you can still get the attention of employers and make the case for why you’re the best candidate.

    Here how!

    1.       Find ways to gain relevant experience

    You’re already earning a degree in your chosen field, which means you probably have up-to-date knowledge to offer your profession. Still, that doesn’t make up for a lack of experience. That’s why you should look for ways to get hand-on experience in addition to your schoolwork.

    One of the best ways is through an internship. Not only can you put your newfound knowledge to use, but you’ll also get a chance to grow your professional network and build your resume. Better yet, 37% of interns end up getting hired full-time by the organization. Check out these 7 Ways to Rock an Internship.

    If you can’t land an internship, try volunteering, attending industry events, participating in professional organizations, doing freelance work, creating personal projects or finding a mentor in your chosen field. Anything you can think of to build experience will make your case when it comes time to apply for jobs.

    2.       Tailor your skills to employer needs

    Even without prior job experience, you can still develop the right skills to create a strong impactful resume. Start by reading multiple job listings for your chosen career and note any common employer needs. Find ways to learn any skills that aren’t part of your school curriculum. For example, if employers require knowledge of specific software, sign up for a trial use of that software program and complete tutorials.  

    Be sure to reference these skills and keywords on your resume and cover letter when applying for jobs. It’s a great idea to tailor your application to fit the employer’s needs, rather than your own. Not only does this show that you’ve paid attention to what they want, but also that you're ready to meet their needs and be a team player. Check out additional tips on How to Write a Resume When You’re Still in College (With Examples).

    3.       Build your professional network

    In addition to applying for as many jobs as possible, you should also be networking. If you don’t already have a professional network, build one! LinkedIn is a great way to connect with people who are well-established in your chosen field. Check out How to Make a LinkedIn Profile as a College Student.

    Once your profile is built, start looking for professional organizations and industry associations to join. Any time you meet a potential life connection, add them on LinkedIn! You can also share your professional journey by posting things you’re working on, creative ideas and industry thoughts. Look for ways to show off your abilities and insert yourself in the conversation. This will give you a better chance of getting noticed, staying relevant and landing your dream job!

    4.       Refine your interview skills

    Once you finally get an interview, you’ll need to do tons of preparation. Remember, this is your moment to make your case! You’ll need to explain why the company should invest in you rather than someone with more experience.

    To show that you’re prepared for this role, you’ll need to thoroughly research the organization and plan to answer the typical job interview questions. In addition, go through their job listing again and be able to address everything they’re looking for. For any areas you’re lacking, let them know your willingness to compensate with hard work and perseverance.

    Finally, be sure to stress how excited you are to develop your skills, learn from the best and grow your career with them. For more interview tips, check out how to Ace the Interview to Land that Job or Internship.


    Looking to build skills that help you start or break into a new career? Our academic counselors are experts at getting students from any starting point to their final goal. Reach out today for a free college consultation!


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  • Why Are Employers Taking a Skills-Based Approach to Talent Development?


    interview situation with view of interviewer's hand holding a tablet with labeled lists for hard skills and soft skills

    Here’s an alarming number: 73% of workers are actively thinking about quitting their jobs. That's a lot. If The Great Resignation has taught employers any lesson, it’s this: Employees want the opportunity to learn and advance.

    However, simply providing generic tuition assistance or generalized learning programs may not get employees where they want to go. That’s why many employers have turned toward a skills-based approach to talent development—focusing on what an employee can do, rather than just what their role requires.

    Shifting your talent development focus

    By focusing on skill development, employers can gain a clear measure of employee proficiency and use it to provide the type of focused learning and career pathways that increase employee engagement while also making the employer more competitive. Not only does this deepen the organization’s talent pool, but it also democratizes its careers by creating equitable and transparent access to job opportunities.

    Giving employees the opportunities to advance their skills helps employers unlock internal talent mobility. Whether it's an employee who wants to upskill because their profession is constantly evolving, or they want to grow in their career to become more senior, or even if they want to reskill to start something brand new, employers should look for clear pathways to achieve these goals.

    According to Susan Manning, Senior Manager of Customer Education, Credly, “It’s really about assessing employee skills to determine the gap, then creating personalized development plans so they can actually increase their proficiency with a skill. Their performance then becomes proof of their development.” Having a skills-based development framework to enable a personalized learning experience moves the needle forward for both the employee and the employer.

    Different skills-based approaches

    A skills-based approach to talent development can include a broad spectrum of formal and informal learning programs—everything from strategic education benefits to credentialing, mentoring and new experiences. This approach recognizes that skill development is achievable in many forms. The key to these different approaches is in measuring development strategically to assess the skills your organization has and then create development plans to obtain needed skills in targeted ways.

    One method – credentialing – provides organizations with a way to invest in talent while also gaining measurable data points to understand where skills bench strengths across the organization. Andrew Vecchiarelli, Strategic Initiatives and Learning Manager, BMO Financial Group helped build an internal credentialing program to prepare employees for the future of work. The program, Demo Forward, offers multiple curriculums that cover skills such as data visualization, analytics, cybersecurity, and even power skills like influence and emotional intelligence. Digital badges are given out through Credly as a recognition of the work.

    As Andrew Vecchiarelli explained, “Because the program is voluntary and because there is a time commitment, depending on which curriculum you're looking at – it could be anywhere between 13 and 17 hours of work that goes into achieving a digital badge – it really is a clear indication of not only skill development, but of career interest and commitment by the employee. The digital credential actually becomes an evidence point of skill sets that the employee has, which allows our leaders to use it to help plan their own talent decisions. Then ideally, as we continue to look future-focused and through other technology integrations, it'll also suggest career opportunities to the employee that are aligned to their interests and career ambitions.”

    Other companies, particularly those with frontline workers, have found that skills-based development is best achieved by providing strategic education benefits with a range of targeted learning options and flexible, non-traditional degree programs, including bilingual options. Enabling employees to pursue their educational goals without taking on debt can be a primary motivator for many essential employees. This can also help to fill basic skill and language gaps that many employees may be lacking. Michael Karicher, Executive Vice President of HR and Training, Remington Hotels partnered with Accelerated Pathways for his talent development needs, explaining, “Their program helps fill a critical gap for parts of our workspace that traditional development programs don't serve very well.”

    Getting leadership buy-in

    By focusing on a personalized learning experience, employees can build a robust profile of skills that meet their career aspirations and drive the organization forward. However, finding the right skills-based approach requires data-driven decision-making and buy-in from leadership. According to Andrew Vecchiarelli, “Executive sponsorship can be the catalyst that drives your entire talent management engine, but it really takes thinking about how skills change your HR ecosystem and not just how it helps become a proof point of a particular learning experience.”

    Support from direct supervisors is also key to successful implementation, as they play a significant role as champions (or gatekeepers) in employee promotion and advancement. They’re frequently asked, ‘What do I need to do to get to the next level?’ If they’re willing to champion a new skills-based development approach, then the program will gain success and the employer will earn a reputation for its culture of fostering employee growth.

    Taking the first steps

    According to the Working Learners Index, 90% of employees say they would stay with their employer if education was offered as a benefit. Most organizations understand this and strive to offer talent development opportunities that deliver improved results. Ultimately, that’s what skills-based development is about—keeping the employee happy with their role, but also providing them opportunities to develop and move either laterally or vertically in the organization.

    Ready to shift to skills-based development? At Pearson, we have the right resources to help you customize the best approach for your workforce. Our programs aren't just discounts on tuition. We offer managed education services that target your skills gap, drive your business objectives and make you an employer of choice. Get in touch with us to learn more!

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  • Why a College Degree Is Important


    young woman in cap and gown outdoors holding degree and smiling

    Wondering if a college degree is really worth the time and money investment? What if it doesn’t pay off? And what about the people who find success without a college degree?

    Here’s the thing… those situations are more of an exception than the rule. In the real world, people without a bachelor’s degree end up earning 35% less per year than those who graduated. In addition, bachelor’s degree requirements have become more commonplace for good-paying jobs.

    Overall, college is still the best way to set yourself up for success in life. Here are five reasons why.

    1.       Higher income

    According to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the average college graduate earns $78,000 per year, against an average of $45,000 per year for individuals with only a high school diploma. Even college dropouts are twice as likely to live in poverty compared with those who completed earned a degree.

    In the information age, this trend will only continue, and the best jobs with higher incomes will require a college degree. Bottom line… if you want a stable career where you can build your profession and earning potential over time, college is the way to go.

    2.       Better employer benefits

    Don’t want to end up in the gig economy with no health insurance or other safety nets? College graduates have greater access to employer benefits like paid time off, retirement savings plans and other full-time perks. In fact, degree holders are 47 percent more likely to have health insurance through their jobs than individuals with just a high school diploma.

    These types of benefits can have long-term significance, especially if you live in a country with soaring healthcare costs and expensive retirement living. Having a full-time job with good benefits can help you build long-term security and savings—rather than being wiped out by an emergency or sudden health scare. You’ll have the chance to live and retire more securely.

    3.       Lower unemployment rates

    The U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics consistently shows that college graduates have lower unemployment rates than individuals who did not go to college. In February 2022, high school graduates with no college had an unemployment rate of 4.5 percent, whereas those with a bachelor’s degree had the lowest unemployment rate at 2.2 percent.

    Bachelor’s degree holders have better chances of possessing the skills that appeal to employers and therefore of getting hired and earning more. Not only does unemployment decrease considerably for college graduates, but they can also move up the career ladder faster and find more career options.

    4.       More career opportunities                                                                                                                        

    As mentioned, college graduates have a wider variety of career options than other workers do. Having a bachelor’s degree allows you to apply to many different career fields, even outside of your major. In fact, over 80 percent of jobs in four of the fastest-growing occupations—healthcare, STEM, education and government services—require a bachelor’s degree.

    Having more job opportunities also means having a greater chance of finding a career that you enjoy. For example, if you majored in psychology but eventually decided that you’d prefer to teach, you could still qualify for a teaching position and could transition more easily than someone who has to start their education from scratch.

    5.       Stronger personal development

    Earning a bachelor’s degree is a terrific way to let employers know that you’re a goal-oriented applicant who can provide great communication, leadership and problem-solving skills—all attributes which are key to the future of work

    However, a degree is much more than just proving your value to others. College helps you achieve personal growth and self-development. There’s a deeper type of learning that you gain as you pull yourself out of your comfort zone and endure the academic, personal and social challenges faced as an incoming first-year student. College challenges you intellectually while also giving you the opportunity to explore your interests, expand your mind, reach new goals and define who you want to be in the world.

    In a nutshell, earning a degree is empowering! You can gain lasting personal benefits such as a boost in confidence, improved mental health and a greater sense of achievement.

    Ready to do college your way?

    At Accelerated Pathways, we empower you get the degree you want, from the school you want, at the speed you want… all without going into debt. Our students are free from the limitations of traditional college—no classrooms, set schedules or overpriced textbooks!

    No matter where you are in completing a degree, you can do it faster—and cheaper—by knocking out college credit with Accelerated Pathways. Why not start today?

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