Guiding students through career decisions

Mesa Community College released a customized version of Emsi Career Coach, which is set to help students and future students make career and education decisions.

Emsi Career Coach is an online tool that uses Valley workforce data and a personality assessment to introduce users to fitting career ideas and lead them on a path to success in their education and their career endeavors.  

“If you’re not sure what you want to study, we really want to get people thinking about careers as maybe one of the first steps, so you can match your knowledge skills and aptitude to a good fit,” Michael Voss, Mesa Community College (MCC) Dean of Career and Technical Education, said.

Voss explained that when students plan for education and career decisions, they consider potential salary, demand in the field, and the ability to grow.

When students pursue an education, they “want to make sure they get a good return on that investment,” he said.

Emsi Career Coach also takes the user’s personality and strengths into account.

“I think a lot of times people just aren’t quite sure. You wouldn’t believe how many undecided students we get that really want direction. They want to know from us, ‘What is the best bet? Maybe I’m interested in this, but what if there’s a better option?,’” Voss said.

The users can choose a 60-question assessment or a quick six-question assessment for the personality and strength portion of the test.

“Emsi Career Coach created a proprietary six question version that works pretty effectively. Time is of the essence for people, you know? They want to get to what they’re looking for right away,” Voss said.

He added, “And so, the six-question version is a nice way to not lose your audience and maybe get them tied to their career searches and then better yet matching the educational offerings that prepare them for their careers.”

Emsi Career Coach is available to MCC students, but it is unique because it is also available to future MCC students and others who are considering the school.

“The reason why this one works pretty well compared to some other ones we’ve looked at is when you use the tool, you don’t have to be a student here yet or you don’t need to create a log in,” Voss said.

He added, “So, you can get that information right away. That is a big distinguishing characteristic of Career Coach and other tools.”

The tool’s availability to those who are considering MCC helps future students gain a better idea of the education path they want to take so they can reach career goals.

“We really want to establish that connection with that person so once they’ve made the first step in the journey, we can help them with the rest of that. And, we can have that high-touch conversation,” Voss said.

Emsi Career Coach piques interest, and MCC helps the students take it to the next step. Voss explained that future or current students can request more information, meet with faculty and visit the campus so they can figure out their next steps.

“I think people need connection and sense of assurity to validate their thinking or validate some ideas off of [others] so they don’t start just taking courses and then realize, ‘Ugh, I had no idea this is what it was going to be,’” he said.

Emsi Career Coach can also serve as a helpful tool for transitioning military service members as it can match their current work with civilian jobs, Voss explained.

The MCC-customized Emsi Career Coach can be found here.

Sierra Ciaramella

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