Alan Walton is a data scientist at Degreed, but he didn’t start at Degreed with that job title.

Alan got a degree in math, with a minor in logic, and then landed his first job as a developer. Data science is currently one of the hottest jobs in America, but the term “data science” has only recently emerged. It was not a career that Alan had even heard of when he was in school. Like most millennials, Alan tried a few different jobs. His first job out of college was working for a startup where he wore a lot of hats. He worked on integrations, technical support, implementation, and technical writing. Alan started at Degreed as a developer, then worked as a product manager, and now a data scientist.

Alan’s career agility is enabled by his passion for learning. While in college, Alan’s quest for knowledge led him to learn speed reading. But, when walking through the university library one day, a quick calculation led him to realize that even when speed reading, it would still take him 200 years to read every book in the library. He knew he needed an alternative way to focus his learning.

Before Alan started working at Degreed, he stumbled upon Degreed online and became one of its first beta users in 2013. Alan has now accumulated nearly 40,000 points on his Degreed profile, which might make him the highest point earner in the entire Degreed platform. To give you some perspective, I have 12,000 points on my Degreed profile, which is more than most people on Degreed.

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When Alan first became interested in the data science role, he leveraged Degreed to make the transition. He created personal pathways in Degreed with resources from within the Degreed library, online resources, books, videos, and podcasts. He built pathways for data science in general with additional lessons focusing on sub-topics specific to the projects he was working on and the technical tools for his job.

Alan is a member of the data science group on Degreed, follows other data scientists, and follows the data scientist role so the popular articles, videos, and books his data science coworkers are reading plus the resources the organization recommends for this role show up in his Degreed learning feed, which he routinely takes advantage of.

Takeaways

Will Alan be a data scientist for the rest of his career? I doubt it. He says he’s really interested in AI. If you’re interested in gaining the same level of career agility as Alan, Degreed has the development tools to help.

  • Enroll in a pathway on the topic, create your own pathway, or clone an existing pathway and customize it for your needs.
  • Follow experts in the role you are interested in.
  • Join a group.
  • Follow the role, which will automatically link you to learning, pathways, groups, and experts.
  • Interested in learning more about data science? Follow Alan on Degreed or enroll in the Data Science pathway in Degreed.

Already a Degreed client and interested in initiating a targeted development plan at your organization based on roles and skills? For more information, contact your client experience partner at Degreed.

If you’re just getting started, check out get.degreed.com.

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Career development is more complex than it’s ever been. There’s no longer a straight ladder with prescribed steps. Employees are changing jobs at a record rate, and the change can now be lateral, diagonal, up or down, and jobs that require new skills are popping up all the time. 91% of Millennials expect to stay in their current job for 3 years or less, which means they will have 15-20 different jobs over the course of their career.

Here are three ways Degreed helps today’s workforce target their development across the roles, skills and learning they need for the jobs they currently have and want in the future.

  1. More relevant learning. Traditional approaches to development rely on conventional tools of the trade – things like classes, courses, and competencies, which are rarely reinforced, often forgotten or inconsistently applied. Which means lots of waste; 45% of L&D-led learning is wasted. All that wasted time, money and effort add up fast – more than $24m a year for every 10,000 employees for a typical Fortune 500 company [CEB]. To make learning more relevant, you need tools that target learning at the skill level. Degreed connects learning to skills, and skills to roles, giving individuals and organizations the ability to identify what skills they have, what skills they need, and the pathway to bridge the two.
  2. More self-directed learning and coaching. By a 3.5 to 1 margin, people tell us they believe their own self-directed learning is more effective in helping them be successful at work than the training provided by their employers. Degreed connects all the best learning experiences, both internal corporate resources and the world’s largest collection of professional learning content – making it easier than ever to promote a self-directed learning and a learning culture. In addition to self-directed learning, Degreed facilitates the touch points between managers and employees so conversations around development can happen more easily.
  3. More options to enable the lattice approach to career development. Gone are the days of the corporate ladder. Ladder careers had one direction of growth. The lattice career path moves laterally, diagonally and down as well as up. Skills are relevant and common to many job roles, in ways that are not always linear or obvious to the individual, and to the organization. By tracking at the skill level, individuals are able to see career progressions based on the skills they are strongest in and map those to the roles they are also qualified for. Degreed can help employees understand the pieces of parts of the role, help to educate people on what skills are needed for specific roles and then provide them the learning they need to achieve those skills.

Takeaway

When you search in Degreed for a topic like “leadership”, you’ll not only get connected to content like articles but also specific pathways, job roles, and groups where those skills are relevant. You’ll also be able to follow people who have accumulated expertise in those skills and browse providers with content that’s been tagged as relevant. Clicking on roles, like “new manager”, for example, will highlight specific pathways, mentors, and content and related to those roles.

Degreed is a professional development platform that helps organizations and people target learning at their skills gaps — however and wherever they build those skills. Degreed integrates everything your people need to build their skills – internal and external systems, content and experts, including the world’s largest collection of free and low-cost open learning resources – so it can all work better together. Your team can curate, personalize and measure it all. And they can discover, share and track all learning happening across the organization, all in one place.

Interested in practicing a more targeted development plan at your organization based on roles and skills? For more information, contact Degreed.

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