How CareerVillage is democratizing entry to profession info for underrepresented youth

The Transformational Tech collection highlights Cisco’s nonprofit grant recipients that use know-how to assist rework the lives of people and communities.

Jared Chung, Founder and Executive Director of CareerVillage
Jared Chung, Founder and Government Director of CareerVillage

College students worldwide are questioning the right way to get into particular careers, and it may be much more troublesome for underrepresented youth to get the reply. That impressed Jared Chung to start out, a nonprofit on a mission to democratize entry to profession info, in 2011. Over 6 million folks from 190 nations have been partaking with one another on the platform to date. We just lately sat down with Jared to be taught extra about how CareerVillage is utilizing know-how to succeed in extra folks and make it simpler for mentors and college students to attach.

What impressed you to start out CareerVillage?

Jared: I’ve a private connection to this mission. After I was a teen, I wanted assist making ready for a profession. I grew up in New York Metropolis, a extremely numerous and various metropolis. And I didn’t know what was on the market. It was vital and pressing for me as a result of my solely shot for monetary stability was by means of schooling aligned with my profession final result. I used to be fortunate to have adults who helped me reply my questions. Some very beneficiant mentors helped me apply to school and discover my first job. It was essential to me to assist others discover alternatives. I began volunteering, advising, and mentoring younger folks about careers.

What challenges do underrepresented youth face when in search of invaluable profession recommendation?

Jared: Seventy-five % of our youth come from low-income households, round 75 % of our youth determine as college students of coloration, and about 55 % determine as feminine.

The largest elementary problem that they face is a scarcity of assets. And that’s not simply entry to the social capital wanted to seek out occupational advisors and mentors. The schooling system usually doesn’t have enough assets to supply counseling at that sort of 1:1 stage associated to careers. On common, there are virtually 500 college students for each highschool counselor in america. Most younger folks search profession recommendation by looking the web as a result of there isn’t anyplace else to go. In order that’s a niche that we try to fill.

We regularly hear from college students that, for the primary time, they discovered knowledgeable position mannequin on CareerVillage. For underrepresented youth, that is very true. In case you are a teen of coloration making an attempt to get into an occupation the place you aren’t represented, discovering any individual in your life who can share profession recommendation in that subject could also be troublesome. However on CareerVillage, they’re there, which has a big affect on many younger folks on the location.

How are you utilizing know-how to scale your attain and assist extra youth?

Students sitting around a table watching a presentation
College students studying about CareerVillage

Jared: Younger individuals are actively trying to find profession info, and on the similar time, on a regular basis residents have a substantial quantity of goodwill to present again. CareerVillage’s contribution to society is that we acknowledge these two issues and use know-how to deliver them collectively. The know-how we use is crowdsourcing in order that college students can publish any query about any profession onto our net platform. Working professionals signing up as volunteers on CareerVillage can reply these questions. The know-how we use must be quick, dependable, and simple for college students and professionals.

We’re beginning to use extra superior instruments, like machine studying to foretell or classify content material to evaluate high quality. I’m very excited concerning the new applied sciences we are able to deploy and the truth that a small nonprofit group can use open-sourced applied sciences and the instruments created by the tech sector to use to a social mission. The Cisco Basis has been offering underwriting to assist us enhance our information and analytics, develop our core know-how, and construct instruments for educators that assist them use CareerVillage in a classroom.

What position do faculties and lecturers have along with your platform?

Jared: They use CareerVillage to assist deliver interactive and thrilling social content material into their profession curriculum or deliver a profession element into their core programming. How do you make sure that college students perceive the position their math courses will play sooner or later? What can college students do with the chemistry information they’re studying sophomore yr of highschool? These are questions college students ask on CareerVillage. Whereas a overwhelming majority of our college students entry CareerVillage on their very own, those coming by means of school rooms are benefiting by connecting the dots between their schooling and their future profession targets.

What’s the position of mentors at CareerVillage? 

Jared: You’ll be able to’t be what you’ll be able to’t see, and also you don’t know what questions you may be asking. Being a mentor allowed me to attach with younger folks from varied backgrounds and experiences. As a younger skilled, I might be useful to younger folks I met if I requested them what they needed to do after they completed faculty. That may begin an enriching dialog for me but additionally very useful for them as a result of I would know any individual they might speak to, have seen some hiring processes, and even know some questions they might not have thought-about.

We now have over 100,000 volunteers on CareerVillage. We use a Q&A format on-line as a result of it makes it extra accessible, which has resonated with many individuals. After working with Cisco, we grew to become company America’s hottest on-line volunteering app. There have been over 1,700 volunteers from Cisco, they usually have given over 4,700 items of recommendation on our platform. Recommendation from Cisco colleagues has been learn over 3,660,000 occasions by the neighborhood.

What sort of affect is CareerVillage having to date?

Jared: Our mission is to democratize entry to profession info and recommendation. I’m blissful to say that we’ve got served over 6 million on-line learners with profession recommendation to date. And which means they’re coming to CareerVillage and accessing info that they might not have been in a position to get in any other case. A few of them are enrolled in faculties, and a few aren’t. We have now folks of all ages, however most of our beneficiaries are younger individuals who haven’t but began their careers. However we additionally welcome the chance to serve profession switchers or individuals who have began working a job to get by however don’t really feel like they began their profession. Our neighborhood is blissful to assist anybody who’s in search of assist.

Our beneficiaries come from 190 nations, most of whom the subsequent finest different is simply looking Google. And for these college students, CareerVillage can have an unlimited vary of advantages. Typically it helps them affirm a hunch. Different occasions they notice in a matter of seconds there’s something new that excites them, and their profession aim modifications.

Connecting college students with working professionals permits them to study occupations as they’re first rising. For instance, a pupil might ask knowledgeable what sort of profession they need to pursue if they’re excited by puzzles. What you get from these responses is a way more thrilling and fashionable set of occupations than you may historically get. A part of our affect will proceed to be serving to college students uncover careers that they didn’t know existed by means of volunteers who’re on the forefront of their industries. It’s an efficient technique as a result of whenever you ship these sorts of insights from a human being within the business, it carries a whole lot of authority.

Are you able to share a hit story about somebody who participated in your program?

Jared: Augusta joined CareerVillage when she was in highschool and first began enthusiastic about faculty. She just lately shared her expertise in a weblog, saying: “CareerVillage helped me to discover what else is on the market when it comes to what I can do with my diploma and normalize the sense that you are able to do what you’re keen on and this may information the place you’re going to go. You don’t have to stay to 1 factor. I requested what you are able to do with a level in laptop science apart from be a programmer or software program engineer. I needed to know the way I may steadiness this curiosity with different issues I like so I wasn’t overwhelmed. From the professionals on CareerVillage, I discovered which you could volunteer to show others laptop science. For me, I believed that was excellent as a result of I like working with youngsters in STEM, however I don’t need to program day by day — that’s not for me, however I nonetheless additionally need to be sure that I’m in that tech house. It was nice to know the right way to accomplish a steadiness and never simply stay and [breathe] laptop science.”

A graphic of a question asked on a platform
One of many questions Augusta requested on CareerVillage

What are your plans for the longer term?

Jared: We’re aiming excessive, and our aim is for CareerVillage to be the first supply college students flip to once they want profession recommendation. It’s a moonshot thought, nevertheless it’s one thing we’re severe about. And I feel we’ve got a shot due to how scalable our mannequin is and the way it improves as extra folks be part of the neighborhood. We need to create a spot the place each single younger individual is aware of they will depend upon our platform to get profession recommendation on demand from any individual who has been of their sneakers.

So, what are you able to do to get entangled? Anybody who has 10 minutes to spare can reply a profession query at Please register immediately and provides it a attempt.