How CareerVillage is democratizing entry to profession info for underrepresented youth


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

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

College students worldwide are questioning methods 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 individuals from 190 international locations have been partaking with one another on the platform thus far. We just lately sat down with Jared to be taught extra about how CareerVillage is utilizing know-how to achieve extra individuals 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. Once I was a teen, I wanted assist getting ready for a profession. I grew up in New York Metropolis, a extremely numerous and diversified metropolis. And I didn’t know what was on the market. It was crucial and pressing for me as a result of my solely shot for monetary stability was by training aligned with my profession consequence. 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 individuals about careers.

What challenges do underrepresented youth face when searching for invaluable profession recommendation?

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

The most important elementary problem that they face is an absence of sources. And that isn’t simply entry to the social capital wanted to search out occupational advisors and mentors. The training system typically doesn’t have ample sources to offer counseling at that sort of 1:1 degree associated to careers. On common, there are virtually 500 college students for each highschool counselor in the US. Most younger individuals search profession recommendation by looking out the web as a result of there isn’t wherever 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. If you’re a teen of colour making an attempt to get into an occupation the place you aren’t represented, discovering anyone 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 impression on many younger individuals on the positioning.

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 persons are actively looking for profession info, and on the identical time, on a regular basis residents have a substantial quantity of goodwill to provide again. CareerVillage’s contribution to society is that we acknowledge these two issues and use know-how to convey 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 straightforward 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 in regards to the new applied sciences we will 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 academics have together with your platform?

Jared: They use CareerVillage to assist convey interactive and thrilling social content material into their profession curriculum or convey 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 12 months 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 lecture rooms are benefiting by connecting the dots between their training and their future profession goals.

What’s the position of mentors at CareerVillage? 

Jared: You’ll be able to’t be what you possibly can’t see, and also you don’t know what questions you may be asking. Being a mentor allowed me to attach with younger individuals from varied backgrounds and experiences. As a younger skilled, I could possibly be useful to younger individuals I met if I requested them what they needed to do after they completed college. That may begin an enriching dialog for me but in addition very useful for them as a result of I’d know anyone they may discuss to, have seen some hiring processes, and even know some questions they could not have thought of.

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 turned company America’s hottest on-line volunteering app. There have been over 1,700 volunteers from Cisco, and so they 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 group.

What sort of impression is CareerVillage having thus far?

Jared: Our mission is to democratize entry to profession info and recommendation. I’m blissful to say that we’ve served over 6 million on-line learners with profession recommendation thus far. And which means they’re coming to CareerVillage and accessing info that they’d not have been in a position to get in any other case. A few of them are enrolled in faculties, and a few are usually not. We now have individuals 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 group is blissful to assist anybody who’s searching for assist.

Our beneficiaries come from 190 international locations, most of whom the following greatest various is simply looking out Google. And for these college students, CareerVillage can have an enormous vary of advantages. Generally it helps them affirm a hunch. Different occasions they understand 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 find out about occupations as they’re first rising. For instance, a scholar might ask knowledgeable what sort of profession they need to pursue if they’re concerned with puzzles. What you get from these responses is a way more thrilling and trendy set of occupations than you would possibly historically get. A part of our impression will proceed to be serving to college students uncover careers that they didn’t know existed by volunteers who’re on the forefront of their industries. It’s an efficient methodology as a result of if you ship these sorts of insights from a human being within the business, it carries numerous authority.

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

Jared: Augusta joined CareerVillage when she was in highschool and first began desirous about school. 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 like and this will information the place you’re going to go. You don’t have to stay to at least one factor. I requested what you are able to do with a level in laptop science aside from be a programmer or software program engineer. I needed to understand how I might steadiness this curiosity with different issues I like so I wasn’t overwhelmed. From the professionals on CareerVillage, I realized which you can volunteer to show others laptop science. For me, I believed that was good as a result of I like working with youngsters in STEM, however I don’t wish to program every single day — that’s not for me, however I nonetheless additionally wish to ensure that I’m in that tech area. It was nice to know methods to accomplish a steadiness and never simply reside 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 long run?

Jared: We’re aiming excessive, and our aim is for CareerVillage to be the first supply college students flip to after they want profession recommendation. It’s a moonshot thought, but it surely’s one thing we’re critical about. And I feel we’ve a shot due to how scalable our mannequin is and the way it improves as extra individuals be part of the group. We wish to create a spot the place each single younger particular person is aware of they will rely on our platform to get profession recommendation on demand from anyone who has been of their footwear.

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.



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