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In practice

CareerVillage.org: crowdsourcing career advice

Summary

CareerVillage.org is a platform where students can ask questions about future careers of volunteers who are in those careers. Volunteers are notified of relevant questions and their responses are made publicly available. Multiple volunteers can respond to the same question and follow-up questions can be posted.

CareerVillage.org aims to increase access to career information and advice for young people from disadvantaged backgrounds. The resource is designed to build the social capital of students by giving them access to an informal network of advisors.

Published on the 04/03/2024

Launch year2011

How many schools are currently making use of it?250+

Other tagsRecognized by peers, Free of cost

Career developmentEngaging employers, Career conversations, Accessing information/guidance

Age groupLower-secondary (ages 12 to 15), Upper-secondary (ages 16 to 18)

TechnologyArtificial intelligence

CountryUnited States

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Resource overview

Website: careervillage.org

CareerVillage.org is designed to make it easy for students to connect with people in work, employed in professions of interest. It aims to help students access career information while improving their understanding of the links between their core curriculum and future career pathways. As of the end of 2023, over 3,000 educators have signed up on CareerVillage.org and use the platform with their students.

Educators can create an educator account on CareerVillage.org and invite their students to join their classroom. They can then assign activities, such as asking a question on the site. The resource offers a range of lesson plans available to educators to use with their classes. Educator resources can be found here.

Students can also use CareerVillage.org on their own. By visiting the website, they can create a student account, start asking career-related questions, set career goals, and plan their future through a To Do List feature.

CareerVillage.org recruits volunteers through specific business partnerships, as well as organically via online searches. The volunteer sign-up process is concise, requiring basic details such as name, career topic tags for question matching, and company affiliation, ensuring transparency with students. This registration takes about three minutes.

Description of technology

On CareerVillage.org anyone can ask a question about any career and receive personalized responses from professionals volunteering their knowledge and experience. A matching algorithm, enhanced by artificial intelligence and machine learning components (like tagging), is used to alert professionals about relevant questions based on the background information they provided during registration. All content on CareerVillage.org is reviewed by trained moderators for safety, quality, and appropriateness. The answer rate to questions is 99.9% with an average of over 4 answers per question.

How the resource makes career guidance more effective, efficient and/or equitable for students

CareerVillage.org is designed to make personal informal advice accessible to any student with internet access. It is a free and open-access site, meaning all content is completely public for anyone on the internet to view. The platform is accessible from any device or tablet. A translation feature (using Google Translate) enables easier adoption for English as a second language learners making the resource relevant globally. The model enables students to connect with people in work at scale: since its launch over 7 million unique users across 190 countries have used the tool.

Challenges or potential barriers to use

Users must have access to the internet to use CareerVillage.org. The site includes a range of resources to help enhance their digital skills.

The resource is free of charge.

Support for users

CareerVillage.org is self-paced and can be used without support. However, there is a Community Team to support students if they need it. Students are offered 1:1 coaching upon request, help in drafting questions, resource pages, and webinars.

Further advice for users

CareerVillage.org is an open-access site, meaning that all content is completely public for anyone on the internet to view. Students who are not yet ready to ask their own career questions, can use CareerVillage.org to browse what their peers are asking.

Additional details

Has the resource been…

Yes or No?

Description

Link

…informed by research?

No

…funded by government?

No

…recognized by peers?

Yes

The Zendesk Tech for Good Awards celebrate initiatives and organizations harnessing technology to power social impact and community support. These awards highlight groundbreaking solutions that effectively address social challenges, honoring innovation and compassion within the tech industry

https://www.zendesk.com/newsroom/articles/zendesk-2022-tech-for-good-impact-award-recipients/#:~:text=About%20Tech%20for%20Good,software%20to%20scale%20their%20services.

…evaluated?

No

CareerVillage.org has however collaborated with several independent evaluators to assess its impact.

This resource has been endorsed by Southwest Technical Education District of Yuma, in Yuma, Arizona, in the United States of America.

Disclaimer: This content is provided by the submitting organisation.

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