By Drew Ceccato, Senior Consultant, WGU Labs
Lifelong learning and career success means people must continually develop new skills to keep and advance in their jobs. The problem, however, is that the leap from learning to opportunity is often opaque. Existing training opportunities have missed the mark in creating an adequate skill supply specific to employer needs resulting in a critical talent shortage: as of July 2022, there are 11.2 million unfilled roles across all industries.
Enter Unmudl with a novel solution to address this talent shortage. Unmudl is a Skills-to-Jobs™ Marketplace for working learners powered by America’s employers and community colleges. The Skills-to-Jobs™ approach allows learners to go from one course and Get Jobs. Get Creds. Get Hired.
A “wicked problem” in higher education that WGU Labs is focused on solving is making the leap from learning to opportunity less opaque and more clear to learners. Labs is excited to partner with Unmudl because they help solve this problem by making the connection between courses and careers transparent and creating space for regular learning cycles allowing for a fluid experience in and out of education. This course to jobs cycle can be repeated on the learner’s terms, interspersed across one’s career, to support career advancement
We spoke with Founder and CEO Parminder K. Jassal to find out more about how Unmudl is helping to advance innovation in education.
What’s The Big Problem Unmudl is Designed to Solve?
The new student of the future is the working learner who must work and learn in parallel to develop integrated skills and job advancement.
Unmudl’s mission is to provide learners, particularly working learners, with skill paths to learning and employment, while slashing time, cost, and uncertainty. With Unmudl Skills-to-Jobs™ Marketplace, every learner can get skills to qualify for in demand, high wage jobs on the shortest, most flexible, and affordable path possible.
For working learners, Unmudl responds by slashing the time, cost, & uncertainty of higher education returns so education and work become compatible pursuits.
How Do You See Unmudl Contributing to a More Equitable Higher Ed?
Unmudl was created to solve problems facing working learners, community colleges and employers by developing a one-stop Skills-to-Jobs™ Marketplace to seamlessly connect learners with jobs in demand through courses offered by community colleges. Using this approach, the Unmudl model was developed to help position forward-thinking community colleges for the future by helping them future proof against a highly disruptive work and learn marketplace.
It features courses, credentials and services to help learners build employer-validated skills linked to real-world opportunities leading to higher incomes. Employer-validated courses offer a solution for working learners seeking the highest quality, fastest, most efficient, most direct path to a better job and further learning.
What Makes You Most Excited About the Future of Higher Education?
The Unmudl Skills-to-Jobs™ Marketplace is not like the other OPMs such as Coursera, Udemny, U2, or EdEx because it was developed by community colleges, for community colleges, to benefit the working learner.
Unmudl’s work is led by a Steering Council (USC) that consists of the presidents of the Founding Colleges that provide guidance on how Unmudl should operate to maximize success of the working learner. The USC along with the Unmudl Champions Group of colleges’ implementation leaders, work together to ensure that the platform supports equitable outcomes and sustainability. This includes building features in the platform that allow working and learning to be seamlessly integrated such as connecting the Unmudl’s Community College Network with the Employer Hiring Web with the learner as the central focus.
Unique to the Unmudl model is that the working learner is the central focus, driving demand for 1) learning opportunities from colleges and 2) real-world job opportunities provided by employers. The Unmudl model, operationalized through the Skills-to-Jobs™ Marketplace, is truly how we believe equitable and sustainable outcomes for learners, colleges and employers can be achieved and fully realized.
The needs of industry are constantly evolving, and 87% of workers know that continuous training is important or essential for career success. America’s 65 million working learners deserve the most return on their investment with low-cost, short-term and flexible options for professional development, upskilling, and new competencies throughout their careers, especially in high-demand, rapidly changing technical fields. We’re excited to see how Unmudl helps solve this wicked problem by putting the needs of working learners front and center.