Data, Navigation, & Guidance
Postsecondary and career decisions are among the most important ones an individual makes. Yet, people can't find answers to basic questions about what good jobs are available where they live, the skills needed to land them, and the long-term prospects for career growth and economic stability. This status quo is problematic for all Americans, but it is especially troubling for less-advantaged individuals who rely on education and career to move up the economic ladder.
How Might We…
Empower opportunity seekers with the data, navigation, and guidance they need to create and dynamically navigate their journey—weaving together education and work throughout their life in a way that works for them and provides a family-sustaining wage?
The Challenge & Opportunity
Americans don’t have the information they need to make informed decisions about education and career pathways. Critical decisions are often left to a mix of gut instinct, hacked-together information from disparate and insufficient sources, and knowledge gleaned from personal networks. And when the right information exists, individuals often don’t have access to the navigation tools and guidance necessary for them to make sense of it. Taken together, the lack of a robust data, navigation, and guidance infrastructure contributes to many of the inefficiencies, false starts, and dead ends we see in education and work today.
OPeN Investments in Data, Navigation and Guidance
Data for the American Dream
The Data for the American Dream initiative funds innovative efforts to expand access to education and career data through public and private partnerships. Current funding supports pilot projects in Colorado, Michigan, and New Jersey.
Job Data Exchange
The JDX is a set of open data resources that support employers and their HR partners in signaling in-demand jobs and skills—and other hiring requirements—through structured, linked data on the open web. The initiative is lLed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation.
My Data, My Future
A field-building initiative to drive awareness and adoption of data collaboratives. Initial funding will result in a foundational set of resources to help policymakers and funders understand the opportunity of data collaboratives.
Project Signal is a workforce data trust that provides workers and learners in California with access to reliable data that’s securely connected to training providers and employers. Pilots are currently operating in Los Angeles and the Bay Area.
T3 Innovation Network
T3 brings stakeholders together to change the way Americans provide, access, and use educational and workforce data. It is leveraging advanced technologies to create an open and decentralized public-private data ecosystem.
How Philanthropy Can Help
In order to build better data, navigation, and guidance, philanthropy should focus on four levers of change.
PRINCIPLES & ETHICS
Ensure that data navigation tools expand access and improve outcomes, while advancing equity and protecting privacy.
Develop public-private data collaboratives to integrate data across education and workforce systems.
NAVIGATION & GUIDANCE
Create products and services designed to hep individuals explore and discover careers, make better decisions about pathways, and develop the required skills.
Create systems that allow schools, postsecondary providers, companies, and nonprofits to exchange data securely and sustainably.