What’s the challenge?
The TRACK (Tailored Recruitment Analytics & Curriculum Knowledge) project is tackling several challenges — for UTS students, academics, learners outside UTS, and companies looking to upskill their staff.
UTS students are often uncertain about what career path they should choose. Many students select their degree based on subjects they enjoyed in high school but are uncertain about what career they can pursue upon graduation. Other students start a degree and then find it’s not what they thought it would be. These students find themselves in a situation where they are confused about what to do next, and what options are available to them.
- TRACK Learner can help current students identify career options and the relevant study path to take.
Meanwhile, professionals are looking to upskill for promotion, a career change or returning to the workforce. Again, they may be unsure what areas they could transition to, or which courses will equip them with the necessary skills.
- TRACK Explorer is a public tool to help explore the skills required to make a move into the exploding field of Data and Analytics where there are huge skills shortages. This recommends UTS courses to help you upskill towards your dream job.
Faculties & Course Designers
How can a team of academics teaching a course be confident that their courses are teaching their students the skills most relevant to the occupations that they are preparing them for, especially in fast-moving sectors?
- TRACK Designer helps academics assess their subjects and courses and ensure that the skills taught in class align with the skills sought by industry using the current job market data available in TRACK.
Organisations are in a position that many have never been in before. A global pandemic, staff reconsidering their life priorities and the demand for new roles, mean many staff want to make changes in their skills. This can be a daunting task fraught with confusion and uncertainty. On their side, organisations are reconfiguring to stay relevant amidst unprecedented disruption.
- Future TRACK is designed to help organisations set their priorities for skill and capability development across their workforce, and to help employees to explore their options.
How does TRACK work?
TRACK is based on labour market data from a company called Lightcast who analyse job advertisements worldwide to create a database of over 17,000 skills. TRACK extracts and compares skills the learner’s CV, the UTS curriculum, and jobs in which the learner is interested, providing a way to show gaps and overlaps.
TRACK Learner is intended as a tool for students. It makes it easy for UTS students to make informed decisions about what careers their study choices are setting them up for. It guides students as they work to understand the skills they possess and the type of jobs those skills might help them get. It can help students to:
- Understand the skills they have acquired from previous jobs or experiences
- Think about the types of jobs that make use of their skill-set
- Explore potential subject choices and see how they might lead to different long term career outcomes
Learn more about TRACK Learner:
TRACK Explorer is a public tool for prospective UTS learners, tuned for Data/Analytics careers and linked to all our short, microcredentialled courses. Learn more about TRACK Explorer in this video, and then give it a go!
Faculties & Course Designers
TRACK Designer provides insights about the types of skills a course is likely to provide students with, and a selection of jobs that those skills may prepare our students for. This tool aims to help faculty teams and course designers to think about their courses. It can help with:
- understanding the effects of different subject choices upon the skills that students gain
- exploring possible careers that the course is preparing students for, and the demand for these roles in the current Australian job market
- identifying the ‘value add’ that various choice blocks provide to core subjects in a course.
Watch this video if you are interested in learning more about TRACK Designer:
It’s no secret that everything is changing fast. The future of work looks very different to the past. The skills people need for success today are not the same as they were and organisations are looking to up-skill their people to better match these new skills of the future.
Future TRACK provides enterprises with a diagnostic tool that identifies skills gaps in their workforce and can recommend UTS content that will help to up-skill towards defined job goals and capability interests. Future TRACK currently consists of two web based tools:
- TRACK Employer enables a manager of a team to identify critical future roles or capabilities that they might require as they seek to up-skill or retrain their workforce. It lets them define roles and capabilities as a list of skills, find staff who possess critical skills, and identify skill gaps across their workforce that could be filled with training offered by UTS.
- TRACK Employee helps people to diagnose their skill gaps with reference to roles or capabilities identified by their Employer, and explore UTS’ offerings in UTSOpen. (A stripped down public version tuned for Data/Analytics skills is online right now – give TRACK Explorer a go)
UTS also works with organisations to co-design learning options specifically for their staff.
The benefits of using Future TRACK:
- Lift and build skill capabilities across the organisation
- Re-skill existing workers for new roles
- Maximise mobility both inside and outside the organisation
- Prepare displaced workers for better outplacement outcomes
To learn more watch this video and reach out to the Enterprise Learning team:
How is TRACK used @UTS?
Bachelor of Communication (Public Relations): TRACK Learner has been piloted with the Public Relations students during their week 12 lesson in the first-year subject Strategic Communication in Society. TRACK is included in their future pathways lesson where students are asked to consider possible future careers and to explore the pathways available to get them there.
The Bachelor of Science is a broad degree that provides the foundation for a career in a multitude of areas. This can be quite daunting particularly for students but also for academics who are trying to ensure that they are equipping their students with the relevant skills to succeed. UTS Science academics are using TRACK Designer to inform their work on building an Employability Skills Framework.
Master of Data Science and Innovation (MDSI): TRACK Learner has been successfully piloted with 2 of the MDSI courses, the core subject of Data Science for Innovation and the capstone iLabs. TRACK is being used to assist students to explore careers and pathways in data, starting with the building of their existing skills profile. For many a career in data is a pivot or change from another career and TRACK provides the opportunity for them to see what skills they have acquired during their careers, and use the opportunity in iLabs following their projects and internships to add to that profile with the new skills attained.
Doctoral researchers. We’re working to assist PhD students in understanding their skills profile, to start a discussion with their supervisors on how best to plug gaps, courses they can enrol in to assist this, and finally what jobs are available to them outside of the world of academia. The HDR Capability Framework has been modelled in Future TRACK, so students can upload their CV and create a skills profile, identifying any gaps that may exist. They can then take this to their supervisor to initiate discussions on how best to proceed with filling this gap.
How do I get started?
TRACK applications are available to all staff and students to use. If you would like to learn more about how you can use TRACK then we invite you to reach out to us. TRACK can be especially helpful if:
- You want to help your students to set career goals and think about their future employability (we have Canvas support modules available),
- your subject/course is going through re-accreditation
- you are creating a new subject,
- you want to ensure that you are teaching the skills that align with industry.
Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll get right back to you.
We also run drop-in sessions on the first Wednesday of every month where you can see a demonstration of the TRACK suite of tools. Come along and discuss how you might be able to use it in your teaching. Book into an LX Lab TRACK Designer drop-in session.
TRACK combines labour market data from Lightcast with UTS research expertise in the Connected Intelligence Centre and the Faculty of Engineering & Information Technology. Services are delivered through web apps built in CIC, and supported by the IT Unit. Our research interests cover:
- analyses of the changing skills landscape and implications for education
- conceptual framing of skills analytics
- the technical capabilities of this Skills Analytics infrastructure
- the ways in which the resulting interactive tools can add value for different user groups.
Our peer reviewed research is published in the leading conferences and journals in educational technology, learning analytics and data science:
Framing TRACK in terms of higher education and lifelong learning:
- Kitto, K. (2022). How can EdTech support graduate employability? Proceedings ASCILITE 2022: 39th International Conference on Innovation, Practice and Research in the Use of Educational Technologies in Tertiary Education, Sydney, 4-7 Dec. 2022. [eprint]
- Buckingham Shum, S. , Littlejohn, A., Kitto, K., & Crick, R. (2022). Framing professional learning analytics as reframing oneself. IEEE Transactions on Learning Technologies, (Online 19 July 2022), pp.1-17. https://doi.org/10.1109/TLT.2022.3190055
- Kitto, K., Cutrupi, J., Philips, M., Gardiner, G., Ghodrati, M., Buckingham Shum, S. (2019). The connected university: Connectedness Learning across a lifetime. Higher Education and the Future of Graduate Employability: Edward Elgar Publishing 230-349. https://doi.org/10.4337/9781788972611.00023
Technical details on connecting labour market data to curriculum data:
- Ahadi, A., Kitto, K., Rizoiu, M.-A. and Musial, K. (2022). Skills taught vs skills sought: Using skills analytics to identify the gaps between curriculum and job markets. In Proceedings of the 15th International Conference on Educational Data Mining, pp. 538–542. https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.6853121
- Kitto K, Sarathy N, Gromov A, Liu M, Musial K, Buckingham Shum S. 2020. Towards skills-based curriculum analytics: Can we automate the recognition of prior learning? Proceedings of 10th International Conference on Learning Analytics & Knowledge, 171-180 (March 2020). https://doi.org/10.1145/3375462.3375526
- Gromov A, Maslennikov A, Dawson N, Musial K, Kitto K. 2020. Curriculum profile: modelling the gaps between curriculum and the job market. Proceedings of the 13th International Conference on Educational Data Mining, 610-614 (March 2020). http://hdl.handle.net/10453/143066
- Kitto, K., Sarathy, N., Gromov, A., Liu, M., Musial, K. and Buckingham Shum, S. (2020). Towards skills-based curriculum analytics: Can we automate the recognition of prior learning? Proceedings of the 10th International Conference on Learning Analytics and Knowledge (LAK ’20), March 23–27, 2020, Frankfurt, Germany. ACM, New York, NY, USA, 10 pages. https://doi.org/10.1145/3375462.3375526
Technical details on algorithms for analysing labour market data:
- Dawson, N., Williams MA, Rizoiu MA (2021) Skill-driven recommendations for job transition pathways. PLOS ONE 16(8): e0254722. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0254722
- Dawson, N., Rizoiu, MA, Johnston B. and Williams, MA. (2019). Adaptively selecting occupations to detect skill shortages from online job ads. IEEE International Conference on Big Data, pp. 1637-1643, https://doi.org/10.1109/BigData47090.2019.9005967