Post-Secondary Education

Harnessing AI Tech to Prepare Youth for Career Success

Contributions by Clay Colarusso

At this year’s ASU+GSV Summit, Lee Waldvogel, ASA’s Senior Director of Strategic Partnerships, moderated a panel about a topic that’s on everyone’s mind: artificial intelligence. The panelists convened to explore a use-case for AI that’s not commonly discussed – using it to prepare young people for their postsecondary education and career pathways. Lee was joined by Jared Chung of Career Village, John Branam of Get Schooled, Taylor Shead of Stemuli, and Randy Osei of Athlete Technology Group.

What do these diverse organizations have in common?

They’re all highly motivated to use AI to build more equitable and promising bridges between education and the workforce. But, these organizations are taking unique approaches and prioritizing different considerations as they build their AI roadmaps.

So, how, specifically, are they doing it? When it comes to AI, what are the most exciting angles these organizations are exploring?

Making learning engaging for all kids

Stemuli is a gaming platform that lets young users effortlessly learn about careers and build skills through its engaging, gamified, and learner-centric platform. AI has helped to turbocharge Stemuli’s workforce development efforts, making quick work of processes that would normally have taken a long time.

Taylor shared that, “In order to help kids, we needed to dig into what’s happening in classrooms and that’s where video games came up. We wanted to create a unique quest in a video game for every single lesson a kid has to learn in school…The only way you can do that is by developing AI tools, or else it would take far too long and be too expensive. For us, AI should not replace what we can do as humans. Instead, it should help us do things that humans can’t do.”

Turbocharging workflows and personalizing learning experiences

Randy explained that, for Athlete Technology Group, sports are the avenue through which to help young people–millions of whom already identify as student athletes. However, the average sporting career is extremely short, meaning student athletes need to start early to build other skills and discover alternative career avenues to explore. Athlete Technology Group’s mission is to strengthen athletes’ readiness for life after sport through courses and learning experiences tailored to their specific needs. AI is helping them do that in more powerful ways.

“We’ve been using AI in three ways. We’re now creating course content manually in two hours that previously would have taken us two or three weeks. We’re personalizing content and engaging users more deeply through analytics. And, we built a scenario-based learning tool. So instead of just watching a video and answering questions, you’re now going to be prompted by an agent that will ask you to apply what you learned.”

Creating a safer digital learning ecosystem

Career Village is a professional community of more than 130,000 people who work for organizations such as Nike, Visa, Disney, and Apple. Their platform uses AI to enable students to ask career-related questions, which are then matched up to a professional in the relevant field for an answer. Jared explained that it’s Career Village’s desire that all young people are taught AI literacy to ensure that they can use emerging technology responsibly, intelligently, and in a safe environment.

“When we’re partnering with an educational institution, we need to know if the learners have had any AI literacy curriculum yet. If not, we refer them to a curriculum that we think is helpful. We think that’s a prerequisite because we don’t want learners using our tool until they’ve had a chance to understand the parameters.”

Promoting diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging

Get Schooled has enabled over a million people to receive feedback on their college admission materials, including FAFSA forms and application essays, and also receive advice about finding their first job. John explained that the Get Schooled mandate is to help all young people find the information and advice they need, but especially young People of Color. They are using AI to ensure that many more young people and prospective college students or entry level workers  have the resources and information they need to be successful.

John explained, “We have a roadmap of additional tools that we plan to release over the next year that are complementary to the interview coach, but that are specifically about skills-building. We’re using AI to help with college prep and early careers skills-building tools for Black and Brown youth. They trust that we’ve got their back.”