How can we help students on their pathway from lifelong learning to lifelong careers? In season 2 of the Education Empowered podcast, Kevin Zittle, Senior Manager of Salesforce Student Programs, joins our host, Jason Belland, for a discussion on preparing students for jobs in the Salesforce economy. Kevin will share his insights on lifelong student engagement. What’s exciting is how companies like Salesforce are partnering with higher education institutions and workforce development organizations to equip students with the skills and credentials they need to fill jobs within the Salesforce ecosystem
“What we realized is that, as our customers’ businesses are growing, they have this massive need for talent,” Kevin says. In fact, by 2022, the Salesforce ecosystem of partners and customers expects to employ 3.3 million Salesforce-skilled professionals. “Our program is designed to provide educators with the resources that they need to start teaching Salesforce in the classroom.”
Salesforce Student Programs runs career fairs, employer spotlights, and online bootcamps with students—all designed to provide pathways and upward-mobility jobs. “The goal is to get those students to learn about Salesforce, earn those resume-worthy credentials, and get them into the Salesforce community,” says Kevin.
But students aren’t only considered to be those enrolled in four-year institutions and community colleges. They may also be workers in one industry looking to transition to a different role or a different industry altogether.
“There are so many different types of students, and it’s exciting to think about how the training and technology that Salesforce offers can help anyone reimagine what their path might be,” says Jason.
Kevin points out that shifts in technology are changing the consumer-merchant relationship. Consumers now expect to have meaningful, personal interactions with companies—and the same goes for students and their higher ed institutions. This shift has created a need for new skillsets and new jobs. While some industries are getting smaller due to technology, new opportunities and jobs are arising for people to move into completely different roles with brand new skill sets.
Learning Together as a Community
In order to prepare the workforce with these necessary skills, Salesforce community members are leading conferences and founding programs like Pep Up Tech and Mom Relaunch to share their experience and provide support to others. Pep Up Tech partners with higher ed institutions and community organizations to offer students programs on how to build a career in tech using two Salesforce training programs. Mom Relaunch empowers mothers returning to the workforce with training and hands-on skills to help them successfully reenter the workforce.
Salesforce itself partners with organizations and universities, like New Jersey Institute of Technology and the University of Massachusetts system. “They are Salesforce customers, but they also have student groups that provide students the opportunity to lead and build community on campus. They’re preparing their students with a traditional education and this new technology that their students need to know,” says Kevin.
Other college systems, like City University of New York and the California Community College system are building entire pathways with Salesforce technology by expanding online education, creating community, developing jobs, and empowering returning students to explore continuing education.
“It is really about expanding opportunities and opening people’s minds to new ideas they maybe haven’t considered before, lowering barriers to entry for new opportunities. It’s not only about getting the job. Trailhead’s a big piece of that,” says Jason. Trailhead, Salesforce’s free learning platform, enables students to take classes for in-demand skills, earn resume-worthy credentials, and connect with mentors in their local community as well as the Salesforce community.
“Trailhead allows access for those who wouldn’t have access to education otherwise,” says Kevin. And it teaches skills that are applicable to everyone, not just people in the technology field, with courses like public speaking, resume writing, and how to build a more diverse workplace.
Making connections on a personal level
Within the broader Salesforce community of millions of users, unique relationships are being built at community events, career fairs, student groups, and mentorship programs.
“We want anyone who wants to be a mentor and anyone who wants a mentee to be able to have that ability to connect on a personal level. Because if you have conversations with people in the community, you will hear that your story—while unique—is similar to so many other people’s. They’ve been there and are able to share those experiences and can show you a path,” Kevin says.
Kevin advises visiting student.salesforce.com to find ways to get involved.
Listen to the full recording with Kevin Zittle of Salesforce Student Programs today: