Business Information Worker Career Pathway Update

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How Important is the Business Information Worker?

Although the BIW is offered in every region of the state, many of the 110,000 students enrolled in courses that align with the BIW pathway don’t even know it. In fact, they are part of an industry-vetted program that directly leads to employment with more than 200,000 jobs available throughout California at any one time that match some level of the BIW pathway. Retaining current students to complete the pathway or to return later for more training will positively affect their future and greatly increase the effective Career Education services of the California Community Colleges system.

 

The Business Information Worker (BIW) is one of the best ‘guided pathway’ options for CCC’s to offer those looking to enter the workforce, as well as, for stranded or adult workers who need to refresh their skills in a technologically changing world. With three stages that build upon each other, students can take foundational classes that allow them to get a job in less than six months, and take more advanced classes while they advance at work.

Numerous placement agencies and Manpower Inc. endorse the BIW, and 80% of the California Community Colleges have aligned their courses with the BIW pathway skill sets. Most colleges offer Certificates of Achievement, and some including Pasadena City College and Long Beach City College now offer BIW Associate of Science Degrees. A non-credit BIW program is also in the works in Orange County through North Orange Continuing Education.

The Business Information Worker (BIW) is one of the best ‘guided pathway’ options for CCC’s to offer those looking to enter the workforce, as well as, for stranded or adult workers who need to refresh their skills in a technologically changing world. With three stages that build upon each other, students can take foundational classes that allow them to get a job in less than six months, and take more advanced classes while they advance at work.

New Developments

  • The Academic Senate C-ID Discipline Input Group (DIG) has completed a crosswalk of C-ID courses that align with the BIW pathway. The new courses and program certificates which include 12-unit, 18-unit and 30-unit options, have been submitted to the state for review and approval. 
  • LinkedIn is researching its catalog of lynda.com videos to create a series that maps to BIW courses. This specialized catalog of videos could be used to augment classroom instruction or even in a “flipped” classroom approach. 

These developments add much value to the pathway, but still there remains the challenge to effectively market the pathway to attract students and support workforce needs. Utilizing Strong Workforce funds for program marketing purposes there is an opportunity to attract and retain student cohorts by college with an ongoing support program to encourage teamwork and completions. 

So, What's Next?

  • The BIW Cohort Recruitment and Retention Plan utilizes community relationships, service organizations and a contracted marketing facilitator role to engage the community in a cohort building effort on your campus. This is a new and exciting concept that puts the 'Community’ back in Community College.
  • BIW Cohort pilots are in the pilot and bid stages as the ICT-DM Sector Team seeks partner organizations to provide support to colleges looking to start BIW cohorts on their campuses.
  • The ICT-DM Sector Team is in discussions witha potential statewide community organization to support and grow BIW Cohort Program throughout California.
  • Contact Steve Wright, ICT Sector Navigator or Nicole Sherman for an in depth discussion of the BIW Cohort Recruitment and Retention program. 
  • The BIW Cohort Recruitment and Retention Plan utilizes community relationships, service organizations and a contracted marketing facilitator role to engage the community in a cohort building effort on your campus. This is a new and exciting concept that puts the 'Community’ back in Community College.
  • BIW Cohort pilots are in the pilot and bid stages as the ICT-DM Sector Team seeks partner organizations to provide support to colleges looking to start BIW cohorts on their campuses.
  • The ICT-DM Sector Team is in discussions witha potential statewide community organization to support and grow BIW Cohort Program throughout California.
  • Contact Steve Wright, ICT Sector Navigator or Nicole Sherman for an in depth discussion of the BIW Cohort Recruitment and Retention program. 


Alternate ED Credentialing:

Students who follow the BIW pathway may be exclusively CCC students or have a hybrid of prior experience, Certifications and alternate training. 

We have been in developmental discussions with Pearson with Acclaim/Certiport and the Academic Senate to explore ways that enable students to obtain BIW II, Specialist digital badges based upon the BIW pathway. In this way, we feel we attract students to the CCCs as a part of their workforce academic journey, that might not try the CCCs otherwise. 

This also would support a national presence for the BIW as requested by other community colleges nationally.

The Business Information Worker continues to find its niche in the field of modern workforce education. The changes in technology require, like all CTE, that the skills and demands be reviewed at two to four year intervals. We will be reviewing for industry input, placement agency input and through field surveys for updates to this valuable pathway in 2018. Meanwhile, we encourage CCCs to adhere to the common guidelines and naming conventions for the sake of increased marketing and branding going forward.

All the best,

Steve Wright, ICT, Sector Navigator 
Nicole Sherman, Technical Assistance Provider, Grant Support 

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Sector Navigator & Director

Steve Wright

[email protected]

Phone: 805-496-8583

Copyright 2013 by California Community Colleges - All rights reserved

An initiative of the California Community College's Economic and Workforce Development (CCCEWD) program, the ICT-Digital Media Sector Team is dedicated to serving California's ICT-Digital media workforce needs. We are an integral part of the California Community Colleges and its Doing What Matters for Business & Industry framework, investing funding and resources in industry sectors that are key to California's economic growth. Our industry-specific workforce services are coordinated through a system of sector specialists that align community college and other workforce development resources with the needs of industry sectors and occupational clusters through a regional focus. Learn more by visiting www.cccewd.net.