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Career Labs

Career Labs is a collection of lab modules around career skills that can be included in any education offering.

Photo of Teppo Jouttenus
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Lack of professional skills is keeping many young adults from fulfilling their career potential. Career Labs is offers modules that teach skills such as building a network or workplace communication. They are practical and build to culminate in real-world practice. The basic lab content is available for free and can be integrated by instructors into various other courses.  The business if funded through a subscription to an online platform that offers mentoring, peer review, and learner analytics.

Who is your idea designed for and how does it reimagine higher education to support the needs of tomorrow?

The target audience is young adults looking for work, especially those lacking 4-year college degrees that usually serve as a proxy for professional skills. The key differentiators are modularity and real-world applications which make adoption easy and student benefit tangible.

This idea emerged from:

  • A group brainstorm

What skills, input or guidance from the OpenIDEO community would be most helpful in building out or refining your idea?

Identifying most valuable professional skills to develop. Refining value proposition to instructors and students. Brainstorming more real-world applications as "capstone projects."

What early, lightweight experiment might you try out in your own community to find out if the idea will meet your expectations?

Share early resources with teachers, test for willingness to adopt, and get feedback from real world application.

Tell us about your work experience:

Program management for MOOCs at edX, content strategy and instructional design as a founding team member for a venture backed startup Outlearn, product management for career readiness at Year Up.


Join the conversation:

Photo of Orlah

There is this thing called "union dues" that teachers who are a part of one pay out of every single paycheck. It is not an insignificant amount and that is how unions run their operation. Federal funds (however misguided and unsuccessful) never enter the pockets of the unions. But go on believing that unions are the devil. In case you're already tired and ill-informed ideas go to and it will open your mind.

Photo of Bettina Fliegel

Hi Teppo.
Can you explain a bit further? What is the format of Career Labs? Do students work in groups so that they might practice skills?
I see you have work experience with the Year Up program. That is a great program! Do students in that program utilize Career Labs?

Photo of Robert Smith

Hi Teppo,

I'm intrigued by your idea.

The chance to include lab modules in courses which might otherwise be considered unrelated, or related only in some novel way, aligns with my contribution, The BuildWriteDance Alternative. The idea that students could pick a short learning package that aligns with their personal interests within a wider learning situation could allow them to create deliverables that advance their own interests while meeting the original requirements.


Photo of Kate Rushton

Hi Teppo, interesting post! Any chance you could find an image to go along with it? Images help grab attention and tell a story. You should be able to use the Edit Contribution button on the top of your post and follow the instructions to add images from there. Looking forward to seeing more of your inspiring insights on OpenIDEO.