Helping College Students Gain Essential Skills

To position students for success beyond the campus greens, higher education institutions and corporations must band together to better prepare students for entering the workforce. With the aim to build strong connections with the local region and to increase student access to promising career pathways, new partnerships can help facilitate career connections and link students to more learning opportunities

A new collaboration between Carleton College and Helios Consulting illustrates how liberal art colleges are working towards bridging the skills gap and linking students with the needs of their regional economies. Disseminated to students through the campus Career Center, the Rise apprenticeship program will connect current Carleton students and recent graduates to quality jobs in the lucrative HR tech field. 

“Navigating today’s rapidly evolving and dynamic labor market requires not just the fundamentals of critical thinking, problem solving, communication and collaboration that are the hallmark of a liberal arts education, but also the technical skills that employers need in an increasingly digital economy,” said Rachel Leatham, the Associate Director of Carleton’s Career Center. “In partnership with Helios, we’re creating an opportunity for Carleton students to contribute their talents to meaningful work after graduation.”

The new partnership advances the Career Center’s mission to build connections within the local region and to help students access promising career pathways. By teaming up with Helios, a St. Paul-based services partner of Workday, the HR tech platform of choice for nearly 10,000 companies worldwide, including half of the Fortune 500, Carleton students will now have access to the Rise program that compensates students as full-time employees and also promotes desirable skills to catapult their careers. Students who participate will receive training, mentorship, and support from industry experts. 

The initiative's goal is to address employers’ growing need for skilled workers while also giving current students and graduates the opportunity to gain vital experience and training while getting compensated for their time. Upon completion of the Rise program, Carleton graduates will be eligible for high-demand HR tech roles, including career opportunities at Helios’ Fortune 500 clients.

“Carleton’s Career Center leadership recognizes the critical importance of bringing together the strong foundation of a liberal arts degree with more specialized training and experience in the most in-demand technology skills,” said Helios President Trevor Lee. “This is about creating strong and vibrant connections between higher education and the workforce, while also helping Carleton fulfill its vital role of preparing students to contribute to and lead tomorrow’s world of work.”

Carleton College’s partnership with Helios Consulting operates as a bridge to the skills gap by providing training and paid employment opportunities to students and recent graduates. As more higher education institutions explore initiatives such as this, more students will be able to develop the essential skills needed in the booming HR tech industry.