A study of the challenges of nonlinear career changers and a new service to ease the transition
Author(s)Phan, Anna Maria
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Integrated Design and Management Program.
Matthew S. Křessy.
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The days of having one single career path are no longer the norm. Today, it is far more common for people to change careers at least once in their lifetime. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average worker holds ten different jobs before the age of forty (BLS, 2017). This thesis explores the journeys of nonlinear career changers with diverse backgrounds to gain an understanding of the challenges encountered before, during, and after their career transitions. For the purposes of this study, a nonlinear career changer is defined as an individual who has changed his or her job function and industry. The human-centered design process was used during this study to identify user needs, and design and develop solutions. The user interviews revealed that people had difficulty identifying jobs that their current skills could transfer over to, lacked knowledge of the training required to become a qualified candidate, and struggled to find mentors they could confide in during the process. There is currently no well-known service in the market that addresses these pain points. The proposed solution is a service that provides recommendations for different careers, highlights transferrable skills, and provides detailed guidance on how to achieve a job in the new industry. The guidance includes skills the individual will need to acquire, courses that map to those skills, and mentors who have successfully switched careers and can provide an authentic perspective about a specific job and industry.
Thesis: S.M. in Engineering and Management, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, System Design and Management Program, 2018.Cataloged from PDF version of thesis.Includes bibliographical references (page 42).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Engineering and Management Program.; Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Integrated Design and Management Program.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Engineering and Management Program., Integrated Design and Management Program.