Launching Career Pathways

A New Tool to See How Workers Move from Job to Job

Published on Dec 13, 2022

Updated on Jan 23, 2023

Written by Tim Hatton

Everyone’s journey from job to job is unique, but taken together, data on those jobs can guide the future of work by helping businesses, schools, and communities make the best decisions about connecting workers with jobs.

Lightcast has launched Career Pathways, a new tool that uses our rich library of job postings, real-world profiles, and skills data to show how workers can advance and succeed in the workforce. It’s available now through Talent Analyst, Analyst for education, and Developer, or as an API to build your own tool around. You can explore it now through those programs, or if you're not working with us yet, you can get in touch here.

Instead of working within specific industries and conventional promotions, Career Pathways takes a broad view and identifies similar jobs based on adjacent skills. This allows you to see the full picture of the job market, complementing data already available in Analyst like demand and compensation trends.

Many jobs require overlapping skills, despite being based in different sectors or accomplishing different tasks. Using the Lightcast Occupation Taxonomy or external taxonomies including O*NET or SOC, our data can identify those overlaps and illuminate new sources of talent for employers and also help workers achieve upward mobility.

Next-step jobs for Web Developer

By focusing on skills, Career Pathways doesn’t just show the difference between jobs, but provides guidance on the most important skills a worker will need to take their next step. Within the tool, we can also look closer and break down job-to-job movement into four categories:

  • Similar: Jobs that pay a comparable salary and are within the same occupation group as the source occupation.

  • Lateral Transition: Jobs that pay a comparable salary but require transition to a new occupation group as opposed to the source occupation.

  • Advancement: Jobs that pay more and are within the same occupation group as the source occupation.

  • Lateral Advancement: Jobs that pay more but require transition to a new occupational group as opposed to the source occupation.

As an example, we can take the occupation of Teller. Starting there, a worker has many of the requisite skills to become a Banking Branch Manager (Advancement) or Financial Services Sales Agent (Lateral Advancement). And though there’s substantial overlap between those roles, and our data show that this transition is possible and profitable for the worker, there are still new skills the Teller would need to learn to succeed in their new role. 

We can look at “feeder” jobs in the same way. Workers from a wide range of occupations can make a lateral advancement and become a Customer Service Representative—the jobs with the most similarity include Retail Sales Associate, Baggage Attendant, Fast Food/Counter Worker, and Personal Shopper.

Career Pathways can identify those skills for both next-step and feeder jobs so that workers can seek out training to close that gap. 

Feeder jobs for Chief Executive Officer

Putting Career Pathways To Use 

Employers can use Career Pathways to expand their talent pipeline. Coming down from the tightest job market in history, workers are still hard to find, and businesses who know how to access the widest possible pool of candidates will have the advantage. In Analyst, you can have that advantage by seeing beyond conventional promotions to see the complete picture of your potential workforce and its skills. And since Career Pathways are based on skills, they’re open to everyone—regardless of industry, degree, experience, or other obstacles that can keep workers from finding their best fits.

Community leaders can use Career Pathways to help identify the best jobs and training for workers in their region. If, for example, your community undergoes a mass layoff and now you have dozens of machinists out of a job, Career Pathways can show jobs with similar skill profiles (such as engineering or robotics roles) that those machinists can move into. When there are skill gaps between workers’ previous jobs and their next steps, leaders can help create education and training programs to prepare them to make that transition.

Higher education institutions can use Career Pathways to help their students and alumni maximize their career potential. Those entering the workforce need to understand how their first job sets them up to move to the next one. Career Pathways’ focus on skills is also key in helping faculty design curricula, students choose majors, and institutions understand how alumni careers can develop. If students know what skills are required in the job they want, they can choose classes that align with those goals. 

Making the best decisions possible starts with having the best information possible, and Career Pathways can provide it. Whether looking for talent, developing your existing workforce, or helping others advance, this new resource has the data you need.

To learn even more about Career Pathways, you can also watch our free webinar to see see demonstrations and tips and tricks from the product, hear about how and why we built Career Pathways, and talk through some specific use cases—whether you’re trying to find talent for your own organization or working to help other individuals succeed.

If you’re a current Lightcast client, get in touch with your account rep to learn more about Career Pathways in Talent Analyst, Analyst for education, and Developer—or dive right in through the tools. And if not, get in touch below—we'd love to help get you started.

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