As artificial intelligence reshapes work, Career Connections prepares students to lead
By Halle Marchese
Career experts at the University of Florida Career Connections Center are partnering with companies to identify how they’re using artificial intelligence, or AI, to ensure students have the skills they need to land a job of their choice after they graduate.
AI – the ability of computer programs to complete tasks and solve problems – impacts “every industry, every field and every job,” said Ja’Net Glover, senior director for career services at UF. Importantly, she added, experts across fields are integrating AI into their work.
“That’s why it’s important for us to help students to not think that it’s one industry or one area, to realize that the future of work is now and applies to them, too,” said Glover.
This semester, the Career Connections Center, part of the Division of Student Life, hosted six programs about how AI impacts the workforce: four to deepen students’ understanding of how companies use AI to recruit, one aimed at recruiters to identify new trends in hiring, and one aimed at UF faculty and staff to share the center’s role in making AI a foundational element of students’ educations.
“There is an excitement and eagerness for the institution to partner and to support students as well as the workforce,” Glover said. “I see nothing but opportunities to be able to support our students in different capacities.”
At UF, a powerful supercomputer, called HiPerGator AI, helps fuel students’ learning thanks to a partnership with technology company NVIDIA. But teaching students to cultivate and translate an understanding of new technological capabilities can help them take control of their career paths, Glover said.
Now, graduates need to be able to navigate applicant tracking systems, keep abreast of trends in their industry and advocate for the ethical use of data in their fields. Adaptability underlies each of those skills, she added.
“I think that’s going to be very important to students because our world and workforce is changing,” she said. “Their ability to solve problems and think critically are going to be even more essential for them to be successful.”
At the Career Connections Center, building and maintaining relationships through recruitment consultations with companies around the world and by hosting career fairs, networking events and workshops has been central to identifying the skills students need to be competitive in their fields.
“We’ve always stayed in touch with organizations who are using AI as a tool,” said Glover. “Where we’re putting our focus and attention is being able to give our students real-world examples of companies who are using it and then hosting programs and events that align with that.”