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Gamification Strategies for Career Services

Marina Álvaro

6 mins read
July 1, 2024

Let's talk about the two magic words on everyone's minds lately: Student Engagement. 

The art of grabbing and keeping a student's attention, especially in the context of their career development, is a puzzle we're all trying to solve. It's tricky but essential. As we dive into this, we're exploring not just how to catch their eyes, but how to ignite their minds and guide them through a maze of choices and possibilities in their careers.

Career services play a critical role in supporting the success of college students and recent graduates in the evolving job market. Career services need to offer personalized support and resources to help students navigate the job search process. This is more important than ever. Why? The labour market is still recovering from the pandemic. New technologies are changing the skills required for many jobs and students need help developing the skills and experience they need to succeed. 

This is particularly true for Elite Universities. 

It's time for career services to embrace new approaches and technologies. What if we told you career teams are about to get their hands on some truly transformative tools? But let’s not spill all the secrets just yet. Are we talking about AI that can predict your perfect job, or innovative networking platforms that connect you with mentors and opportunities in ways you never imagined?

Level up your Career Services: Harnessing the Power of Gamification

Gamification has the potential to increase student engagement, motivation, and skill development. By embracing gamification, career services can provide personalized support and resources, helping students identify career options that match their skills and aspirations. They can also help students build the skills and experience they need to succeed in their careers.

For universities, gamification can be a powerful tool. It helps the university differentiate its career services offerings and attract high-achieving students. By providing a more engaging and effective job search experience, career services can become the outlier they wish their students to be.

Gamification offers a promising approach to career services to stay ahead of the curve and attract top talent, but most importantly effectively engage with students during their time as a student and their time as an alumnus.

Gamification - Not a novel concept

Gamification is not a novel concept as it has been successfully used in many other industries. 

  • Education: Duolingo, a popular language-learning app, uses gamification to motivate users to learn new languages. It includes points, badges, and leaderboards. The app has been highly successful, with over 500 million users worldwide.
  • Health and Fitness: Fitbit, a popular fitness tracker, uses gamification to motivate users to reach their fitness goals. Users can earn badges, compete with friends, and track their progress over time, making fitness more engaging and fun.
  • Retail and Shopping: Starbucks' loyalty program uses gamification elements such as rewards, badges, and challenges to encourage customers to make more purchases and engage with the brand. The program has been successful, with over 20 million active members.
  • Corporate Training: Companies such as Deloitte and IBM have used gamification to make corporate training more engaging and effective. They increased employee engagement and learning outcomes by incorporating gameplay elements.
  • Environmental Sustainability: The City of Amsterdam used gamification to encourage citizens to reduce their energy consumption to promote environmental sustainability. By providing feedback, rewards, and social comparisons, the program reduced energy consumption by up to 20%.

By applying these principles to the job search process, career services can help students build the skills and experience they need to succeed in their careers.

How can Gamification help in the Job Search process?

Gamification is the application of game-design elements and principles, such as points, badges, and leaderboards, to non-game contexts. In the job search process, employers can use gamification to make the experience more engaging, motivating, and effective for students.

Here are a few ways that gamification can be applied to the job search process:

  • Careers team can harness the power of timely push notifications to guide students towards key career milestones and offer personalized in-app encouragement keeping them laser-focused and engaged on their unique career paths.
  • Gamification can help students develop important career skills. For example, it can teach interviewing, resume writing, or networking through interactive games or simulations.
  • It can provide students with immediate feedback on their progress, helping them identify areas for improvement and adjust their job search strategy as needed.
  • Gamification can encourage students to expand their professional networks. It rewards them for connecting with alumni and engaging with employers on social media.

By incorporating elements of gameplay, career services can provide a more personalized and supportive job search experience. They also help students navigate the complex and competitive world of work. 

How to Implement Gamification in Career Services?

Are you ready to take your career services offerings to the next level? Incorporating gamification can make the job search process more engaging and effective for your students, and help them build the skills they need to succeed in their careers. Here are some pro tips to get you started:

  • Start with a clear goal in mind: What do you want your students to achieve?
  • Keep it simple, but don't be afraid to get creative: Start with a few key gamification elements and build from there.
  • Instant feedback is key: Let your students know how they're doing and where they can improve.
  • Make it social: Use leaderboards and other social elements to create a sense of community and friendly competition.
  • Offer rewards that matter: Think exclusive events, resources, and opportunities to connect with industry pros.
  • Test, test, and test again: Continuously refine your gamification strategy based on student feedback and data.
  • Collaborate with industry partners: Tap into real-world challenges and scenarios, and offer meaningful rewards to students.

By following these tips and incorporating gamification into your career services offerings, you can create a more engaging and effective job search experience for your students. It can also help them build the skills and connections they need to succeed in the fast-paced world of business.

Successful gamification initiatives in higher education

Here's how various higher education institutions have integrated gamification into their curricula. This has resulted in enhanced student engagement and improved learning outcomes.

  • The University of Connecticut used the Scavify app to create a scavenger hunt. It helped new students explore campus and connect. The game encouraged exploration, teamwork, and friendly competition, and contributed to a sense of community among new students.
  • Arizona State University incorporated Arcademics, a platform that provides fun and interactive educational games, into their math courses. The games encouraged students to practice their math skills in a fun and engaging way and contributed to improved learning outcomes.
  • The University of Amsterdam used BookWidgets, a platform for creating interactive exercises and assignments, to gamify their language courses. The interactive exercises encouraged students to practice their language skills in a fun and engaging way and contributed to improved learning outcomes.

These initiatives encouraged collaboration and friendly competition and contributed to improved learning outcomes.

Time for Career Services to Incorporate Gamification 

Although many universities have started applying gamification in academics, their career services have still not caught up. The time is ripe for career services at senior business colleges to provide a more personalized and supportive job search experience for their students. 

Meet CareerOS

Our platform allows career services teams to make data-driven decisions, optimize their guidance strategies, and boost student success. With CareerOS, career teams can focus on what truly matters – helping students unlock their full career potential. And we have recently integrated gamification on our platform, giving our users an edge over others.

We have been able to increase student engagement, improve the quality of decision-making of career services teams and enhance career exploration options for our users within a month of introducing gamification to our platform. 

Request a demo of our platform to understand how we can use gamification to enhance the career journey of your students today.

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