U.Va. program guarantees job interviews for certificate students
Three companies have signed on for program with others in the works
The University of Virginia is partnering with companies to guarantee job interviews for some certificate students.
The program comes from an agreement between U.Va’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies, which offers part-time, online programs, and various employers. It is designed to improve the workforce pipeline for in-demand fields, the university said in a news release.
There are more openings than applicants for positions in some sectors, and guaranteeing interviews will help trained prospects by giving them the advantage in job searches, Hollie Lee, director of certificate programs at the School of Continuing and Professional Studies, said in a statement.
“Many students come to our certificate programs looking for a way to gain new skills, switch careers or level up in some way,” Lee said. “These guaranteed interviews can help students get where they want to go professionally while supplying a steady pipeline of talent from U.Va. to firms in need of new, well-trained employees.”
Through the program, students from certain certificate programs at the School of Continuing and Professional Studies can sign up for a job interview with participating companies. Employers choose which certificate programs qualify for guaranteed interviews. The program is also open to recent certificate graduates.
Certificates currently included are accounting, cloud computing, cybersecurity analysis, information technology, human resources, leadership, procurement and contracts management and project management, Lee told Virginia Business. Interviews will happen in March, June and November, with the first round scheduled for November. Lee added that the program hopes to expand to include more employers in all certificate areas.
Sam Look, chief people and culture officer at Definitive Logic Corp., an Arlington-based federal IT contractor and program participant, said the company is seeking applicants with technical proficiencies in data science, systems engineering, human resources, finance and accounting, and contracting.
“It’s a great opportunity to work with a school that puts great people into the mix,” Look told Virginia Business.
Definitive Logic has recently grown from about 150 employees to about 300, and Look said he could see adding as many as 10 employees in the first year through the agreement with U.Va. Company CEO and co-founder Paul Burke received bachelor’s and master’s degrees in systems engineering from U.Va., according to his LinkedIn account.
Two other companies that have signed on also have ties to Mr. Jefferson’s university. Those include Vienna-based Alpha Omega Integration, an information technology and business consulting company whose CEO, Gutam Ijoor, graduated from U.Va.’s Darden School of Business; and Palm Coast, Florida-based consultancy Coastal Cloud, co-founded by Tim Hale, who received bachelor’s and master’s degrees from U.Va., according to his LinkedIn account.
At least four others companies are in talks to join the program, said Robert Seal, a spokesperson for the School of Continuing and Professional Studies.