UCLA IT Academy

Session Host/Speaker(s)

UCLA IT Services (ITS) developed a platform to strengthen the foundation of IT at UCLA and enable the advancement of the University mission. In response to the IT Assessment that was sponsored by AVC/ CIO Lucy Avetisyan and conducted in 2020, ITS invited employees in a phased approach to join Pluralsight in April 2021. This online education company offers a variety of technical training courses for software developers, IT administrators, and creative professionals. Specifically, a wide range of learning opportunities with a catalog of over 8,000 courses, and more than 1,400 subject-matter experts as authors. 

The goal of this effort is to create a high-performing workforce and enhance capabilities by building technical skill sets. ITS took a strategic approach to curate 11 technical channels aligned with Career Tracks (job classification system for staff), which will enable the scalability of this tool to staff across the University. Seeking the assistance of directors and subject-matter experts, current and future technical skills were identified. In addition, core professional skills were also identified to provide a holistic approach to learning and employee performance. This strategy openly identifies key technologies for professional development and aims to help prepare staff for career opportunities within the organization. 

Pluralsight was selected because of the skill assessment algorithm and recommendation engine which allows for adaptive learning and creates a “right fit” development program. The Skill IQ provides valuable information to the learner, as it can accurately provide information on available course content within the right area or proficiency. As technology along with organizational needs change rapidly, it is imperative to make efficient use of time spent on training. In addition, the content is regularly reviewed, updated or retired, to ensure the most relevant content is available to the learner.  

One of the perks is the robust analytics for managers and administrators to be able to visually gauge  employees’ technical interest and technical opportunities within the organization. It was very important to engage with leadership, managers and supervisors to create a culture of learning and build psychological safety in using the platform. In this session we will discuss how we will communicate (weekly and quarterly), to build engagement around professional development and improving technology skill sets. 

Topics for discussion: 

  • Building a launch team, timeline 

  • Creation of channels with Career Tracks – engaging SME 

  • Communication – engaging leadership 

  • Building psychological safety in learning/being a novice 

  • Lessons learned