Rather than throwing up their hands, Hoa and representatives from SAP decided to take another approach. They agreed to talk to the people within SAP who could provide the necessary information. Together, they interviewed 60 SAP employees “from entry-level to senior executives” to hone in on the skills required for the two positions that they had earlier identified. The questions they asked focused on identifying specific, common tasks and goals. They included, “Can you tell me about your job? What do you do everyday? What knowledge and skills do you use daily? Weekly? Monthly?”
Hoa and the BTECH partners then went through the interview transcripts, mining them for content and skills, They went through multiple iterations until they came up with a precise list of 26 essential skills in five buckets.
Next, they shared this list with SAP’s Learning Group, a department that focuses on teaching SAP products and culture to employees and clients. This step helped fine-tune the skills terminology so that it would resonate with SAP employees and remain accessible to teachers and parents.
BTECH teachers and QCC faculty are now in the process of mapping the skills to the content at both the high school and college levels. They began by listing all critical classes, irrespective of any particular order, and checking off the skills that would need to be addressed. They have realized that not all of the skills will be learned through high school and college coursework. For example, students will also need to learn through mentoring and workplace learning. Hoa notes, “There will be multiple instances and classes to ensure mastery.”