Publication Date

Spring 5-20-2019

Degree Type

Master's Project

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Computer Science

First Advisor

Robert Chun

Second Advisor

Thomas Austin

Third Advisor

Chris Pollett


Skills-based hiring is a talent management approach that empowers employers to align recruitment around business results, rather than around credentials and title. It starts with employers identifying the particular skills required for a role, and then screening and evaluating candidates’ competencies against those requirements. With the recent rise in employers adopting skills-based hiring practices, it has become integral for students to take courses that improve their marketability and support their long-term career success. A 2017 survey of over 32,000 students at 43 randomly selected institutions found that only 34% of students believe they will graduate with the skills and knowledge required to be successful in the job market. Furthermore, the study found that while 96% of chief academic officers believe that their institutions are very or somewhat effective at preparing students for the workforce, only 11% of business leaders strongly agree [11]. An implication of the misalignment is that college graduates lack the skills that companies need and value. Fortunately, the rise of skills-based hiring provides an opportunity for universities and students to establish and follow clearer classroom-to-career pathways. To this end, this paper presents a course recommender system that aims to improve students’ career readiness by suggesting relevant skills and courses based on their unique career interests.