According to a recent Vox article, there’s a “great mismatch” happening in the US job market, where over eight million individuals are looking for work despite nearly 11 million job openings.
Many job-seekers are applying for jobs that require expertise they don’t possess. At the same time, many employers are overlooking qualified candidates due to an increasingly AI-focused and automated application process. One way to remedy this is for candidates to acquire the relevant skills and experience needed for the job they’re interested in.
There are several resources you can use to gain new skills and insight into different careers, and one innovative platform that helps applicants bridge the skills gap is Forage. The open-access platform provides students with a virtual working experience that allows them to explore careers, build essential skills, and obtain crucial real-world experience during the job hunt.
A Forage free job simulation is designed to help you gain valuable work experience and significant career advantage.Join a free Forage virtual job simulation here.
What Is Forage?
Forage is an online platform that offers free access to virtual job simulations to help students unlock new careers. These programs are co-designed with and endorsed by leading companies like JPMorgan Chase, Citi, Goldman Sachs, Accenture, and Electronic Arts. Each program is composed of resources and tasks designed to replicate the real-life experience of working in a particular industry, role, or with a particular employer.
Forage was established in 2017 by Tom Brunskill and Pasha Rayan, based on the former’s work experience after graduating from a law school in Australia. When Tom started working at a law firm, he quickly realized that his day-to-day tasks weren’t anything like what he learned in college. Neither did it resemble popular legal dramas such as Suits or Boston Legal.
Put simply, there was a significant mismatch between his expectations and the reality of the role on a day-to-day basis.
Tom and Pasha saw the asymmetry of information between candidates and employers across all industries, which means candidates are often deciding about their future careers with misaligned and uninformed expectations. To bridge the gap between “the world of learning” and “the world of doing”, the two co-founders quit their jobs in professional services, teamed up, and started Forage.
In 2019, Forage went through Y Combinator, a technology startup accelerator. Since then, Forage has grown and received wide coverage, with it now headquartered in the US while still maintaining its Australian roots.
How Do Forage’s Free Virtual Job Simulations Work?
Forage offers students free virtual job simulations that run for five to eight hours. Each program is self-paced and completely open access.
All programs are co-designed by Forage and the partner company who work together to choose the topic of the virtual program based on the company’s hiring needs or growth plans. Forage then digs down to understand the vital skills an employee needs to succeed in a particular role and what an employee’s typical day-to-day looks like in their organization.
The innovative virtual programs include:
- A series of hypothetical tasks built to ensure participants are pre skilled to succeed in the role,
- Video instructions from actual employees and resources used by the organization in their work, and
- Model work samples or answers to the tasks which demonstrate how an employee at that company would have solved and approached the tasks.
Forage programs are safe-space learning and are not graded. Having access to model work samples is one way for students to self-assess their own work, and continue to build the skills they need even after they complete the program.
Top Virtual Tech Job Simulations to Choose From at Forage
At the time of writing, Forage students can choose from 130+ live programs from over 90 global companies across fields. And if you’re interested in working in tech, Forage offers top-notch virtual tech job simulations such as the following:
Acquire hands-on experience working with technology and gain in-demand software engineering skills with retail giant Walmart.
Gain valuable experience in building innovative solutions with one of the world’s financial services leaders.
Learn practical new skills in engineering, such as risk analysis and safeguarding information with Goldman Sachs, a leading global investment banking and investment management firm.
Explore the fundamentals of software development, including code refactoring and object-oriented programming, with Accenture’s “Know the Code” virtual job simulation.
Experience what life is like as a Software Engineer at EA. You’ll utilize skills like critical thinking and problem solving while working with languages like Python and C++ to create a new game.
Other tech-related job simulations offered by Forage are as follows:
- Cognizant Ready, Set, Agile! Virtual Experience Program
- Accenture North America Data Analytics Virtual Experience Program
- Accenture North America Consulting Virtual Experience Program
- SAP Technical Consulting Virtual Experience Program
- SAP Cybersecurity Virtual Internship Experience Program
- BCG Data Science and Advanced Analytics Virtual Experience Program
- KPMG Data Analytics Virtual Experience Program
- GE Digital Technology Data Analytics Program
Forage also plans to launch many more tech-focused programs in the next few months with companies like Lyft and Cisco.
What Happens After a Forage Virtual Job Simulation?
After completing a virtual job simulation at Forage, students earn industry-recognized completion certificates that they can add to their resumes, LinkedIn, and other social networking accounts. This micro-credential instills confidence not just in the student but also in the employer. From the employer’s perspective, their company now has access to a qualified talent pipeline who are well-versed in how the company works.
Additionally, if a student opts to share their data with Forage, they will be included in an enterprise dashboard that the employer partner can access and use when looking for suitable candidates. Employers get to communicate directly with participants in the program through this dashboard. They can also use this tool to communicate upcoming events, networking and recruitment opportunities.
Who Is Forage For?
Forage programs are for anyone looking to give themselves a competitive hiring advantage, obtain new practical skills, and those looking for employment outcomes.
Many Forage participants are in the early stage of their careers, aged 18 to mid-20s, who are exploring the different roles available to them, and trying to understand what these roles actually entail. However, the Forage community also includes career changers, people returning to the workforce, skilled migrants looking to upskill in a new country, and veterans.
To date, there are over 2.1 million people who have enrolled in a Forage virtual job simulation.
Are Forage Virtual Job Simulations Worth It?
Completing a Forage virtual job simulation demonstrates to employers that a student is a high-intent candidate. It shows that an applicant is interested in the industry, the employer, and the specific role. Because of this, those who take a Forage course stand out in the crowded job market.
Case in point: According to Forage, its participants are two times more likely to land an interview and up to four times more likely to receive an offer compared to those who did not take a Forage program. Students have landed entry-level and graduate corporate and professional roles in industries like software engineering, tech consulting, law, and finance.
Furthermore, different studies across the Forage participant population have found that, of participants polled:
- 87 percent “strongly agreed” they learned new skills and developed practical skills by completing a virtual program,
- 99 percent “strongly agreed” that completing a virtual program made them feel more confident applying for a role at a partner company,
- 95 percent were able to explore different career pathways, and
- 84 percent found the programs useful to understand the work in practice.
Thanks to Forage, many people have explored diverse career paths, improved their career prospects, and have started their successful careers in tech.
Find your career fit and showcase your skills with Forage’s help. Start by exploring the following Forage virtual job simulations in tech.
About us: Career Karma is a platform designed to help job seekers find, research, and connect with job training programs to advance their careers. Learn about the CK publication.