ASU, Salesforce's Trailhead Academy join forces to close the digital skills gap

ASU is now a Salesforce Authorized Training Provider, enabling students to sharpen their technical and creative skill sets

May 2, 2022

Digital skills have long been in the spotlight at Arizona State University as the institution prepares its students for the future workforce, and ongoing efforts between ASU and industry leaders ensure that Sun Devils have access to state-of-the-art digital platforms.

One such established long-term partnership has been with Salesforce. As of today, ASU is a Salesforce Authorized Training Provider, enabling its students to sharpen their technical and creative skill sets even more. People seated around a table working on laptops. Download Full Image

Expanding on the existing AZNext Program, which creates a bold, innovative and sustainable workforce development ecosystem that addresses the need for more skilled workers in IT roles, ASU is now able to leverage Trailhead Academy’s workforce development infrastructure to source, train and place students in the Salesforce ecosystem at scale.

The rapid pace of digital transformation is fueling massive growth in cloud technology. According to a recent IDC study, the Salesforce economy will create 9.3 million new jobs by 2026.

“Organizations are transforming their businesses through digital platforms,” said Raghu Santanam, senior associate dean for executive education, corporate partnerships and lifelong learning and executive director of the Department of Labor-funded digital workforce initiative AZNext at ASU’s W. P. Carey School of Business. “It’s important for the university to integrate platform-centric digital skills into its curriculum. AZNext is strengthening the technology workforce pipeline through collaborations with digital platform ecosystems partners.”

While the Salesforce economy grows, so does the demand for digital skills. By 2025, the need for digital skills is expected to rise by more than 50%, which means upskilling and reskilling will be required to succeed in the future of work. 

"We're excited to partner with Arizona State University to expand their workforce development program and unlock new sources of talent by driving Salesforce skills that lead students to career pathways in the Salesforce ecosystem," said Amy Regan Morehouse, senior vice president of Trailhead Academy go-to-market.

Salesforce's Trailhead Academy will help ASU build and validate these in demand digital skills with expert-led learning programs, role-based credentials and workforce development strategies designed to fuel net-new talent.

As a Salesforce Authorized Training Provider, ASU can now:

  • Leverage Trailhead Academy resources and the certified instructor community to empower faculty.
  • Lean on Salesforce for personalized guidance and tailored program management across workforce development initiatives.
  • Deliver Salesforce training to students using up-to-date course materials, exercise guides and experiential projects that simulate real organizational configurations provided by Trailhead Academy.
  • Certify and validate students’ expertise using discounted exam vouchers.

“We’re excited to partner with Salesforce to develop new program offerings that leverage the Salesforce ecosystem,” Santanam said. “The partnership will greatly enable AZNext to increase talent diversity in the technology sector and address the acute shortage of trained workforce in the Salesforce ecosystem.”

Shay Moser

Managing Editor, W. P. Carey School of Business


ASU student attends Pacific Sociological Association conference

May 2, 2022

Lynette Hrabik, a senior at Arizona State University studying political science and sociology, believes that students looking to enrich their college experience should pursue undergraduate research opportunities.

So far during her time with The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, she’s done just that. Portrait of ASU student Lynette Hrabik. Lynette Hrabik Download Full Image

With the assistance of a travel grant offered by the School of Politics and Global Studies, Hrabik traveled to Sacramento, California, to attend the Pacific Sociological Association’s annual conference.

The conference focused on collective memory. Hrabik attended sessions on mental health, the carceral system, globalization and education.

“As a research assistant for the Arizona Youth Identity Project (AZYIP), I also presented some of our preliminary survey and interview findings,” Hrabik said. “My presentation covered Native American young adults’ civic engagement in Arizona during the 2020 elections and COVID-19 pandemic.”

Attending the Pacific Sociological Association’s conference not only provided Hrabik the opportunity to share and receive feedback on her research, but also learn from others.

“Also, as a political science and sociology student, I loved seeing how experts from across the country are applying the concepts I’m learning in their research,” she said.

Hrabik shared some of her experiences from this conference with ASU News:

Question: What were some of your takeaways from this experience?

Answer: There were so many inspiring presentations. One of my takeaways is the value of research in understanding social issues and facilitating change. I was quite moved by one talk on mental health in Filipino communities since I'm Filipina, and this topic is personal for me. While many Filipinos struggle with mental health, seeking help is stigmatized. Mental health service utilization is low — for a variety of reasons. This is a problem since many don’t receive support until it's too late. The presenters discussed how they were interviewing both older and younger generations to heal intergenerational traumas and work towards increasing mental health service utilization. Personally, I think this is a powerful example of how valuable research can be.

Q: How do you think this trip will help you attain your career aspirations?

A: I’m interested in public interest law, becoming a policy analyst or working in public service in some capacity, so the knowledge I gained through this opportunity is indispensable. I also came back more confident in my research abilities and with greater resolve. Whatever path I take, I believe the experience will make me a better researcher and advocate.

Q: What advice would you give those who are interested in a similar experience?

A: When Dr. Angela Gonzales and Dr. Michelle Pasco originally suggested that I could present at a conference, I was hesitant. However, despite being an undergrad, I was surprised by how supportive other conference attendees were. My advice is to not sell yourself short! Pursue research opportunities, even if they seem intimidating, because you’ll learn and grow substantially.

Matt Oxford

Assistant Director of Strategic Marketing and Communications, College of Global Futures