Research: Unlocking Economic Prosperity - Career Navigation in a Time of Rapid Change


The Harvard Project on Workforce team, in partnership with the National Fund for Workforce Solutions reported in Unlocking Economic Prosperity: Career Navigation in a Time of Rapid Change (November 2023) that there are five core drivers of career navigation success:

  1. Information accuracy and access
  2. Skills and credentials
  3. Social capital
  4. Wraparound resources and supports
  5. Social structures and ecosystems.

The paper which resulted from research conducted by the Harvard project and National Fund for Workforce Solutions identifies ten recommendations to promote equity and efficacy, career navigation services, tools, programs, and structures to guide the development of career navigation systems or programs:

  1. Communicate information in clear, accessible, and relevant ways.
  2. Integrate opportunities for career exposure and social capital development.
  3. Build foundational and navigation skills.
  4. Design culturally relevant approaches.
  5. Use high-touch services that meet individuals where they are.
  6. Provide financial and wraparound support.
  7. Pursue community and intergenerational programs that build trust.
  8. Leverage artificial intelligence to personalize pathways.
  9. Collect disaggregated data and embed research and evaluation.
  10. Center equity by recruiting and elevating individuals from under-resourced communities (see ACT’s Education and Career Navigation Framework).

Graphic (see page 12 in


Joseph B. Fuller, Kerry McKittrick, et al. (Fall 2023). Unlocking Economic Prosperity: Career Navigation in a
Time of Rapid Change. Published by the Harvard Kennedy School.



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