Durable Skills

Cultivating Durable Skills with Intuit: A Case Study

When most of us think of tax season, our second thought is likely something to do with Intuit (no need to put that first thought into print here!). The company behind TurboTax (in addition to Quickbooks and Mailchimp), has transformed tax paperwork into a relatively painless online process, complete with lots of easily digestible teaching moments to support us as we complete our least favorite chore of the year. 

It should come as no surprise that Intuit’s ability to teach and engage reaches far beyond any of their software offerings. It also extends into its future hiring pool, shaping training techniques for current students looking to develop applicable, real-world skills (also known as Durable Skills) in the Design for Delight summer camp.

America Succeeds partnered with Intuit on a case study to articulate the effectiveness of the summer camp in cultivating Durable Skills. Design for Delight brings the company’s design-thinking approach directly to students. As we got started, the America Succeeds team brought in our friends at Getting Smart to do a thorough review of the Design for Delight self-paced online course programming and curriculum so we could develop a deep understanding of the course, its goals, and the expected skill attainment of course participants. We quickly discovered that not only were students introduced to the design-thinking process, they also acquired Durable Skills along the way that will set them up for success throughout their future careers.

To truly get a sense of what students were learning, the teams observed a weeklong portion of the Design for Delight high school summer camp in San Diego, California. Each day, the students learned new concepts, tied ideas together, and developed solutions to problems that were presented. 

To make the experience truly realistic and unique, real business owners were brought in to present challenges they were facing with their respective small businesses. Students took the Design for Delight concepts they had been learning and applied them as they developed solutions for the business owners. Students brainstormed and prototyped to land on the best solution to the business problem before presenting their final solutions to the business owners. 

Throughout the process, students continuously demonstrated each of the ten Durable Skills. For possibly the first time, these students were made aware of the real-world application of the skills they learned and refined each day. The program was a great example of Durable Skills in action and an excellent model for ways companies can engage young people in developing job-readiness skills. 

Intuit’s strengths clearly lies in making lives easier for all ages – be it taxes or skills-development. We cannot wait to see which companies follow their lead.

If you know of a company that would like to highlight their skills-development program, please contact Stephanie Short

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