Career Paths

Career Paths

Human Resources has developed an entirely new job classification system for positions covered by UCPEA. This new job classification system, Career Paths, was designed to be responsive to the changing needs of the University and the complex work environment in which we function. Career Paths aims to be a consistent, clearly defined, and more efficient and effective classification framework for managing our workforce and providing a better understanding of advancement opportunity for employees. Compared to the previous classification system, Career Paths more accurately describes individual positions by providing flexibility for leadership on how to describe and title position work, while using contemporary metrics to rank the work.

Human Resources will implement and refine the system throughout 2020.

UConn Career Paths:

- Reduces the number of classification levels from 12 to 9;
- Introduces new "categories" for employees, including Professional and Manager;
- Has no negative impact to annual base pay;
- Maintains job duties; and
- Fulfills Article 31 of the UCPEA collective bargaining agreement.

INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND

In 2016, during the bargaining process for the most recent contract between the University and UCPEA, there was general agreement that the University’s classification system for employees covered by UCPEA was no longer effectively meeting the needs of our employees or the University. The UCPEA contract supports the creation of a more accurate, meaningful, and flexible classification system.

Human Resources reviewed best practices from other universities and gathered feedback from supervisors and employees through Job Inventory Worksheets (JIWs). HR used the JIWs to build and implement the new classification system - Career Paths.

Career Paths reflects our strong desire to ensure that our classification and compensation practices are as fair and competitive as possible, enhancing our efforts to recruit and retain excellent employees. 

SYSTEM BENEFITS

Career Paths is responsive to the changing needs of UConn and our complex work environment; it provides a clear understanding of advancement opportunities for employees, and it incorporates contemporary metrics to categorize and level work:

  • Provides managers the flexibility to title and define the work specific to their workforce needs;
  • Defines growth in a Job Path, outlining the requirements for each position, and demonstrating movement through the associated categories and levels;
  • Defines core expectations, such as level of accountability, problem solving, and required skills;
  • Defines the skills and qualifications of all the occupational groups, or the categories of work at UConn, supporting an employee’s interest to explore and consider shifts in their personal careers;
  • Validates the work of employees by using an accurate description of the position.

By readily providing employees with this information about work expectations, it allows the University to attract, retain, and motivate employees to optimally perform.

SYSTEM OVERVIEW

Career Paths uses general descriptors to categorize work by (1) Occupation and by (2) Level.

Occupational Groups are broad categories of associated or related occupations. Each Occupational Group consists of Job Families, Job Paths, Job Titles, Job Categories, and Job Levels.

The first subdivision of the Occupational Group is the Job Family. Job Families group related jobs with similar work, requiring like training, skills, knowledge, and experience.

Job Families are more detailed than Occupational Groups, further organizing work through grouping professionally similar jobs that often possess different titles across UConn.

The second subdivision of the Occupational Group is the Job Path. Job Paths group roles with a progressive growth in qualifications, complexity, and independence. For some employees, a Job Path may serve as a career trajectory.

Career Paths decreases the number of classification levels from 12 to 9.

Within these 9 classification levels, there are two primary “categories” for employees: Professionals and Managers.

Positions within the Professional Category (also referred to as individual contributor) primarily provide a professional service, which may be specialized or general in nature, to any assigned department in the University.

Positions within the Manager Category provide supervision or management over a department charged with providing a variety of cross-disciplinary services. The majority of time is spent supervising staff or setting a team’s strategic direction.

CATEGORY DESCRIPTION
Professionals Professionals 1 – 4:

 

  • Responsible and accountable for only their own work
  • Success is determined by individual effort and contribution
  • Does not formally supervise a department, but may lead work on a project- or on-going-basis. It may involve a small number of subordinates (e.g. one to three). Typically participates in the work of the project or office in addition to planning work, determining work methods, assigning, and reviewing work.
  • Often has an area of specialization

 
Professionals 5-7:

 

  • Serves as a specialized resource whose work requires advanced levels of education or professional credentials and experience
  • Supervision is not a primary function, but individuals may facilitate or lead larger projects
  • Directly impacts projects and initiatives of the department, division, and/or University.

 

Managers
  • Must have direct supervisory reports, generally including professional and non-professional staff
  • Oversees business and administrative operations
  • Success is determined by the efforts and contributions of subordinate staff
  • Consistently leads major projects or initiatives and serves as a highly proficient and specialized resource

Career Paths also contains a limited 9th level, reserved for highly-specialized positions that require specific credentialing and education to perform the primary role or core functions of the job. Positions within the 9th level must have direct impact on health or institution-wide initiatives.

A position’s Job Level is based on the job’s core responsibilities weighted against five leveling criteria: General Role; Education, Knowledge, and Experience; Independence and Decision Making; Complexity and Problem Solving; and Scope and Measurable Effect.

The 5 Leveling Criteria will determine job “mapping” in the new system. Depending on the type of position and the position’s hierarchal-standing within the organizational structure, each of these criteria exists in varying degrees. The position’s organizational level designation is based on the measure of these core criteria factors.

JOB TEMPLATES AND SPECIFICATIONS

A Job Template provides the scope, key responsibilities, knowledge, and skill requirements of a job; it also serves as the foundational job standards.

A Job Template includes: the General Summary, Reporting Relationships and Teamwork, Essential Duties and Responsibilities, Minimum Qualifications, Competencies, and Conditions of Employment.

As foundational standards, Job Templates represent a broad outline of a job that hiring departments can then transform into a more detailed position description for the local level. These detailed descriptions, known as Job Specifications, include the roles, responsibilities, duties, and scope specific to the department and position.

GLOSSARY

PHRASE DEFINITION
Complexity and Problem Solving Criteria
Complexity and Problem Solving Criteria represents the analytical process required to asses and resolve problems commonly presented to the job. The range of prescribed options available to resolve problems and the latitude the incumbent has to revise or develop an option is taken into consideration.
Education, Knowledge, and Experience Criteria
The Education, Knowledge, and Experience Criteria provides the framework for the job's minimum qualification requirements. This includes such factors as the degree, years of experience, position specific knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary.
Functional Job Title
While every position has a Job Title, positions may also have a Functional Job Title. This Functional or “Business Card” Title is determined locally and creates a more distinct description for a position.
General Role Criteria
The General Role Criteria provides the general purpose or reason for the existence of the position.
Independence and Decision Making Criteria
Independence and Decision Making Criteria focuses on a position’s latitude to act independently and outlines the boundaries which limit a position's latitude. A position’s latitude is affected by factors such as supervisory controls and procedural/administrative constraints.
Job Category
Job Category is the broadest grouping category in the classification system. The UCPEA Job Classification System, Career Paths, groups jobs into one of two Job Categories: Professional and Manager.
Job Classification System
UConn’s Job Classification System, Career Paths, is designed to provide a systematic method to manage the categorization of professional staff positions at the University. This system is intended to group jobs by commonalities found in a job’s various attributes. Classification systems use a consistent metric to evaluate the work. Components of this Job Classification System include Leveling Criteria, Occupational Groups, Job Families, Job Paths, and Salary Bands.
Job Specification
The Job Specification is a detailed explanation of the position’s duties and responsibilities. Job Specifications are unique to each position and include the specific requirements and expectations of the role within the unit.
Job Family
The Job Family is the first subdivision of the Occupational Group. Job Families group related jobs with similar work, requiring like training, skills, knowledge, and experience. Job Families provide a more detailed category to further organize work through grouping similar jobs that often possess different titles across an institution. Each Family consists of different Job Paths and Titles.
Job Level
The Job Level is determined by the General Role and the amount of Education, Knowledge, and Experience, Independence and Decision Making, Complexity and Problem Solving, and the Scope and Measurable Effect a job requires. A position’s Job Level is based on the measure of these factor against the job's core responsibilities.
Job Path
The Job Path is the second subdivision of the Occupational Group by further grouping roles (the first being the Job Family). Roles grouped within the Job Path are primarily differentiated by a progressive growth in qualifications, complexity, and in the independence required of the job. The Job Path may serve as an employee's career path guide.
Job Template
The Job Template documents basic information such as the job’s title, duties and responsibilities, reporting line, and the minimum qualifications. The Job Template is relevant to all positions in the Job Title and serves as a starting point for the more individualized Job Specifications.
Job Title
The Job Title describes a job in the organization. Jobs with sufficient commonalities are grouped together and given a single title.
Job
Job describes a compilation of tasks assigned to and performed by employees in an organization.
Leveling Criteria
Leveling Criteria describe a group of factors in a job used to determine the job's level in a classification system. The five Leveling Criteria in the classification system include: General Role; Education, Knowledge, and Experience; Independence and Decision-Making; Complexity and Problem Solving; and Scope and Measurable Effect.
Leveling Guide
The Leveling Guide serves as a reference guide for the levels within a classification system, illustrating the differences by level for each leveling criteria.
Manager
The Manager Category is characterized by providing a combination of supervision/management over a department charged with providing a variety of cross-disciplinary services. Incumbents should generally have oversight of professional and non-professional staff, as well as business and/or administrative operations.
Mapping
Mapping is the process of determining the placement of a job in the new classification system.
Occupational Group
The Occupational Group broadly categorizes associated or related occupations. Each Occupational Group consists of Job Titles, Job Paths, Job Categories, and Job Levels.
Professional Category
The Professional Category (also referred to as individual contributor) is characterized by positions that are primarily accountable for providing service to any assigned department in the University. These positions are typically accountable for only their own workload and do not have formal supervisory responsibilities.

Professionals 5-7 serve as an expert or an advanced resource capacity in an area of specialization. This specialization usually requires specific education or professional credentials and experience. These positions do not have formal or direct supervisory responsibilities, but may have lead responsibilities for the purposes of long termed projects.

Salary Bands
Salary bands standardize compensation across similar skill sets and responsibilities. There is an established minimum, maximum, and mid-point determined for each band.
Scope and Measurable Effect Criteria
The Scope and Measurable Effect Criteria speaks to the impact of a job’s actions, decisions, or role on individuals, a group of individuals, or a service being provided.

Informational Sessions Materials

Job Template Library

The Job Template Library will be available in the near future. Check back for updates.