Career Architecture

Our Vision for Staff Development, Advancement, and Internal Mobility

The career architecture project is designed to offer our staff, and their managers, a transparent framework for how jobs, career levels, and pay is structured across the University. You’ll have the ability to discover opportunities and design a career path that reflects your interests, skills, and goals. We’re also investing in a Center for Staff Life Design, to provide you with tools to support your career growth.

Our goals are to:

  • Bring more consistency and transparency to the way we classify jobs
  • Make it easier for staff and managers to understand career path options across the institution
  • Ensure that we pay market-appropriate rates for all roles
  • Create a Center for Staff Life Design to help staff expand their skills
  • Help our staff feel supported, engaged, and motivated in their careers

Reviewing career tracks, job roles, levels, descriptions across the University is a huge undertaking and commitment for JHU. As part of this work, we’re reviewing the career tracks —such as managerial and independent contributors—and the job levels within those tracks, for every role in every department and school within the University. This entails reviewing tracks within 19 different job family groups and over 2,100 different job titles that will impact over 16,000 staff members.

This work will help staff flourish and help us realize our vision of becoming a national employer of choice, as highlighted in the University’s strategic framework.

Countdown to Completion

A project of this size and scale is a tremendous undertaking. We’re on track for completing our new framework in early 2025! We’re working with JHU subject matter experts by job families across the University to review career tracks and job classifications, levels, and descriptions. To view what we’ve accomplished and the work ahead, see our anticipated timeline below.

August 2023 (Pilot)
Human Resources (job architecture review completed)

December 2023
Information Technology (job architecture review completed)

March 2024
Academic Services & Technology, Athletics, Communications, Marketing & Media, Government & Community Relations, Student Services

June 2024
Administrative Support, Development & Alumni Relations, Finance & Business, Investments

October 2024
Research Administration, Research & Labs

February 2025
Clinical Services, Legal & Compliance, Libraries & Museums, Real Estate, Facilities & Campus Operations, Public Safety

Frequently asked questions

What is Career Architecture?

Career architecture refers to the overall framework of career pathways, with defined competencies and skills that will allow staff to see how jobs fit together and progress.

With a clearly defined career framework that is consistent across different schools and departments, staff can more easily identify opportunities for career development and growth at Johns Hopkins University, ensuring we attract, retain, and grow talent from within our University and drive employee engagement.

The goal of career architecture is to create a transparent, University-wide approach to job levels and job titles, which makes career exploration, professional development and pathways for advancement more accessible to all.

Why is career architecture important for JHU?

We want to enhance development opportunities for staff and help people accomplish their personal and professional goals as they navigate their careers. We also want to remove barriers to growth, encourage retention, and support internal mobility. Awareness of job opportunities and equitable access to job openings will better equip our staff to achieve the career growth they desire within the University.

Ensuring that our staff flourishes is an integral part of the University’s mission and an important component of realizing our Ten-for-One strategic goals. We want staff to clearly see and access continuous pathways to professional and personal advancement—whether that means being supported as they pursue career advancement or educational opportunities or continue to thrive and excel in their current positions.

Additionally, a simplified job classification and compensation structure will enhance JHU’s ability to proactively benchmark salaries to market, streamline promotional reviews, and enhance how we evaluate pay equity

Why did JHU decide to create a framework now?

JHU has always championed staff development and progression. A combination of external and internal factors, including a competitive labor market and desire to be a national employer of choice, make now the perfect time to bring more consistency and transparency to how staff navigate and progress their careers here.

JHU’s current job structure over-emphasizes supervisory duties as a requirement for job growth.

Clear career progression with salary growth is needed for independent contributors who have specialized or advanced skills.

We also want to remove barriers to growth or progression that prevent career advancement.

By creating a new, streamlined job framework now, we hope to provide staff with more ability to design and self-navigate their career paths, so they can view opportunities and understand how jobs fit together to grow their skills sets and advance their careers.

What steps are involved in creating a career architecture framework?

Creating this framework requires significant resources, multiple years to complete, and university-wide consensus on reviewing and redesigning job families, career paths, and competencies. This effort involves:

  • Reviewing every classified position at JHU, job competencies and skills by job grouping and level
  • Interviewing subject matter experts (SMEs) across the university to assess job family structures, job titles, competencies, and minimum qualifications
  • Developing standardized job descriptions across schools (where applicable)
  • Gathering and analyzing market pay data, formalizing our pay philosophy, and benchmarking jobs and pay to our new framework
  • Evaluating the financial impact of potential changes to our pay structure
  • Creating a Center for Staff Life Design as a resource to help staff expand their skills, knowledge, and experiences and navigate their careers
Who is involved in the Career Architecture project?

Executive Sponsors
This group provides overall strategic direction for the project, approves implementation plans, and meets monthly.

  • Laurent Heller, SVP Finance & Administration | Office of the President
  • Meredith Stewart, Vice President for Human Resources | Johns Hopkin University
  • Ellen MacKenzie, Dean | Bloomberg School of Public Health

Advisory Committee
This group provides leadership for the strategy of the implementation and direction on project-related business issues for their respective area, ensures standardization is established where possible, assists with change management, and meets once a month.

  • Katrina Caldwell, Vice Provost and Chief Diversity Officer | Office of Diversity and Inclusion
  • Kathy Forbush, Executive Director of Talent Management, Central Human Resources
  • Jackson Ireland, Executive Vice Dean for Finance & Administration | Bloomberg School of Public Health
  • Matthew Nesbitt, VP Financial & Administrative Systems | IT@JH
  • Fernanda Pio Roda, Sr. Associate Dean, Finance & Operations | School of Education
  • Sam Wilson, Associate Dean, Finance & Administration, Peabody Institute

Core Project Team
This group provides day-to-day project management, supports job definition and mapping teams’ work, and provides regularly updates to the Advisory Committee and university leadership.

  • Jenny Winter (Functional Lead), Director of HR-Compensation | Central Human Resources
  • Monica Kim (Internal Project Management and Functional Subject Matter Expert (SME) | HR-Compensation
  • Alina Smith (Project Management) | Central Human Resources
  • Project Staff: Compensation Team (6), Amy Murphy and Organizational Development Team
  • Ashley Cheatham (Communications) | Central Human Resources
  • Tina Cole (Learning) | Talent Management
  • Dow Weeks and Karen Satchell (IT) | IT@JH Enterprise Business Solutions

Job Definition and Mapping Teams
This group participates in a series of meetings to define roles, levels, skills, and competencies.

  • Job Family/Sub-Family SMEs
  • HR Business Partner Lead(s)
  • Compensation Team Leads(s)
  • Organizational Development Team Lead(s)
  • Mercer Consultant(s)
How can we learn more about the Center for Staff Life Design?

The details around the Center are still being finalized, with more information anticipated in Spring, 2023. Please check back for additional details as this important element of the project moves forward during calendar year 2024.

Could my job title and salary change because of this project?

This project is designed to look at how jobs are categorized within career tracks and levels across the University, so job titles and salary ranges could change.

Part of the project includes designing a compensation philosophy and structure that works for the University as one entity. This will include reviewing base salaries and benchmarking jobs, pay, and titles against market value and internal equity. To ensure appropriate budget planning, it’s unlikely that any salary changes would occur before calendar year 2025. We will share more about this as we get farther along in the project.

Could I lose my job as a result of this project?

No. This project is focused on enhancing employee growth and development. The purpose of this project is not about staff reductions or operational restructuring.