Most of the people out of college, even after acquiring a degree, are not employable. This is because they do not possess the skills required by the rapid developing industries. Employers want fresh talent and innovative ideas in their new recruits but they also want them to know about the basics of the industry. Many educational institutes focus on the basic study of a subject and not enough on the real-life implications with hands-on experience or field researches.
In a rapidly changing job market, it’s crucial that students graduate from colleges and universities with the tools they’ll need to be successful in the workforce. For this, it is necessary that the recruiters communicate their requirements to the universities. The gap between what the recruiters expect from the new recruits and the skills they actually possess is known as the skill gap. It is true that people never really stop learning. However, it is necessary for students to acquire some of those skills while pursuing their higher studies.
This would greatly change the university teaching patterns all over the globe. In fact, it has already started. Now universities offer dual degrees, certificate courses, nano-degrees, etc. Overall, the boundaries between higher education and professional learning and training are blurring, especially as the economy demands lifelong learning and credential attainment beyond the bachelor’s degree. In the future, there will be much less distinction between learning that occurs on the job and the traditional notions of academic credit and accredited credentials. This would greatly contribute towards narrowing down the skill gap as well.
Sean Gallagher, an Executive Professor of Educational Policy and Executive Director of the newly launched Center for the Future of Higher Education and Talent Strategy at Northeastern University, said in an interview, “Versatility is key. Technical skills are certainly in high demand, but foundational skills and competencies such as critical thinking, writing, and leadership are the hardest for employers to find. Another important element is engagement in the world of work—compiling experiences and project outcomes and portfolios that employers highly value when they hire, and which complement the degree,” when asked about the best way for a university to prepare its students for the rapidly changing demands of the work-force they’re entering.