By News Staff
January 30, 2024 – Colleges and universities are proactively aligning their priorities with the needs of today's workforce to equip current and incoming students with comprehensive skill sets that are suited to careers of a technology-driven world.
"Higher education is integrating innovative approaches into its programs and pedagogy to provide students with more learning options, including opportunities to reskill and upskill," shared Scarlett Howery, Vice President of Public Workforce Solutions at DeVry University.
According to Howery, higher education institutions and employers agree that developing skills for the future of work is a "high priority" due to advancing technology and shifts in the job market. She also said institutions are focused on collaborating with states and employers to understand their needs as both continue to seek ways to close persisting skills gaps.
Indeed, the World Economic Forum’s Future of Jobs 2023 Report found some 23% of jobs are expected to change by 2027 with 69 million new jobs created and 83 million eliminated.
Technological advancements and the changing job landscape with the emergence of generative AI technology are leading higher education institutions and employers to focus on providing more ways for students and professionals to hone-in on durable skills and ways to pursue lifelong learning.
"Undoubtedly, higher ed always recognizes that to prepare students for the future, a shift in approaches to learning and skill development is required," added Howery.
Thus, more colleges and universities are now offering shorter-form, stackable programs to allow non-traditional learners to gain the most up-to-date skills and experience they need to launch into a new career or upskill into a higher role at their own pace. For instance, DeVryWorks works with companies to develop customized learning pathways to help those in the workplace obtain new skills and credentials to keep pace and avoid career obsolescence.
Additionally, flexible virtual learning emphasizes technology-driven skills and empowers continuous learning.
"Flexible opportunities cater to the needs of diverse learners while enhanced student services emphasize a holistic approach to student engagement and care. This two-fold strategy transforms potential into growth and opportunity," explained Howery.
The immense need for workers to adapt and keep pace with technological advancements are driving higher ed institutions to encourage lifelong learning, similar to DeVry’s Career Compact, a unique benefits program that supports DeVry and Keller Graduate School of Management graduates beyond graduation. "Technology-enabled resources empower the needs of self-motivated learning in an increasingly virtual world," she advises.
By aligning programs with workforce needs, emphasizing lifelong learning, and developing durable and technology-driven skills, higher education is readying students for the careers of tomorrow.