I’m Goldie Blumenstyk, a senior writer at The Chronicle of Higher Education covering innovation in and around academe. Here’s what I’m thinking about this week.
Is there more than self-interest behind employers’ interest in education?
Employers aren’t shy when it comes to complaining about colleges’ faults in preparing students for the workplace. Isn’t that more than a little tiresome sometimes? The lack of specificity. The nostalgia for the days when college grads supposedly showed up at their first jobs fully ready to tackle their assignments. And when did all of this become the job of colleges? Don’t employers have some responsibility, too?
I wrestled with these issues in writing the new Chronicle report, “Career Ready Education: Beyond the Skills Gap, Tools and Tactics for an Evolving Economy.” Even if I weren’t the author, I would tell you that this report is a really useful guide for understanding and responding to the changing landscape of hiring and credentials, with practical advice for college leaders and employers alike on how to collaborate on programs, services, and even facilities that will improve students’ employability. My bottom line: Colleges can make these adaptations without becoming overly reactive or reductive. And they need to.
That doesn’t mean employers should be let off the hook. But I’m not holding my breath.