A New Era Of Employability Focused Courses
85 million jobs will be usurped by automation by 2025. On the other hand, Microsoft estimates the creation of ~149 million jobs in the digital space. Both estimations will significantly reshape the pedagogy at universities.
Technology is rapidly transforming workplaces and industries. In the light of this metamorphosis, institutions must revise their curricula to ensure that students are industry-ready when they earn their degrees. All recent developments are indicative of future disruptions. The World Economic Forum already believes that ~85 million jobs will be usurped by automation by 2025. On the other hand, Microsoft estimates the creation of ~149 million jobs in the digital space. Both estimations will significantly reshape the pedagogy at universities.
Candidates are facing a two-fold disruption led by automation and remote working. The trend of mass digitisation, accelerated by COVID-19, has created an employability gap that can only be closed by imparting the relevant skillset through the right methods to the right candidates. Most emerging technologies are new in the market, which means there is also a dearth of skilled trainers and experts. To commence the up-skilling of students, the skill gap at the faculty level must be bridged.
Also, it is not easy to assess the future needs of industries. A career-propelling education is important but so is a curriculum that promotes personal growth. Experts believe that the development of core competencies should become a part of university education. With that in mind, digital skills also must be under the spotlight going forward. Communication, teamwork, social responsibility and self-awareness are among the key traits that must be honed by individuals. It may sound cliched, but it is true that these qualities are the core drivers of growth since they shape the attitude of a working professional.
Institutions of the 21st century have plenty of digital resources at their disposal to facilitate this change. It is imperative that industries work with educators to create a curriculum that imbibes industry-relevant skills in students. Academic partnerships with business leaders can enable educators to provide industry-certified training to students, which can then help establish the credibility of the training exercise for future job opportunities.
Integrating online courses into the core curriculum can also help institutions leverage the expertise of other educators whilst training their own students. E.g., If a business management student wants to work in a Fintech enterprise, a thorough understanding of blockchain is essential. But the course may not be provided by the university due to a lack of expertise. During such times, integrated courses by third-party providers pave the way for enhanced and job-relevant up-skilling.
In some cases, smaller institutions lack the resources for recruiting the brightest minds from the industry to teach their students. Partnering with online educators helps immensely in such cases as it not only saves cost but also provides the students with the latest content curated for industry needs. E.g., Classes taught at MIT or Harvard are highly sought after and the material could benefit students to a great extent if made available. Here’s where academic partnerships play a vital role with digital platforms offering highly valued course material to students who seek in-depth knowledge.
If observers were to look closely, they would notice that the rate of change is rapidly accelerating, and universities are themselves caught in a dilemma. They not only need to rapidly digitise but also ensure the uninterrupted learning of their students whilst ensuring that they learn industry-relevant skills.
With the strides being made in technology and the growth being witnessed by industries in the post-COVID recovery phase, the skillsets needed for the jobs have completely changed. Innovative models like SKillEnable’s Income Sharing Agreement (ISA) allow students to up-skill themselves without having to bear the full burden of the finances at once in the new normal, such initiatives and investments in candidates contribute directly to the growth of the economy as a skilled workforce readies itself for productive employment.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house
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