The future of work and the future of education are directly linked, and aligning their interests is essential. Higher education and employers must work together differently to better serve learners throughout their work-life, and the organizations that employ them. Better collaboration is not only crucial to advancing individuals and companies, but also to competitiveness and economic growth in the dynamic post-COVID world.
Higher ed needs to more intentionally center on the real-world skills needed by today’s companies and employers need to re-think “boot camping” their way out of talent shortages to get the skilled workforces they need. Deeper engagement, driven by data, technology and new models is needed.
Through disruptive innovations and deeper collaborations with industry, higher education can help learners develop both timely and timeless skills, both of which have new dynamism and are essential for talent success. Employers can and should help bring learning and skill development opportunities for career mobility to talent throughout their organizations. Not only is this critical to future success at a national and global scale, but it will help to increase diversity and equity in the workplace. We need more minds – not just a chosen few – to have access to opportunities.
Technology, insights from data analytics, and new types of partnerships hold the promise of much greater personalization of learning pathways and modalities, providing opportunities for inclusive learning and leveling the playing field for those who have historically been left behind and meeting the talent needs required to unleash the next wave of innovation in our economy.