Understanding higher ed's role in workforce education partnerships

Automation, artificial intelligence and other emerging technologies are changing the nature of work, and colleges and universities are pushing to keep up with the resulting demand for more and different kinds of education and training. But they're not working alone. Employers, which have scaled back their investments in employee education in recent years, are again seeing a need to be involved in that upskilling.Yet studies repeatedly show that business leaders are often at odds with colleges and students as to whether graduates are adequately prepared for the workforce. How higher ed and companies can reconcile their views in order to identify and address the skills students need was the topic of a panel session at a conference for public-private partnerships in postsecondary education, held this week at George Mason University, near Washington, D.C."Employers literally want to see that (graduates) have the skills they're looking for so (they) can be productive in that job on day one," said Ryan Craig, managing director of investment firm University Ventures and a panel participant. "That's hard and that requires a set of new and different initiatives (from universities and third parties)."

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