Workforce development is a growing issue for higher education, in great part due to the incredible gap between available jobs and the skills of applicants. There is a record-setting 6 million unfilled jobs in the workforce today, according to NPR.org. This problem has been a primary focus in the White House but it is also a concern among many higher education institutions.
That's what makes Purdue University's recent moves such a game-changer. Their recent acquisition of Kaplan (details still being worked out) and their strategic alliance with Infosys, an India-based tech services company, will position Purdue as a leader in workforce development, utilizing online course delivery as a large part of that equation. In a time when universities are working to grow enrollment and develop innovative programs to attract students, Purdue seems to have found the secret sauce in developing partnerships and alliances to expand not only the campus but also the footprint Purdue has on workforce development.
Online learning programs attract both traditional and nontraditional students into degree programs designed to better prepare them for today’s workforce. Some colleges allow experiential credit and some are moving to competency-based programs to better accommodate their students’ needs. A recent 2U survey showed that nine out of 10 deans are planning to implement online learning programs, while large higher ed systems, such as The University of Texas, have adopted competency based programs.
Whether it's online or competency-based learning programs, the need for high-quality IT products and solutions cannot be overlooked. Monitoring the progress of students requires the ability to capture and retain information in dynamic portfolios. The success of an online learner is often hindered by the barriers that technology creates. Designing courses and programs with the technology solutions in mind is imperative to the success of such programs. And, the success of such programs impacts the hope we have of filling 6 million jobs.
How is your institution of higher education looking to innovate and develop partnerships and alliances to increase employment after students leave your campus? Tell us what you’re doing so we can share your story!