Business Is Likely To Reshape Higher Ed

from Brookings

It’s broadly understood that a college degree or its equivalent is crucial to making it into the middle class in America. But getting those qualifications can be a risky process for many young Americans from a modest income background. Indeed, just 9 percent of young people from the lowest income quartile will ever earn a college degree. But even completing a degree does not necessarily mean a graduate will receive the skills they need to succeed in today’s workforce. That’s because of a profound disconnect between many college administrators and recruiters for business about what is needed. Just 11 percent of business leaders believe college graduates are properly equipped for entering the workforce – while 96 percent of college’s chief academic officers feel they turn out work-ready graduates.

There are trends in higher education, however, that point to closer links between business and higher education – trends that will make degrees more affordable as well as better aligned with needed workforce skills. And with a businessman about to enter the White House, expect these trends to get a boost from Washington.

More here.

Posted in Business, Careers, Education and tagged , , , .

17 Comments

  1. The fact that it is necessary to have a college degree to obtain most jobs in today’s day and age is a bit ridiculous in my opinion. I understand that employers want new employees to come in with knowledge of what they are going to be doing while on the job, and somewhat of an idea of how they are going to be doing it, but that is exactly what training is for. If each and every employer spent time training new employees, in most cases, the person would be able to learn and develop within a short time frame. So many of the classes that I have been forced to take to earn my Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration have absolutely nothing to do with what my future boss is going to have me doing while on the job. Each job differs from the next, which is why training is actually the most important part of doing a job correctly and efficiently, not whether or not an employee has a degree. The article mentions that only eleven percent of business leaders believe that college students earn their degree and come out of school completely equipped with tools and knowledge that they are going to need to utilize in their future jobs. This statistic clearly shows that having a degree has almost nothing to do with how one will perform while on the job.
    The fact that business leaders do not believe that college prepares students well enough for the real world explains why they are beginning to reshape higher education. I believe that it is vital that in order for college students to obtain degrees, they must have work experience in their field. Internships or co-ops are an excellent way for students to prepare for their future jobs and see what it will be like for them one day working in this field. The article touches upon how co-ops have been much more popular in recent years due to businesses connecting more with the surrounding schools and giving more opportunities to the students. If businesses continue to build connections with universities and help students gain hands on experience prior to graduation, they will see that change in their new applicants from there on out. By giving students lectures and having them take exams based off of what they have learned in the classroom, professors are simply testing their abilities to memorize and absorb regurgitated information. The only way a student can actually learn about the field of work that they choose is by physically doing it, which is completely different from reading about it in textbooks.
    Next, the article discusses accreditation and how it has become an almost ineffective method for judging the effectiveness of the education that a school is providing its students with. I was unaware of this being one of the main reasons why people pay these hefty tuitions just to attend these schools when there are cheaper options out there. Because these accredited schools are connected with federal student aid, people gravitate towards them and believe that they are receiving a quality education. There needs to become a more effective way in evaluating the quality of the education system each university has, which is why business leaders are taking initiate to get it fixed. I definitely feel as though more business involvement with universities will help to give students the education that they truly need, and to accurately identify the schools that are providing top notch education.
    Finally, the article talks about how the business community is working towards creating money back guarantees for students, rather than universities sucking all of the money they possibly can out of each and every person. If a business ever tells me that I can get my money back if I am not satisfied with the product or service that I receive, I am much more likely to invest in it. Business leaders feel that if colleges offer the same thing, they will thrive just like successful money back guarantee businesses do. I think that this type of offer would draw more people into the higher levels of education, and allow people to put more trust into their universities. For example, one of the majors that I looked at that is offered at my school has a one hundred percent job guarantee upon graduation, meaning that every single student that graduates with that specific degree will come out with a job right after graduation. These types of guarantees make a student feel hopeful and more positive about their education, therefore hopefully leading to college degrees that prepare students for jobs and the real world more efficiently. Our higher education system is definitely not as strong as it could be, so I am hopeful that business involvement will improve it as much as it seems like it will.

  2. There are many issues that are being brought up with the education system of the United States, firstly with the costs of higher education getting higher and higher each year, many people are finding it more and more challenging to get a degree. And the people who are lucky enough to get a degree most of the time come out of college with a huge amount of debt. This makes it even more challenging because just as the article mentions “a college degree is crucial to making it in the middle class of America”. Many companies do not even consider candidates if they do not have a college degree. Hopefully by building relationships between colleges and the companies there will be able to build a successful relationship that will work for both the company and the students. Colleges are starting to do a better job of preparing students for the workplace.
    The Co-operative design is helping to make students more successful, we can see this approach in Drexel university which is a 5-year college and in one of those years you’re required to have a full time jobs and get some experience. Also, in many different colleges they are starting to make it mandatory that you have either a co-op or a graduation before graduation. This sets up the student very well, because if the student is able to do a good job and impress the company where he interns at, he will be able to have the possibility to work full time for the company. I have many friends who have been fortunate enough to have jobs right out of college because of a really good summer internship. Also with all the multiple career fairs that are held at college campuses each year, we are able to see the relationship between the companies and the university’s. Sometimes the representatives for the companies are past students who have graduated from the university.
    Many colleges now all offer accreditation which is supposed to guarantee “students will receive a quality education”. Schools are starting to make sure the students are getting real world experience, majority of the professors at my school for example still work full time and are therefore able to give us great knowledge, examples and information that they use in their workplace. The problem with the accreditation is that not everyone who is graduating is actually coming out with the skills, this also does not guarantee jobs for the graduating students. It is also important because accreditation is tied to the financial aid, the schools with the more accreditations are able to offer more financial aid. Many people choose to attend colleges that have more accreditations because they feel that these schools are giving them the best option to succeed. The money back guarantee is something that’s very interesting, since like I mentioned earlier, colleges are becoming expensive, colleges are starting to try help their students find jobs or spend as little money as possible, this is a drastic change because in the past, colleges didn’t really care about the students and were more interested in the possibility of taking their money. The colleges are starting to look out for the students and doing their best to make sure the students are getting some sort of guarantees. This is good for me as a student because if I am able to make the most of my college education, I will not only get a good well paying job from a good school, but I will also be able to possibly form a relationship with the companies through my internships.

  3. As many college seniors looking for jobs, they have difficulty juggling with their schoolwork and job interviews. During the spring semester, college seniors also face the danger of potential job frauds where recruiters offer roles for personal assistants. Unfortunately, there are those students who fall for this trick every year. Perhaps, they feel the pressure to look for jobs that guarantee some sort of employment after college. Personally, I am frustrated when those job frauds are in my emails. It is hard enough to look for jobs in industries that I want to work. Some jobs also demand long hours with minimum payment. Therefore, navigating the job-searching market is, by itself, a challenging venture. Of course, people on the other side will say that I am complaining and that it is my fault if I did not try hard enough to land a decent-paying job. Of course, they are correct to a certain extent. However, at the same time, making a transition from a student to the labor force is often a tricky feat. There are many job opportunities out there. However, at the same time, there are those people who try to swindle recent college graduates who are looking for jobs.
    The business world is changing dramatically as automation and AI advancement are becoming part of our every-day reality. In the meanwhile, people such as I am looking for employment with our college degree that translates into decent payment. As we continue with school and job hunt, I believe that we desperately need a different method that ensures college graduates to have the opportunities to look for stable positions and to mitigate the risk of falling victims of job frauds. If we do not address these issues, we are going to lose many potential talents and young professionals who are disillusioned and want to work for another firm. Therefore, it is in the interest for businesses to work more closely with universities on the type of skillsets that firms are looking for. This way, parties on both ends can receive what they want. Graduating students can have the better understanding of the jobs they are looking for. At the same time, companies can have an easier time to search for candidates who may work well in their work environment. Finding a job as a newly college graduate is not easy. Therefore, it does not make sense for companies and universities to work together to help graduating seniors take the next step in their lives.

  4. Butler is right when he says “…even completing a degree does not necessarily mean a graduate will receive the skills they need to succeed in today’s workforce. As an accounting major, I agree with that. I recently went to see my advisor and she said a lot of employers are looking for accounting majors that have business analytics skills. Being that machines can do standard accounting work, just knowing accounting isn’t enough for some employers. When hiring, employers look for business analytics skills. This requires employees to understand the business performance based on data and statistical methods. Employers look for this because machines can’t do this.

    This is why colleges should work more closely with employers. If they are looking for accounting majors to know material beyond just accounting, they should notify colleges so they can put that material in their curriculum. By doing this, graduates will be better prepared for when they get a job. I am currently in the accounting society at Rider University, and that is where employers come to meet accounting students to tell them about internships and co-ops. These employers always say that if a student does well, they can get a full-time job. They should mention that employees need business analytics skills to be prepared for the job. This is one of the ways how employers can work better with colleges.

    Another way to for the colleges to help is to reduce the students’ debt. “Traditionally, colleges adopted a “buyer beware” philosophy; if a student spent tens of thousands of dollars at a college but discovered the degree or their major was not marketable, the college bore no responsibility” (Butler). One way to fix this, is to have a variety of guarantees. This would guarantee that a student finish college in four years, or the college would pay for the additional semesters. Students not having to worry about debt, will take pressure off themselves to have to find really high paying job. What I mean is that they can be more flexible in what they are looking for. If the really high paying jobs aren’t available, then they can afford to take a lower paying job.

  5. Many employers in today’s economy don’t believe that college graduates are ready for the workforce meanwhile majority of colleges believe that they are graduating capable college graduates. There seems to be a disconnect between employers and colleges on what exactly they are searching for in a graduate and recently they have begun to work closer together. The purpose of colleges is to provide a higher education to students so they are able to obtain a high-paying job such as white collar jobs. The issue is here that these graduates are following what the school tells him to learn in the meanwhile these graduates are then completely blindsided by their work as they begin to realize all that education was for a piece of paper. Personally, I already know my major accounting is primarily going to consist of using computers to actually calculate the numbers while I would primarily focus on relations with the client. Majority of students only reason for going to college would be to be prepared for their job they would want to achieve while a few minor exceptions but why in a million years would they want to go pay a lot of money for a piece of paper. Personally I do support this growing trend of growing connections between the business world and education as in America, businesses are the main pusher for innovation. The US government was purposely designed to be slow and in turn the government has been slow to adapt to the changing world around them meanwhile businesses are keeping up with the ever changing environment. The biggest changing factor in education I would like to point out is the prevalence of technology now in the work place that is essentially taking away jobs and the government is slow to adapt to help focus education on this next era. Businesses meanwhile are helping drive the innovation of technology and motivating students to learn coding and to adapt to the changing environment around them by learning to include technology in their credentials. With businesses motivating students to learn technology, they are now fueling the new revolution.

  6. It seems to have always been a disconnect between colleges and businesses who offer jobs in the workforce. College students spend tens of thousands of dollars to attend these universities, often incurring debt that can not be paid off for 30 plus years. As a student currently enrolled in my third year at Rider University, I would say a college degree, in most cases, is a lifelong asset that would open up doors for future endeavors. In the corporate aspect, businesses look for colleges to produce efficient specialists to employ, while students look for institutions to equip them with the skills and knowledge needed to actively compete in today’s society.
    Co-op education programs are shown to be effective such as the one implemented at Drexel. These programs allow students to take classes and study academically for a semester to gain knowledge and the next semester they will be able to apply what they learned hands-on working in their field of choice. This approach broadens a student’s apprehension while expanding skills and experience which employers seek in current graduates. These college corporation partnerships can lead to some binding legalities. some institutions would try to increase the number of applicants by offering the incentive of a four-year completion, above average income levels, and automatic employment after graduation. Colleges could face lawsuits for these type of “money-back guarantees”.
    With only 11 percent of the leaders in business who believe colleges are equipping their students for the workforce, this disconnect continues but with the use of co-op programs and proactive internships, college students would be qualified and skilled to the standards of these businesses.

  7. I know that my university has a program that will help you get a job after you graduate. When I was in orientation, they kept saying that they want us to have a job before we graduate and they are able to help us. I agree that college prepares students for the real world, but also not everything for the real world. I have taken classes that give me a general understanding for business. I have my major and minor classes to really dig deep in what I am planning on being when I graduate. The real world in every field is changing constantly. There are new technologies and strategies and laws that are changing the way things are being done. College students are getting the general approach to what they want to do but how is that going to help them when they get into the field?
    I currently have an internship that I was not ready for. It is different then what I thought it was going to be and not one class I have taken up to this point prepared me for the internship. I have learned definitions and general overall things but definitions don’t help me during work. I try learning as much as I can and I can’t apply anything that I’ve learned because my boss doesn’t care if I know the definitions on supply chain if I don’t know how to do what I’m here for. College and Universities working closely with businesses and companies to get the experience for the students is a great idea. Now a days you need experience for jobs, but you can’t get experience if the companies wont hire you because of lack of experience.

  8. The goal of college is to achieve an education to further the intelligence of the individual and also prepare for the working work by equipping the graduate with the skills transferable to their desired profession. However, business leaders believe that college graduates are not properly equipped for entering the workforce. With a businessman entering the White House, the trend of higher education is escalating with the connection to business. Colleges are working closely with employers through co-operative education programs to give undergraduates the experience of being a member of the working class while pursuing an education. Accreditation is the stamp of quality education that colleges publicize to express their elite programs, and the ability to receive accreditation is decreasing to lower the possibility of students enrolling in colleges that won’t prepare them for the real world. A step further is colleges offering money-back guarantees if students don’t finish within the university’s curriculum.
    Going back to my freshmen year, I would’ve changed my career path from business to liberal arts. Due to poor advising, my education has been let astray with trivial knowledge rather than actual skills that can be used in the real world. It wasn’t until participating in classes within a different school of study that made me realize that my school didn’t know what was best for me, has made me waste tens of thousands of dollars on an abundance of classes that would not be anywhere close to what is happening in the workforce. If all schools implemented a program where the student could argue that they were advised poorly and deserve a full education tuition free due to the school, I would very much enjoy that.

  9. It is certainly concerning that college degrees are no longer a guarantee of a high-paying job, especially when students all over the country pay thousands of dollars to receive a college degree. Employers in the business community are now starting to realize that college graduates are not adequately prepared for the business world. This is due to the disconnection between college curriculums and the requirements set forth by business leaders. There is an undeniable lack of real-world experience in college education. To improve upon this current lacking state, colleges and universities should look to add innovation into their courses. However, preventing this from taking place is the accreditation that colleges are required to implement in their curriculums. Accreditation requires higher-education institutions to maintain certain standards to the courses they offer, and it is these standards that are limiting their ability make changes that could potentially better prepare students for work-life after graduation.

    Despite these limitations, it is enlightening to hear that there has recently been a trend towards changing these standards. Higher-education institutions and business employers are starting to work more closely together by implementing co-operative education programs and partnerships in order to help establish and develop skills that are sought after by employers in the workforce. Programs like the Starbucks College Achievement Plan are very beneficial because they bring students out of the classroom and place them in situations in which they can think critically about real-world issues and solve complex problems dealing with the business environment. It is these analytical skills that are desired by employers and can dictate the success of a recent college graduate going into the workforce right away.

    The common theme of such programs is engaging students in active learning instead of passive learning. Active learning is the best way for students to learn because this method of learning allows students to retain a more significant amount of information compared passive learning (Hahn). The major difference between active and passive learning is the reasoning process that occurs after an individual is exposed to new information. The reasoning process for active learning involves a deeper analysis of the topic at hand: an individual is able to analyze the connectedness of the information they are exposed to and draw plausible conclusions (Hahn). The reasoning process of passive learning is not as involved and intricate as the reasoning of active learning because the students are not applying what they are learning. Instead they are only receiving the information with the likelihood of dismissing that information later.

    As more talk is spreading regarding how a new hire may not be truly prepared for a job after graduation, it is essential for colleges and universities to keep up with business leaders’ needs and expectations for potential employees. As a college student myself who is approaching graduation, I certainly would not feel prepared if I were to step into a business position due to my lack of active participation in the workforce. This issue can be resolved for me and many students as colleges and universities continue adding to the array of programs that encourage students to step out of the classroom and engage in hands-on experiences. This, in turn, will strengthen and reinforce the skills businesses are looking for when recruiting college graduates.

    Hahn, Brooke. “How People Learn: Active vs Passive Learning.” OpenLearning, 14 Oct.
    2015, http://www.openlearning.com/blog/HowPeopleLearnActiveVsPassiveLearning.

  10. I found this article very interesting because I didn’t realize there was such a disconnect between business leaders expectations and college curriculum. 11% of business leaders find those new to the workforce able to perform, whereas 96% of colleges believe their graduates and work-ready. It would be one thing if these statistics were even close to each other, or if at least the business percentage were larger, but to see that only a tenth of employers believe their employees are capable is unacceptable.

    Our unemployment rate is still high, even though it has started to decrease, and incapable employees will not alleviate this number at all. In order to do what is best for our country, we need to ensure that we are producing sound employees who can both keep a job and contribute to facilitate the production of more jobs.

    To assist in this, Butler discusses how colleges and businesses are trying to connect more to produce more capable employees. One method is through the use of co-operative programs, such as internships for credit or shadowing experiences. This allows students to get real-world experience prior to graduation, and it also allows employers to train students for a few months. This hands-on experience shows the student two things: Do you like this kind of work? What do you need to work on to truly succeed here?. Then, post co-op experience, they are able to refine their skills so when graduation rolls around they are ready to work and work hard. Another method is to refine the process for accreditation to make college more affordable for student. The FAFSA amount a student is given could be affected by the accreditation status of the school, so refining this process could allow for more aid, making college more affordable for students. The final process is to install money-back guarantees in college terms. This can range from covering additional semesters over 4 years to offering a small refund if a student cannot find a job with their degree in a certain income bracket. These methods fulfill three goals: ensuring the employer is satisfied, ensuring the student can afford higher education, and ensuring the customer is satisfied. Any financial transaction deals with a business, and businesses must ensure customers are satisfied, whether that be the customer paying them or the customer ultimately receiving the “product”, in this case the employee.

  11. This article by Butler caught my attention not in a this is interesting way, but rather a “oh, this seems like a familiar topic”. Originally reading the title “Business is Likely to Reshape Higher Ed” I immediately thought of my family who are all teachers complaining immediately. However, to myself, a person interested in working in business and enrolled in business courses it made sense. I think most peoples goal no matter their field of study is to attain a job after graduation that can help pay off the debt they accrued while in school. School is truly a risky business itself for students and even this article states that as well. School is an investment and just like an investment it may not work out as planned. However, due to the fact that the education system has not changed dramatically over the years like how businesses do. While higher education provides a ton of in depth and book knowledge it can not easily provide its students with real life situations and scenarios or opportunities as easily as if these students were a part of a business instead. This is a huge problem for students across the United States and it is becoming more and more obvious that students need to be better prepared for work after school. This is especially evident by the fact that “only eleven percent of business leaders believe college students are properly equipped for the workforce directly out of college” which clearly displays why students and future employees are worried. Many colleges are understanding these concerns and adding numerous mandatory internships or shadow experiences to students courses. Personally as a student with an internship, I think they provide invaluable learning experiences, networking and real life situations that classes alone could not teach me. Students such as myself who partake in these activities prepare students way more than those who do not see their importance. While there is definitely no need to trade school in for business experience a mix of both however would be extremely beneficial to students and employers moving forward.

  12. A college degree is a must in today’s society to get a job in the business field. Although many people will get a degree they still are not ready to enter the workforce for many reasons. Almost everyone tries to get a job right out of college but many cannot do to work experience, internships and more. Some people are even not ready to enter the workforce due to their college education. Business and colleges are trying to work together to fix these problems that many graduates are facing.
    Colleges are trying to make degrees more affordable as well as better associated with skills, knowledge and backgrounds that companies are looking for. In the article, it states “Just 11 percent of business leaders believe college graduates are properly equipped for entering the workforce – while 96 percent of college’s chief academic officers feel they turn out work-ready graduates”. That is a huge gap and is one that I believe definitely needs to be fixed. Right now with the way that the graduates are leaning and then entering the work force is a set up for failure. This can be hard for people right out of college and not having a job with student loans. They start to work other jobs that have nothing to do with their degree and then in theory what is the point of it. They are getting told by business that what they have learned or done does not meet the expectation of that the company wants. I think that by having both the colleges and business work together it will help everyone involved. Colleges will teach what the business actually want, the business will get worker right out college that meet all expectations, and the graduates are getting jobs right away and making money that they need and is when they went to college and get the degree in the first place.
    With colleges and business working hand and hand it will make the whole job process much smoother for everyone involved. The article says that “Some colleges and universities have long designed courses in association with local employers (such as the “co-operative education” approach of Drexel). By having these co-op people know exactly what the business is searching for and can capitalize on it. Some would not even need to worry about life after graduation with the way these models would be set up. By having these partnerships, they can really change our education system and business world for the better.

  13. Currently colleges and University’s standard education models revolve around the students ability to memorize mass information from text books or PowerPoints rather than utilize the information or have real world experiences. After the four years of rigorous testing, students cant retain information as these tests are relevant to their work experience or abilities. The success some students may in testing is disappointing those individuals as it often does not correlate with their experiences in corporate america. As more and more individuals attend and receive college degrees it is necessary for colleges and universities to have a new standard of success that ensures their alumni and students will succeed in the workforce without struggles. The quotes that stood out to me most were ““just 11 percent of business leaders believe college graduates are properly equipped for entering the workforce” conversely to the “96 percent of college’s chief academic officers [who] feel they turn out work-ready graduates” (Butler). This is an important contradiction that really should reflect the same opinions from employers and professors as we move forward. The goal for higher education should be to work with employers to create students that will be a resource to whichever company they may work for by providing them with work experience, applicable classes and a philosophy that may agree with most businesses.

    Without this, employers will be unlikely to favor hiring recent graduates and would rather focus on those with relevant experiences. I believe if colleges and universities work closely with those in corporate america more of their alumni would be satisfied with their university, more students would wish to attend that specific university and less students would be concerned about going into debt for a degree when they know they have a higher chance of being hired or employed once they walk across the stage. While money is a main concern for most students that means those students should be able to attain internships, co-ops or part-time work that counts towards their degree that can solidly train students for work in the corporate world. I believe the focus on real world success should be important for those in higher education to learn relevant information for their career that can help them succeed in other aspects of life that is not just related to test taking skills. Through advancing and reshaping educational goals for students higher education will be creating graduates ready to join the workforce who are successful, able to pay off loans without stress and become productive and important members of society.

  14. As a junior college student, this article was very interesting to read because it relates directly to my situation. As I have begun my job search for post-graduation, I have been coming to realize the true value of the education that I have received, and it’s not as strong as I believed it would be when entering into college. Job’s are required specific certifications and seeking employees with skills in certain software that colleges are not teaching.

    The most shocking statistic used in this article reported that “Just 11 percent of business leaders believe college graduates are properly equipped for entering the workforce – while 96 percent of college’s chief academic officers feel they turn out work-ready graduates”. This shows just how dramatic the separation between the real world requirements and higher education curriculum is. To offset this separation, I have personally seen the trend of employers working more closely with colleges to ensure students are being trained with desirable skills for employers.

    One of the most interesting remedies to this separation that was mentioned in this article was the money-back guarantee that colleges would offer. I think this unique remedy could prove as a competitive advantage for colleges and something that may be popularly adopted in the future. One example of this guarantee is Adrian College’s program titled AdrianPlus. AdrianPlus guarantees that students post-graduation will earn above $37,000 annually. If they do not earn above this threshold, Adrian College agrees to reimburse all or part of a student’s college loan payments. Colleges utilizing a similar guarantee are increasingly incentivized to ensure students are acquiring valuable real-world skills because colleges do not want to reimburse their students’ student loan payments. This guarantee would be reassuring for most college students when going through the curriculum and offers a large incentive for colleges to enhance their curriculum.

  15. As a Senior in college, I find this article relevant and interesting. I have taken classes over the past few years that I questioned if I was ever going to use the information in the real world. After having a couple of internships, it turns out that some material is useful and other material is not. Due to this, I think it would be a great idea for colleges and businesses to link together and better align what skills are needed in the workforce. The article states, “Just 11 percent of business leaders believe college graduates are properly equipped for entering the workforce – while 96 percent of college’s chief academic officers feel they turn out work-ready graduates,” (https://www.brookings.edu/opinions/business-is-likely-to-reshape-higher-ed/). This shows that there is a very large disconnect between the materials taught and the skills sought by business leaders. Linking colleges and businesses would benefit both parties. If students came out of college with the skills that business leaders need them to have, less time would be spent training new employees on these skills and more time would be spent in revenue generating operations. From a university standpoint, if prospective students see that college graduates are getting jobs right away then they are more likely to apply and attend that university. I know when I was applying to colleges, I looked at college graduation rates and how many of those graduates had jobs lined up after college. College is expensive and it is important for students to know that they will have a job after graduation and not be rejected because they lack the necessary skills.

    Another part of this article I found interesting was the money back guarantee. I am surprised that this is becoming a trend in higher education. When I started college, all they talked about was that college is what you make of it and there are no guarantees in life. I am not in full agreement with the money back guarantee colleges want to put in place, but since it is still in the early stages, I am interested to see how it plays out. If students know they can get money back because they don’t have a job after college, they might think it is okay to slack off and not care about their future. If colleges want to promote a strong work ethic then they should be pushing students to work hard to get a job and not slack off just because they could get their money back.

    Keara made a comment above that stated, “I believe if colleges and universities work closely with those in corporate america more of their alumni would be satisfied with their university, more students would wish to attend that specific university and less students would be concerned about going into debt for a degree when they know they have a higher chance of being hired or employed once they walk across the stage.” I absolutely agree with this statement because a big part of this issue is the cost of college. College is an investment in yourself and if students know they have a higher chance of being hired or employed then all the money they spent on education would be worth it. Universities that partner with businesses are more appealing to prospective students and make it easier for students to rationalize the costs because the outcome is worth while.

  16. To be candid, I think it is important for universities to develop closer working relationships. At some universities, graduates are considered to be extremely employable due to the prestige of their education. For example, an English major from Harvard university probably has just as good of a chance at getting a job at Goldman Sachs, an investment bank, as a graduate from a Finance major from any state school. It especially important for schools that don’t have the prestige factor of Harvard and other Ivy League universities to focus on teaching and providing students with the knowledge and certifications that are actually used in their respective industries. I think that there are a few colleges that are beginning to take the right steps in that direction, including my own, Rider University. As a Finance student at Rider, there is a big push from the department to specialize. Finance majors can either concentrate in private wealth management or in investment analysis. The concentration in private wealth management is supposed to teach the information necessary for students to take the Securities Industry Essentials (SIE) exam and get the corresponding certification. The investment analysis concentration requires that students take more advanced courses, like fixed income and derivatives and financial modeling in order to prepare for the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Level 1 Exam, and ascertain the corresponding certification (1). Rider even has an exclusive partnership with Merrill Edge, in which Merrill will pay for Rider students’ SIE study material.
    I believe this is all incredibly helpful, but the question of whether or not more could be done remains. When “Just 11 percent of business leaders believe college graduates are properly equipped for entering the workforce – while 96 percent of college’s chief academic officers feel they turn out work-ready graduates.” there is a serious disconnect between the academic and corporate worlds. I don’t necessarily think it would be a good idea to have corporations creating curriculum, but I do think it might be a good idea to have business leaders review curriculum for relevancy. For example, I recently spoke to an analyst at BlackRock who talked about working with a software called Aladdin. I had never heard of it before, and I know that there are no courses at Rider that use the software, but apparently, it is very prevalent in the financial sector. Having been informed of this, I felt somewhat less prepared than I had before. It made me think that universities ought to do more to keep up with technological trends. There is a class at Rider called “Information Systems Essential” but it only briefly goes over how to use Microsoft Excel in the most basic capacity. I think that class in particular should go over some other software such as Tableau or FactSet, and that all business programs should have similar courses. That’s only one suggestion, though. I would not be surprised whatsoever if in coming years, consulting agencies dealing solely with college curriculum at business schools started to crop up with some innovative solutions to make a college education more pertinent.

    (1) https://www.rider.edu/academics/colleges-schools/norm-brodsky-college-business/undergraduate-programs/finance/finance-major-concentrations

  17. Many people bear the burdensome cost of college because they believe it will give them the skills and experience necessary to excel in their professions. Unfortunately, 36 percent of Americans believe that college was not worth the cost, so there is clearly a disconnect between what students expect and what universities provide. This disconnect is further exemplified in the article when it states that 11 percent of business leaders believe graduates have the tools to enter the workforce, while 96 percent of college chief academic officers believe this is true. The benefits colleges provide for career development is something that all high school students need to consider when evaluating college options. Rider University provides many resources to prepare for the interview process and to interact with local companies. Still, from an academic perspective, there are many courses that colleges require students to take that simply will not have a profound effect on their career readiness. These courses are frustrating for students because the work feels more burdensome since they are not interested in the topic and it does not apply to their career path.
    One feature discussed in the article that I found interesting was money-back guarantees. There are many in-state and out-of-state colleges that students can choose from, so creative incentives such as money-back guarantees if a student needs more than four years to graduate, or if they are unable to find a job with a certain income, can help a university distinguish itself from its competitors. I also agree with the article that it is necessary to revamp the accreditation system. It is important to set standards for what universities provide to students, but these standards need updating to reflect changes in business and society. Globalization and digitization are vital for businesses now, so universities need to react to these changes and introduce more international business and information systems or data analytics courses.

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