Thursday, December 13, 2018

Preparing students for jobs that don't exist

Many higher education institutions are ambivalent about expectations that they should prepare students for jobs. Faculty, in particular, bristle at the idea and expound about the broad life-preparation that they see as central to their teaching.

The fact is, the world is changing so rapidly that it's impossible to prepare current students for jobs that will emerge even in the next decade. Particularly when appealing to international students from countries where higher education opportunity is just emerging, institutions have little choice but to begin to address the job/career preparation expectations that students and family have. But the key is to portray preparation for career in a realistic way and one that encourages students to take full advantage of what universities have to offer.

Some ways that universities are addressing career preparation include; don't even try to match degrees with jobs, offer and portray higher education as more continuous and flexible, offer more experiential learning (i.e. internships and work opportunities), and integrate work-like projects into course offerings (i.e. inquiry learning).

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