What Higher Ed Wishes Businesses Knew

Career College Central summary:

  • Shama Kabani of Forbes writes that businesses sometimes don’t think of higher education institutions as potential partners in helping to prepare their ideal entry-level candidates. There are several ways to go about this — companies can work with schools, especially smaller schools without strong connections to the business sector, to develop and offer substantial internships so students can gain the hands-on experience they need to succeed in the workplace. They can also work together with colleges to help align curricula to meet the current workforce demands. For example, at Bentley University we worked closely with E&Y to change our accounting and finance courses to better reflect how these areas work together in a business environment. E&Y then looks seriously at recruiting our students for employment once they’ve graduated since they know they have the right set of skills. Organizations can also work with schools on their liberal arts offerings to ensure the “lifelong learning” aspect of education – one of its most important – is also meeting the needs of the marketplace.
  • Why it is important for businesses to support higher ed? Any good tactical ways they can do this? Colleges and universities are only as successful as their graduates. In order to help meet the demands of the next-generation workplace, schools could benefit from even greater collaboration with businesses to ensure graduates are making a significant contribution to their organizations, and as global citizens overall. I see this as an imperative for all of us — if we’re committed to making our economy and workplaces as vibrant and robust as they can be.
  • Tactically, there is a great benefit for businesses to support and encourage innovative curriculum. They can also help develop “immersion” experiences where professors and external organizations create courses that allow students to work alongside a business or other type of organization and offer real-world solutions. Another approach is for companies to support top-performing students through scholarships and funding of specific programs — something that should be especially compelling to the corporate world.

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