The Great Recession and its aftermath have exposed a major mismatch between the skills of many college graduates and the skills employers are seeking. If anything, as technological change marches on, this problem may get worse.
University presidents and trustees cannot afford to be complacent. One compelling suggestion, by Monica Herk, the the Committee for Economic Development’s vice president for education research, is that all institutions of higher learning focus far more on certifying competencies in particular skills that employers demand rather than on simply requiring students to complete a fixed number of classes. This may even lead to an unbundling of courses and certifications, much as the challengers to cable-television providers are now beginning to offer consumers. (Full disclosure: I am a member of CED’s research advisory board).