4 ways technology is effectively bridging higher ed to the workforce

Internet- and technology-based supports are helping traditional colleges and universities reach the national goal of helping students find their place in the workforce.

In the midst of the seemingly never-ending debate as to whether or not traditional higher education institutions can help graduates find meaningful employment, four overarching technology-based pathways and tools seem to be doing an excellent job of trying to end the heated argument.

“The historic disconnect between higher education and the needs of the labor market is a data problem,” writes Ryan Craig for TechCrunch. “In the past, data translating the discrete skills or competencies that employers need was not easily available or meaningful to faculty who create courses, or the students who take them.

According to Craig, the revitalization of higher education as a critical stepping stone into a meaningful career will come not in the transformation of teaching and learning via technological support, but instead a “new digital language that connects higher education and the labor market and, in doing so, exerts profound changes on both.”

Based on recent internet- and technology-based pathways and tools implemented by forward-thinking colleges and universities that have documented notable gains in post-graduation employment, eCampus News has crafted a curated list on the four technology-based supports bridging higher ed and the workforce:

college credentialing

1. Credentialing

Listed by the above-mentioned TechCrunch article as the predominant way technology is revolutionizing higher education, competency-based education (CBE) is becoming a go-to for career-minded students thanks to badging, ePortfolios, and employer-curated credential-to-career pipelines—pathways that many traditional institutions are migrating toward, allowing for the collection of competency data. On the employer side, TechCrunch notes that Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) are providing a clear path for employers to interact with this new data.  ATS are “incorporating analytics and will soon begin gathering new competency data as inputs for assembling candidate pools for human hiring managers to evaluate,” writes Craig. “As such, ATS is transitioning from a backwater of HR technology to Application Information Systems that will radically reduce the preponderance of false positives and false negatives in candidate pools, thereby significantly reducing bad hires that cost employers about $15,000 each, on average.”

Read more about credentialing:

(Next page: Tech to workforce bridges #2-4)

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2. Third-Party Online Learning

Many colleges and universities are either advertising or hosting third-party curricular programs, such as coding boot camps; and pathways, such as micro-degrees.  Third-party curricular program provider Galvanize is not only leading the way in this form of tech-supported learning by offering coding, data science and data engineering camps, the company is also leading the industry standard by being fully registered, certified and transparent. In terms of micro-degrees, no one is leading the charge more effectively than edX, which recently began offering master’s-level credentials in the most on-demand fields.

Read more about third-party pathways:

eduventures data

3. LRM Platforms

Learning Relationship Management platforms, while still in their implementation infancy, unite various tools and technologies to achieve the look, feel, and functionality of an LMS with the ultimate goal of ensuring student graduation and success, along with potential workforce placement. The LRM process “combines learning modules and assessment features with other capabilities, namely a constituent relationship management platform (CRM), a student success or retention solution (or many solutions rolled up into one), and predictive analytics” notes Eduventures. “This approach offers not only the utility of a central and scalable repository for learning, but also robust records management and an analytics engine capable of tracking individual learner progress, staging interventions when necessary, and mapping student progress to learning objectives and career outcomes.” Notable LRM platforms include Fidelis, Motivis, and Fishtree.

Read more about LRMs:


4. IT-Based Internships

While not a tech-based tool, technology is helping to bridge higher ed to the workforce by requiring an unprecedented number of students to be IT-skilled upon graduation. Whereas previous generations might have to beg large companies for internship positions in fields like marketing or publishing, today’s companies are begging IT-skilled students to work for them! Already, forward-looking institutions, like Ohio State University, are partnering with companies to offer campus IT-guided internships that lead to automatic hiring after graduation.

Read more about the IT-led career crisis:

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