Disconnect Between What Students Prefer to Study & Where Jobs Are in Workforce
I think the nexus of the conundrum facing higher education institutions for years to come is reflected in the post header. A new survey, Career Satisfaction, https://www.sokanu.com/analytics/degree-satisfaction, of 22,000 undergrads by the career support firm, Sokanu finds that “…jobs that are among the most in-demand and high-paying among employers are among the least popular among college students, and degrees with the lowest levels of earning potential are among the programs, attracting the greatest number of students.” This may be a “dog eats child’s homework” finding, however, it does need to be forthrightly addressed by all four-year colleges and universities (and not just community colleges).
Noteworthy is a new initiative of the United Negro College Fund:
The Fund announced a $35 million grant from the Lilly Endowment to spur career development and preparation at 24 universities nationwide. Selected schools submitted proposals for the Career Pathways Initiative (CPI), outlining their visions for bridging academic, career advisement and internship modules to help create stronger workforce pipelines and job readiness among 54,000 students, many of whom are from low-income households and are the first in their families to attend college.
As I’ve wrtitten before, this type of survey finding does not have to be viewed as a call for greater “vocationalization” of our higher ed system. Rather, it should shine a brighter light on the need to focus more attention on alignment of the curriculum for our growing diverse student population.