The worth of educational qualifications can be deduced from the quality and meaning they add to a student’s life and the ways they prepare them to face professional challenges and obstacles. Linkages between universities and industry play an integral role in paving successful career prospects for students. Through these linkages, universities not only provide their students with a much-needed professional boost and multiple career prospects but also assist them in building positive industry connections.
The current education system lacks the curriculum that can train young graduates to acquire essential workplace prowess such as managerial, technology or communication skills. Students graduate knowing one discipline and hence require a completely different skill set to excel at their workplace. Moreover, researchers, industry experts and professors hold varying opinions in relation to how universities can play a pivotal role in increasing employability prospects for graduates.
Challenges faced by young graduates and enterprises
Researches highlight the current curricula is failing in teaching and training young graduates on modern or contemporary lines. Also, the role of universities in preparing the young graduates for the marketplace is questionable. According to a survey by the National Centre for Universities and Business (NCUB), 92% of students want placements, work experience and internships to be a compulsory part of their university experience.
Small and medium-sized businesses lack the time and budget to train young and fresh graduates with technological means
Moreover, enterprises are also facing operational challenges and difficulties in the implementation of technology at workplace. Adoption of these practices are much slower than the expected rate, affecting the productivity of these businesses. Also, increasing training or experience gap is leading to operational and managerial inadequacies in the workplace milieu, where small and medium-sized businesses lack the time and budget to train young and fresh graduates with technological means. Accelerating digital change and the much-needed transition in the traditional workplace setup is one of the major obstacles for emerging businesses.
Solutions to challenges
The universities are required to update and change their curricula keeping in mind the current market employability trends. Universities should also introduce new subjects or dimensions in the fields of engineering, media studies, medical sciences and social sciences. The multi-disciplinary approach can help in understanding cross-cultural terms and will resolve complex work-related problems. Universities should focus on developing communication, technology and collaborative skills in students that will ultimately increase employability prospects for them. Therefore, the universities must reinvent and revamp the curricula and the ways they are delivered to students to elevate their efficacy and reach.
Universities also need to embed professional experiences in the curriculum and replicate as well as simulate workplace challenges. For instance, the healthcare sector integrates problem-based learning in hospitals with patient cases in their curriculum. Work integrated learning and internships should be increased. However, sometimes work placements do little to prepare students to face work challenges and hence employers need to invest time and training to make this experience worthwhile for the students.
Universities should also work with SME’s on tailor-made projects that integrate technologies and can simulate workplaces at the university in collaboration with their industry partners to provide real-time experiences to their students. The key to success is to collaborate with employers and pay due attention to the changing needs of the businesses, as employers can seek benefits from employees who have the skill-set and capabilities to drive future success
Career counselling can also be a good idea, as it will provide fresh graduates with a clear career purpose. Counsellors can provide them with a renewed direction and can assist them in understanding the fast-changing careers and their tenures in the gig economy. Universities have career service offices that not only offer career advice to their students but also connect these students with corporate partners and industries, easing the employability processes.
Industries and businesses also need to train and educate their workforce about the uses of technology or else there would be a bunch of graduates who would be prepared for jobs of the future and not for the jobs on offer. The need of the hour is to bridge the experience and training gap, in order to assist SMEs in increasing their productivity and competitiveness.
To sum up
Analysis of the international labor market trends highlight that hundreds of millions of jobs are available. In addition, the knowledge gained from universities’ collaboration with industry, employers and research partners indicate that teaching the basics of technology to young graduates is the key to achieving professional success.
According to a report by OECD, the number of jobs in the marketplace are escalating, however, the workers are required to acquire different skills-set through their university education, in order to excel in their respective careers. Moreover, numerous countries are planning to boost employment prospects for their youngsters; amidst numerous challenges, in order to give more value and power to their taxpayers.