There have been increased criticisms of current college programs as being inflexible and unable to prepare students for current and future jobs. 12 of the changes that have been seen are outlined in this blog.
- Online Learning
There has been a 69% increase in online course enrolment from the years 2010-2015 compared to a -3.4% reduction in on-campus enrolments. Moreover, over one-third of college students have taken an online course over the past 12 months. To meet this demand, colleges must offer more online courses for increased number of subjects.
- Online Learning Cost
Online learning is significantly more cost effective for both colleges and students than on-campus learning. Without online programs, it is estimated that 2 million fewer students would have attended college in the USA in 2014.
- New ‘Hybrid’ Jobs
There is a growing disconnect between courses taught in colleges and workforce requirements. According to a recent study, more than 250,000 jobs opened in the USA within 1 year requiring ‘hybrid skills’. These skills include new digital technology jobs such as designers, social media producers and content managers all the way to forensic technologists.
- Mismatch between Academia and Industry Requirements
This has been outlined by a poll in the tech sector which found 11% of business leaders but 96% of academic officers believing graduates have the adequate skills for the workforce. This is especially applicable in the growing IT industry, which has found that only 3% of graduates attain a degree in computer science whereas 10% graduate in social sciences and history making recruitment difficult.
- Limited Customisation of Courses
The fixed structure of most academic courses offers limited flexibility in student module choice. This means many graduates may adopt modules that are not suited for changing working environments
- Limits of Mastery Learning
Mastery Learning implies a student fully understands a topic before proceeding to the next topic. As most colleges offer C as a pass grade, students are more focused on achieving the minimal pass mark than learning the skills of a course.
- Increase in Corporate Education
There has been an increase in companies training new recruits for the positions they will be employed in. In the USA, 77% of companies offer online corporate training to improve the professional development of their employees.
- Vocational Training is Growing
It is estimated that two-thirds of overall employment in the EU will be of ‘technician and associate professional’ category requiring post-secondary qualifications, but less time than 4 year degrees.
- Professional Students
8% of the labour force is formally enrolled in education/training.
- Increase in ‘Non Traditional Students’
There is an increased amount of ‘Adult learners’ who are engaged in online education to update their skills and retrain for other jobs.
- High Student Loans
US students have had difficulty with their student loan payments.
- High Student Fees
The increase of college fees is having a profound change on the choices students make. College cost has increased by 500% since 1985.
This information is based on the article:
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