A quick glance at The New York Times education section shows that adapting to an all-digital education model overnight has been challenging for many — parents and businesses alike.
But it’s important to remember that quality education matters more than where or when education takes place. Now more than ever, the quality of workforce education needs to remain at a high standard in order to ensure learner success and drive sustainable business impact.
To be competitive in today’s job market, employees need a diverse range of skills. In a conversation around AI and the future of work, Deloitte researchers noted that jobs of the future will be like “superjobs” — flexible, less rigidly defined roles and positions that will require more problem-solving, data interpretation, communication, empathy, teamwork and collaboration than ever before.
PwC found that CEOs with top-quartile upskilling programs were 38 percent more likely to report their programs were effective in driving greater business growth than those with bottom-quartile upskilling programs. They were also 22 percent more likely to report more effective results regarding higher workforce productivity.
This means that the education infrastructure supporting the future of work needs to be equally diverse and high-quality. Institutions need in-demand programs across all subject areas, including business, technology, healthcare, liberal arts, engineering, and finance, as well as vocational training and professional certifications.
Additionally, high-quality education needs coverage across high school, bachelor’s, master’s, certificates and skills training in order to provide the right pathways for workers and students at every level.
In other words, programs that adequately prepare students for employment need to be highly relevant. Your employees — today and beyond — need to succeed at every level of the organization, from the frontline to management and corporate levels.
In the new normal, businesses must adapt to the evolving definition of what quality workforce education means. Here are key characteristics:
As education becomes increasingly complex and competitive, one major feature of high-quality education is that it’s actually designed for online learning.
High-quality education that’s truly built for the workforce requires professors and instructors who recognize the value of intimate, content-rich online environments that are designed with intention for the maximum level of engagement and understanding. There are many universities that have already been doing this for years, like Arizona State University. They’ve taken the time and other resources to invest in this infrastructure and are ready to supercharge.
Top-tier online education also includes robust support and services to help ensure student success.
The best programs provide enrollment advisors and success coaches who help students every step of the way through the application process, planning a schedule that works with their roles, and meeting their learning and career goals. This in turn leads to higher student retention and graduation rates.
The best education is when you learn from the best experts. That’s why high-quality education must provide access to world-renowned faculty, research and policy experts.
These experts and resources keep students updated on workforce insights from professors with industry accolades and classmates who are working in the same fields. This sharpens learners’ skills and knowledge that are directly relevant to the work they’re doing day in and day out. Like they say, you don’t really know something until you apply it — and by taking what you learn in the classroom and applying it to the real world solidifies your understanding of the material.
Finally, quality education provides ample opportunities to co-design custom learning programs, so leaders build the programs that their employees actually need. You can learn more about how companies tackle the skills gap through customizable programs within our webinar here.
To prepare your people and organization for the future of work, you need a strategic approach that provides access to top-tier academic institutions and high-quality learning experiences designed for modern workers.
Learn more about how InStride’s global academic network and proven track records provide the best solution for high-quality workforce education.