Author Archive


Skills Training Remains Essential

As Donald Trump is inaugurated as the United States President, there are many uncertainties about higher education policy and practice. Education leaders and experts are observing and weighing in on what will stay, what will go, what will be important and what will be dismissed as irrelevant. One education trend that is likely to remain strong, both because of political priorities and economic demand, is skills training. Skills training involves students of all ages, from traditional age students to adult, nontraditional students who are already engaged in the marketplace. According to ...


Data Science Demand Leads Job Projections

Data affects our personal lives and the businesses we run or work for. We read statistics about food we eat, methods of travel, and effectiveness of medical treatments. Data science is the field that extracts information from data and evaluates that information to give insight. This insight from data offers businesses an opportunity to operate more efficiently and effectively, and the need for this insight offers vast opportunities for employment. Statistics from the SHRM survey Jobs of the Future: Data Analysis surrounding data science show how vital this field has become in ...


Alternative Credentials Earn Their Place in Higher Ed

Alternative credentials are increasingly relevant to schools, students and employers. The majority of higher education institutions offer non-degree credentials in some form or another. Alternative credentials are aligned to training and skills that students need to acquire quickly to keep up with fast changes in technology. They also can narrow the gap that employers and schools have regarding readiness of students to succeed in the workplace. The UPCEA/Pearson survey Demographic Shifts in Educational Demand and the Rise of Alternative Credentials defines alternative credentials as competencies, skills and learning outcomes based on ...


Promote Tuition Assistance to Close Skills Gap

The looming skills gap has created a sense of urgency among businesses. A lack of qualified employees will equate to lower productivity, slower growth and development and low profitability. These conditions will affect the ability of businesses to compete at all levels from local to global and impact the economy. Taking positive steps to help fill the skills gap gives business control over their future in terms of talent, growth and profitability. One way to take positive steps is to promote tuition assistance plans. For every dollar that businesses invest in ...


American Workers are Key to Goal 2025

American adult workers may be the key to reaching an important goal. Sixteen years ago, Lumina Foundation introduced Goal 2025: to have 60 percent of American hold degrees, certificates or some high quality postsecondary credential. Now at half way to that date, Lumina has introduced a strategic plan to move close to goal achievement. And US American adult learners are a key element of the plan. At the current rates of postsecondary attainment, about 24.2 million Americans will have postsecondary credentials of some kind by 2025. To ...


Ensuring Military Veterans Succeed in Student Role

This week we are honoring military veterans who are an asset to the country they once served in a military capacity. The skills they learned in the military and the work experience they gained while serving represent a wealth of resources for businesses and employers. With skills and work experience behind them, many vets return to school to complete their education. Supports from schools and employers can help veterans make the most of their higher education. Military Veterans are a dynamic portion of the non-traditional student population: • 10-14 percent of military personnel are women, but 21-27 percent of student veterans ...


Jobs Require Both Soft Skills and Hard Skills

In an economy and culture that demand continual education and addition of skills, students find they need to develop diverse skills. Each job requires specific hard skills that are unique to the work of that occupation. Each job also requires a multitude of soft skills that cross occupations and are needed in every job. Students who develop both skills sets have an advantage in their careers. The Education Advisory Boards says that students who develop both hard and soft skills become “T-shaped professionals” who have the most promising outlook for employment. ...


Create TAP to Support Non-traditional Students

Barnes and Noble College, a college bookstore business, recently surveyed 100 traditional and 800 non-traditional students to compare their experiences and find ways to help non-traditional students achieve success. While many of their findings about student barriers and recommendations for success are directed at schools, there are steps that businesses can take through their TAP programs to help their employees be successful in higher education pursuits. The non-traditional students in the survey met one or more criteria: • 25 years of age or older • online student or enrolled in distance education • first-generation students • employed full-time while ...


Business Benefit from Women in the Workplace

Businesses that create a culture that supports and encourages women in the workplace will see positive effects on all employees and overall business success. The Gallup report: The Women in America: Work and Life Well-Lived presents evidence of this positive effect. It also shows that women are an important part of the talent pool and that encouraging female employees can help relieve employment shortage businesses are facing. In spite of the presence of women in the workplace, the percentage of women in the American workforce has been declining recently. In 2000, ...


Improved Access and Attainment Benefit All

Two crucial issues in higher education make headlines week after week: access and attainment.Last week the Education Trust issued a report: Fixing America’s College Attainment Problems: It’s About More than Affordability. The report focuses on reasons for increased costs in higher education which is a big factor in low attainment rates, stating that one of the main reasons for increased costs is declining state support, down 20 percent since 1990. In addition Federal aid covers much less than it has in the past. The report also states that ...