Giving Compass' Take:

• Colleges are seeking to re-evaluate their curriculum design to address workforce development challenges and create more job opportunities for students. 

• Partnerships between colleges and employers are crucial. What role can employers play in higher ed?

• Read the Giving Compass Workforce Development Guide for donors. 


The rise of emerging technologies is transforming America's job market, with some projections estimating that automation could displace as many as 30% of workers worldwide by 2030.

To address the needs of a growing population that will require new skills in order to compete in the workforce, some colleges and universities are reevaluating how they design their curriculum.

Colleges will need to create a comprehensive agenda to teach new skills that meets the demand of these learners, said Karen Stout, president and CEO of Achieving the Dream, a nonprofit focused on improving outcomes for community college students.

The higher education industry is not yet designing its programming around what has been called the 60-year curriculum, Stout said, which is the idea that colleges should offer lifelong learning opportunities for workers so they can thrive in an ever-evolving economy.

The idea of microcredentials, or badges, has gained traction in recent years as a means to address those needs, with more colleges offering them for both hard and soft skills. To better serve their students, Stout said, colleges should not only pinpoint which industries are in-demand when crafting their programming but also look to what skills and competencies those jobs require so they can offer specific credentials that will encourage employers to hire their graduates.

Read the full article about colleges preparing for workforce development by Natalie Schwartz at Education Dive.