As a result of changes in the workforce, there is a pending reset between the value placed on higher education degrees and other forms of credentialing.

Required Skills will be Transferable

The 2020 Future of Jobs report from the World Economic Forum notes that “the most valuable workers, both now and into the future will be those who can combine human and technical skills, and adapt to the changing need of the workplace,” and that “technical skills will be just as important as the human values, morals, and principles needed to pair with them.”

In addition to having the technical skills to get the job done, employers are looking for critical thinking and problem-solving skills; managerial and supervisory skills; communication, collaboration, and interpersonal skills; leadership, team building and executive-level skills; and creativity and innovation skills.

The Role of Higher Education

Even before the pandemic, there was pressure on institutions to “enhance graduate competencies for a fast-changing world of work.” According to Bloomberg, higher education institutions can enhance their value and better prepare students for their future by preparing them for a world of constant change. There is a need says Bloomberg to expand academic curriculums to include life skills and social-emotional learning for the 21st century.

“Higher education institutions must better serve students and the evolving demands of the job market by offering programming options that help students justify high costs…they are spending pursuing an education,” said Bloomberg. She believes that institutions should create curricula that connect the language of academic discipline to that of the job market. In doing so, they can begin to identify curricular strengths and weaknesses, proactively fill curricular gaps, and evolve course offerings that are integrated and multidisciplinary to meet emerging economic and societal needs.”