James Caan CBE – “Universities are failing graduates and the economy – they need a complete overhaul”

“Higher education should provide society with a reliable workforce. Today it no longer fulfills this basic function,” says entrepreneur and former Dragon James Caan CBE.

“From the global AI skills gap to the manufacturing brain drain crippling US semiconductor manufacturing, universities are increasingly unable to develop the skills the world desperately needs.”

“Instead of offering an ever-growing array of stupid, useless, and expensive courses, universities should focus on their civic duty; We support the economy and prepare society for the future we are heading towards.”

“The world and the workplace are changing at an exponential rate, and it’s clear the education system can’t keep up. In the UK, GCSEs, A levels and university curricula date back more than half a century, creating a disconnect between the theoretical curriculum and its practical application to the modern workplace.”

“For context, A-Levels were introduced in 1951, the same year the first VCR was made. These older education systems were created to prepare graduates for the job market in the pre-internet, pre-automation era. Nowadays, students themselves have little confidence that a course of study will prepare them adequately for their careers.”

“Within the United States, research found that 2019 graduates delayed entering the job market, with 62 percent planning to take jobs in another sector because their chosen jobs were saturated. Also, only 11 percent of business leaders believe graduates are well prepared for the workforce, while only 14 percent of Americans firmly believe the opposite.”

“Similarly, research shows a disconnect between what employers look for in graduates and what is taught in colleges. While universities focus on teaching practical and professional skills, employers seem to place more emphasis on soft skills such as interpersonal skills, personal values ​​and ethics, alongside broader skills.”

“Today we have a workplace oversaturated with students who can analyze the cultural meaning of a Netflix show, but virtually no one who can program a neural network into an AI app. AI is one of the sectors that promises to transform industries worldwide. However, a survey found that while 93 percent of UK and US companies see AI as a business priority, more than half (51 percent) admit they don’t have the right mix of AI skills in-house.”

“Likewise, the semiconductor shortage in the US hurts American competitiveness and hampers growth. Supply chain and raw material issues aside, acute labor shortages threaten to stall semiconductor production well into 2022. 67 percent of North American manufacturers and 63 percent of European companies say that the inability to hire staff hinders production.”

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“The disparity created by higher education will only widen as technology advances and faculty struggle to catch up. Essentially, universities need to take the initiative to enable graduates with practical and technical skills that respond directly to employer demand.”

“Countries thrive and thrive on the basis of how they educate their people. Singapore is a prime example; The country has an education system that ranks among the top 20 in the world, with a curriculum that focuses on more practical and in-demand subjects.”

“Economic giants like the US will lose $1 trillion by 2030 due to significant declines in manufacturing skills. This talent gap is likely to result in a brain drain as, despite the industry’s significant contribution to the economy, a new generation of workers may not be ready and may not be qualified enough to take over. However, the more traditional 9-to-5 jobs in industries like medicine and engineering are still oversaturated with graduates who are not properly equipped to enter the labor market.”

“Priority should be given to creating courses that actually reflect current and future societal needs. Governments should continue to invest in institutions that encourage skills development and provide students with a wide range of transferable skills to foster their flexibility.”

“Granting tax breaks to universities that use better methods of producing qualified graduates could also encourage their collaboration.”

“Higher education institutions should also focus more on ‘soft skills’ and industries such as technology, cybersecurity and other non-traditional professions that we increasingly rely on. As industries change, Deloitte is finding that these capabilities will endure into the next century.”

“In cooperation with companies, a combination of theory and practice, which includes apprenticeships and internships during studies, could fundamentally change education systems.”

“Essentially, universities would take on the responsibility of not just educating students, but educating them. It is not just memory and research skills that should distinguish education. Instead, universities should teach students to learn how to learn, promoting those soft and hard skills that are relevant to today’s society, not the skills that society needed half a century ago.”

“The basic requirement is a system that prioritizes the results of the students – during and after their studies – and further ensures their job security in society. A better education system that produces employable graduates will lead to a more sustainable economy. The strength of our economies rests on the strength of our education system. Under the current status quo, we can assume that the government balance sheet will remain firmly in the red.”

https://techround.co.uk/business/james-caan-cbe-universities-are-failing-graduates-and-the-economy-they-need-a-total-overhaul/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=james-caan-cbe-universities-are-failing-graduates-and-the-economy-they-need-a-total-overhaul James Caan CBE – “Universities are failing graduates and the economy – they need a complete overhaul”

Fry Electronics Team

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