Thinking Outside The Box to Build Talent Pipelines
Junior Achievement (JA), a global non-profit youth organization focused on preparing young people for the workforce through work readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy programs, is reshaping the future of education and workforce development, writes Dr. Joylyn Darnell, Director of Strategic Partnerships at Kaplan. The organization’s innovative programs, backed by local business volunteers, are inspiring students to make informed career choices and hone essential workplace skills. From a pre-apprenticeship program in South Florida to a credential program in the financial industry, JA is creating pathways for diverse talent that not only benefit students but also offer a strategic advantage to employers in search of skilled candidates.
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Holy Cows vs. Sacred Cows
Higher education needs a lot more "holy cows" – surprising and impressive ideas and a lot fewer "sacred cows" – things beyond questioning or criticism, says Brandon Busteed, Chief Partnership Officer and Global Head of Learn/Work Innovation at Kaplan (and LinkedIn Top Voice). In a recent post he challenges the sacred cows of ‘seat-time’ as part of accreditation, publishing as a component of tenure, complexities of credit transfer, and traditional qualifications for university leadership hiring. Instead, he contends that more universities should create “holy cow” moments such as Purdue University's freezing tuition for 12 consecutive years, or Western Governor’s University’s average bachelor’s degree completion time of 2.5 years.
Join the conversation with your “holy cow” ideas here.
Perceptions of AI Impact Across Demographics
A recent survey commissioned by Jobs for the Future’s Center for Artificial Intelligence & the Future of Work uncovered varying perspectives on AI among different demographic groups. Women express less optimism about AI’s benefits for workers and education; they are 62% less likely to be excited or hopeful about AI's potential impact on their lives, compared to men.
Across racial lines, Black respondents view AI more positively compared to their white counterparts; they are 62% less likely to believe AI will do more harm than good. Perhaps not unexpectedly, younger generations (Gen Z and Millennials) feel increased pressure to upskill due to AI, with 66% of each group acknowledging the need for skill upgrades. By contrast, Gen X and Baby Boomers are less concerned, with 52% and 43%, respectively, feeling the same pressure.
Source: Jobs for the Future, Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Work survey, July 2023
Educational Access for Students at Every Stage
Gregory Marino on breaking down barriers and the future of education
The traditional path to a career is linear: Get a college degree, then a good job. Gregory Marino, CEO of Kaplan North America, foresees a shift in this path, as students at all stages gain access to educational opportunities that help them overcome traditional barriers to getting a degree and finding meaningful work. Marino recently spoke with author and podcaster Andrew Temte about the balancing act required of CEOs and the changing relationship between work and higher education.*
First, a question about your role as CEO: What is the most substantial balancing act that CEOs have to manage?
The crucial balance is harmonizing the short-term demands of the organization with the long-term vision. CEOs need to ensure that their organizations are delivering on customer expectations and financial targets while also motivating employees. But at the same time, companies have to adapt and innovate to stay competitive and continue to lead in their industry. Finding the balance between the two aspects requires a very intentional and strategic approach.
From your vantage point, how are you seeing the traditional career pathway being upended?
Instead of going to college to get a job, students will increasingly be going to a job to get a college degree. The number-one reason why people pursue higher education is to get a good job. But if the path was to get a good job first, and a college degree in the near future, a substantial number of students would go straight to work for employers that offer a degree. You already see this happening in the case of employers who offer education as a benefit at their workplace.
What can educational organizations do to break down barriers to student access?
Education is lifelong, not just something that happens in the early stages of life. Organizations can ensure that they are advising students at various stages of their lives and offer educational opportunities that help keep their skills relevant. At Kaplan, we collaborate with local partners, schools, colleges and organizations to understand the specific needs and challenges of their community, and we provide millions of dollars in assistance to improve access.
* Excerpted from The Balancing Act Podcast, Aug. 31, 2023