Are we prepared – or are colleges and universities preparing students – for the new world of work?

As we look into the past, we can see the changes that happened in the world and we can also see the changes that are happening at present. Nothing is constant but the change itself. In one way or the other, the world is bound to change after a certain period. The invention in one decade is an old forgotten method in future decades or the invention is improved into something more. To keep up with the changes, generations must be trained. Trained in collaboration, innovation, and to increase their reasoning abilities. 

Students must know how to work as a team so they can learn to exchange resources and knowledge from different sources. They should be trained to work in teams where they learn to communicate, complement, and share the effort and credit of the work. This turns them into a valuable asset for an organization. Organizations always prefer a team player. They have little to no faith in candidates who prefer to work alone. Employers prefer those who understand managing a project, delivering what they have been asked, contributing to product delivery, working on time and in the budget, and working with a team with ease. 

After graduation, students learn financing, setting up goals, and working on them. Students must be trained well, before they began the journey as adults, on applying what they have learned in classrooms. Schools should rather focus on application of knowledge than how well the student remembers the material for their tests. Whatever they learn, students must be able to use it for success in their career, personal life, and finance. Schools should always remember that the students graduating represent the place of the nation in the world. 

Students must learn to sharpen their decision making and ability to solve problems at the school level because, in the workplace, they might face issues sometimes more than they can handle or something they aren’t trained before. At that time their approach to the issue decides where they stand in the organization. Students who have innovation, creativity, and to look at an issue and mapping different approaches to solve that issue always attract organizations.

A college education is very important to create citizens that one day makes the nation proud. However, not everyone can shine in colleges. Some may not handle more than school education. So schools must train students the ability to handle life well enough no matter which career paths they choose. Schools must be able to explain to students the option they have in their lives. Students must know the importance of science, maths, and technology. Not just for the sake of promoting into next year but also to understand the application of them in lives. They must also be trained in exploring arts which elevates creativity and maintains self-discipline. Students must also be well trained in communication skills because it will help them to communicate with others, in learning new things, and taking their passion further in their lives.  

Students after graduation usually have enthusiasm and are eager to implement what they have learned in college. But life outside college is different no matter which college a student is graduated from. They must possess skills, knowledge, and ability to adapt to the work environment. It is expected of the institutes, from which students are graduated, to train them not only to teach the study material to graduate but to lead a successful life after graduation. Institutes or universities must enhance the skills the students acquire so they can use them to have a successful life. Employers notice the college or university from which a candidate graduates because they believe that colleges and universities play a vital role in shaping the future of their students. Teamwork, ethical decision making, analysis, complex problem solving, application of knowledge and skills they learned, critical thinking, reasoning, and like we discussed, communication skills. The achievement or failure in these skills not only tells about the candidate but also about the institute they graduated from. 

It depends on universities and colleges what kind of graduates they are delivering. A nation’s pride and economy depend on the working people. The quality of work decides where a nation stands in the world. Colleges and universities must improve areas that influence students. The classroom environment must be updated. Students must be surrounded by technology that they will be working in future after they graduate. They must learn the ability to handle the technology as students by which they will be masters in handling it by the time they graduate. For students to be prepared, they must be trained under professionals who not only teach them from one source of study material but also different sources. When the teacher is proficient in the subject and tries to teach students through a multidisciplinary method, they are training students to approach different disciplines to integrate their knowledge. It is also important that universities update their curriculum and stay updated with the changing times. Making students work with the current work environment, implementing projects, and internships and training them to become professionals with the knowledge and skills to be ready in the workplace. 

Many institutes and universities fail to deliver skilled graduates to the world. Their focus is mainly on grades students gain rather than critical thinking and problem-solving which are crucial skills necessary after they graduate. Employers often look for candidates who can transition easily into the workplace. For this, students must be trained before graduating by the institute or universities. Candidates are expected to have skills to handle situations that they did not face earlier. Universities often fail to teach students those necessary skills. They are so focused on their ranks and the scores students gain that sometimes they lose sight of what is more important. Though colleges and universities provide workshops to teach these skills the result of these workshops is limited to the participation certificates. Much more needed to deliver skillful graduates that might change the world for the better.

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