I want to make a triangle
of points and echo what Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan Chase, said earlier this
month: the future of work is about skills not just degrees.
Mr Dimon claims
this is one of the reasons young people are held back and not progressing. The next
point of this is that employers’ needs are not being met and as we well know a
team is made up of diverse people and skill sets.
But technology is shifting
everything, especially in the pace and ways of conducting business, which
creates a pressure on companies to stay in touch with change, so we need to
open the doors to everybody, not just the degree students.
The third point in
the triangle is the role that universities have to play, because that is
critical to this – the Higher Education sector is perfectly positioned to interpret
employer needs and to help develop curriculum and training programmes that meet
the on-the-job needs, even and especially as they change. As non-technology
companies emerge as the source of many new technology roles – automotive,
aerospace, retail, healthcare – Higher
Education will have an opportunity to build more industry ties with vocational
offerings, as employees and
their employers will look for proof of their skills, which in turn will lead to more demand for continuing education.
It may not be a
triangle but a circle that is ongoing, with opportunities for employers to get
the skills they need, for the education providers to play a pivotal role in
teaching and for people to find work in an area that suits their skills and
helps them flourish.