Could artificial intelligence create next frontier of academic development?
- EdSurge offers a glimpse into a massive new higher education data processing project, the National Center for Opportunity Engineering & Analysis, which will seek to pair the nation's academic programs with its emerging workforce needs.
- The University of Chicago and the San Diego Supercomputing Center are two of the institutional partners helping to develop a digital space where course offerings are mashed up with job announcements to offer a view of what skills are needed from graduates in today's marketplace and predict the workforce needs of the near future.
- Officials say short-term challenges include cultivating course data from campuses, specifically community colleges, and funding for the project.
There are additional elements that must be considered for colleges to think about offering full reporting buy-in. First, course offerings are not necessarily sound predictors of courses being taken by students. Second, aggregating job data holistically doesn't offer a view of where the jobs actually are, which plays a major role in what colleges should consider offering and developing.
Individual campuses have the capacity to mine employment data from federal and state databases, and to consider how to construct academic offerings around those needs. A national center is a great idea, but could be a bit ahead of its time in execution and utility.