How to align academic offerings to meet workforce development needs
- A new study from Indeed.com lists computer and information sciences, engineering, architecture, management, health professions and finance as the top areas which have high needs in hiring, and low areas where technology can replace human capital in the workforce.
- Each of these fields were among the most popular academic programs of 2014, according to data on degrees awarded published by the U.S. Department of Education.
- According to Indeed, the programs comprise 92% of jobs showing trending upward in earning potential and offering an average salary of over $57,700.
Most in education and business circles are familiar with the idea that science and tech jobs yield the highest earnings and most reliable entry-level potential, but the notion that these fields won't easily be changed by automated tasks should give provosts and deans more motivation to develop programs in these industries. Many philanthropic organizations are looking to increase awareness and participation in these fields, particularly among women, who are most likely to drop out of STEM majors according to a recent study.
Additionally, development in these key areas can help to benefit the campus in several areas. As campuses look to bolster entrepreneurship with innovation funding, these degree areas produce the students and graduates most likely to emerge as tech millionaires with the capacity to become big donors, and to market the school by way of their success. But schools must be careful to include a sound liberal arts base for these fields, as companies are also looking for employees to be proficient in soft skills like communication, creative problem solving and leadership.