- LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner told attendees at the recent Recode Code Enterprise conference that skill training, and not educational degree achievement, should be the most important area of focus for graduates and employers.
- His remarks come as the company has acquired online learning company Lynda to develop the framework for an online learning or credentialing system within the network.
- “We would do much better if we stopped ensuring that everyone had to have a four-year degree to get certain types of jobs and started being open to the fact that there’s a much broader array of talents and skills and perspectives and experiences that people can be successful,” Weiner said in an interview with Recode.
The notion that an entrepreneur who built his career upon a professional network is now saying that skill level is what matters most in a job search should be a sign to colleges and universities that the era of college as a search for personal discovery is rapidly coming to an end. Increasingly, employers are suggesting that graduates are entering the workforce without needed skills to perform or adapt, and they are looking at colleges as the primary culprits in the lack of preparation.
Colleges must develop stronger training programs, similar to approaches used in applied science for lab and research exposure, to bolster career readiness in the liberal arts and social sciences. Without it, businesses will soon realize that they can develop these learning outlets on their own, in benefit of their own bottom lines.