3 higher ed tactics meeting tech’s in-demand digital skills

3 higher ed tactics meeting tech’s in-demand digital skills

Even with all the tech talent that exists in the world, some roles remain difficult to fill. Specifically, “The talent pool for emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML) and internet of things (IoT), will fall short in filling at least 30 percent of global demand,” according to IDC.

Educational institutions have long been tapped to solve talent shortages. But given these troubling trends, companies are doubling down to attract and train in time. To better supply the pipeline, universities are actively working with tech companies to re-skill students with real-world experience before they officially enter the workforce.

These three creative approaches promise to outfit future technologists with the most in-demand digital skills.

On-site and online business “cyber centers”

Schools and businesses are syncing up to create dual-lead technology hubs. Companies, like Kroger, the U.S.’ largest grocery store chain, operate centers within campus walls whose curricula are spearheaded by high-tech higher ups. The majority of centers explore emerging technologies and tools, key data and computer science concepts, and even engineering. These on-campus tech hubs serve as incubators for future company hires, leading many students who take internships within these cyber centers to ultimately accept full-time positions upon graduation.

Centers serve as incubators for future company hires.

Other online approaches and collaborations also exist, like that of FedEx and the University of Memphis. To address frontline turnover, the delivery service uses virtual learning, gamification and personalized content to help employees get ahead in their LiFE (Learning Inspired by FedEx) program. Employees are able to learn and complete coursework at their own pace with the help of a virtual assistant who motivates and encourages their progress.

The program comes at no cost to employees and gives them a clearer career path while completing their education.

Professor-employee exchanges

Collaborative research and curriculum development between educational institutions and corporations are another way enterprises are taking a holistic approach to developing DATA (digital, analytics, technology and automation)-proficient tech talent.

With direct access to corporate collaborators, faculty can gain a better understanding of the ways real-world businesses utilize new techniques to drive their organizations forward, and then use that information to collectively plan lessons and research projects that build on certain advanced skill sets.

Organizations are keen on cultivating a brand that centers cutting-edge technologies to help them attract the brightest tech talent.

The goal is twofold. For companies, it’s to drive in-demand digital skills and invest in potential talent by grooming them before they start their job search. From a higher learning lens, keeping the talent pool local after attending their university helps increase their reputation among other prospective students.

In both cases, organizations are keen on cultivating a brand that centers cutting-edge technologies to help them attract the brightest tech talent.

Pre-hire test runs

Education may be essential, but there’s no substitute for real-world exposure. That’s why some companies offer specific post-graduate positions that allow degree holders to work in different departments over a predetermined period of time to get a firm sense of how things operate.

Done right, candidates walk away with a clear concept of how their career aspirations align with a particular role within the organization. And companies get the opportunity to test out whether potential talent has the chops to succeed over the long haul.

Validating the college-to-company pipeline

According to CIO, decision-makers “frequently lament the dearth in tech talent when discussing the challenges to their digital transformation efforts.” But confronting the talent shortage looks different depending on who you ask.

For some companies, the focus is on training in internal staff, reskilling them for the long term. For most, that means recognizing the link between education and industry and forging strategic corporate-university partnerships.

Regardless which method they choose, to truly make the technology skill shifts needed to meet the demands of an evolving workplace, more companies and universities need to invest in lifelong learning. Period.

Content created and provided by ONEAFFINITI.