COVID brought to light new improvement opportunities for educational organizations. After the pandemic struck, their legacy training methods and limited technology resources were no longer equipped for preparing their graduates to work for companies operating in today’s lean, agile, digital environment.
The National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) noted, “Economic uncertainty often causes employers to amend their expectations of new hires. The 2008 economic recession and the unexpected events of COVID-19 are two examples where mindsets around recruiting shifted, and the entry-level employment landscape yielded unexpected results. Technical knowledge, discipline-specific competencies, and work-related skills have been sought after by employers for some time and were confirmed by a 2019 study, which highlights six skills and competencies rated the highest by employers in the Northeast: interpersonal skills/works well with others; critical thinking/problem-solving skills; listening skills; oral/speech communication skills; professionalism; and personal motivation.”
Remote work and shifts in skills and competency requirements have forced higher education, businesses, and new graduates to reimagine the world of work. Serendipitously, new technologies are now offering all of us the opportunity to properly train our young graduates for employment positions that demand the right knowledge, experience, and flexibility to respond to economic changes, and even disasters which come our way.
The Technology Skills Gap
When COVID hit, employers saw the handwriting on the wall and scrambled to stem the losses they would incur and reposition their resources for survival. This required furloughing employees and looking for people with the skills they needed. Few applicants had all the right skills.
The skills gap is readily apparent. For example, the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) reported, “The manufacturing skills gap in the U.S. could result in 2.1 million unfilled jobs by 2030.” This is according to a new study by Deloitte and The Manufacturing Institute, the workforce development and education partner of the NAM. “The cost of those missing jobs could potentially total $1 trillion in 2030 alone.”
Today’s employers are demanding better trained graduates be able to do the work on Day 1. Sure, there is onboarding, but no longer can a young graduate be hired to spend several months learning the trade. Instead, students must learn the skills and processes required by employers before they get the job, so that they can immediately start working when they are hired. This requires technology and a team approach between faculty, students, and future employers.
So, how can educational institutions change and quickly respond to meet the new demand?
Educause suggests, “The best opportunity is to redefine education right now.” This requires incorporating technology into learning, into the faculty and the student experience. Recommended changes include being prepared for cyber-attacks, accelerating digital transformation to improve operational efficiencies, creating a cloud and SaaS strategy to reduce costs, and implementing radical creativity, which entails helping students prepare for the future by giving them tools and learning spaces that foster creative practices and collaborations.
Institutions are looking to technology to help them improve their value proposition to students, teachers, and other stakeholders. They will need to change their business model, culture, remote and onsite experiences, and how the students transition from learning to employment.
Take Advantage of the Current Technologies
Digital transformation has provided the fuel for businesses to quickly transform and survive the COVID economic disaster. It can also help educational institutions improve their results. College administrators have opportunities to work with an experienced advisor, such as NEdocs, who has served educational institutions for almost 40 years to implement digital transformation solutions to improve administrative efficiencies and provide better access and storage of data and documents like admissions records and transcripts.
As an example, this could entail applying a solution that optimizes storage, access, and management of admissions records, student records, alumni transcripts, and HR documents, as well automate administrative processes such as Accounts Payable.
This can be done through implementing well-proven technologies:
- Document digitization – Scan physical documents to digital to simplify storage and access (including large-format documents and antiquities).
- Process automation – Eliminate manual errors from common administrative processes, such as for Accounts Payable.
- Cloud resources – Free up your IT staff by utilizing lower-cost cloud applications and IT resources.
- Security – Apply role-based access and Cybersecurity best practices to protect all data and documents, and simplify faculty and student remote/onsite access and storage
- Disaster Recovery process – Maintain and periodically test your operational plan to ensure business continuity.
For further information about how NEdocs can help your faculty, students, graduates, and local employers get prepared for new technologies that graduates into today’s business employment environment deserve contact us online or give us a call at (603) 625-1171.