Arming Students with Skills for the Future

A June 6 Wall Street Journal story, “Industry Puts Heat on Schools to Teach Skills Employers Need,” argued that employers, increasingly concerned about replacing baby boomers, are working to influence education. These employers are taking steps to ensure that students graduate with the right skills to work in their fields by working with community colleges to create programs tailored to their needs.

Unfortunately, with budget cuts at community colleges enrollment is limited, making it harder for students to get into the program of their choice. Programs at for-profit colleges and universities, however, are growing and have an increasingly positive track-record – better than traditional, public community colleges – of getting students through their programs.  They are designed to provide students with the skills they need to be successful in the field of their choice. Students are trained in real world settings so that they are equipped for the first day of their new jobs. In fact, many for-profit colleges already work with employers to ensure that graduates are learning the right skills to succeed in their careers.

While building out these valuable job training programs, employers would benefit from turning to for-profit institutions for guidance and assistance. Already skilled at job training, for-profit schools could provide guidance on how these employers could best teach students the skills necessary to be successful employees. With more room for students, as well as offerings such as convenient class times and locations for students, for-profit institutions are successfully training employees for the next generation.

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