April 16, 2017

The Future of Work

In the eyes of many students and their parents today, higher education is tied to a job. And yet the world of work is poised to undergo a number of dramatic changes over the next 10 years. The Chronicle’s latest report, The Future of Work: How Colleges Can Prepare Students for the Jobs Ahead, features predictions from economists and technology experts on the labor market; insight from employers on the skills they are looking for among recent college graduates; thoughts from college administrators on how career services must change; and more.

This page features Chronicle articles and videos about the path from college to work, innovative programs that give students real-world experience, and other topics to supplement the report.

Academe tends to allow students to dress as they please, to question authority, and to speak freely. Some preprofessional institutions, though, provide students a place in the pecking order that may prepare them better for jobs.

How systems thinking can prepare students for a complex world.

Van Ton-Quinlivan, vice chancellor for work-force and economic development in the California Community Colleges system, says colleges need to form partnerships with employers to help “stranded workers” get back into the job market.

To attract a generation of students, colleges try to shift outdated perceptions of a pathway to promising jobs.

When low-income students enter the work force, they often lack the built-in advantages of their wealthy peers. Can colleges fill the gap?

Apprenticeships are no longer an alternative to the college path but a supplement that prepares students for careers while they earn a degree.

Susan Sandler Brennan, associate vice president for career services at Bentley University, describes how Bentley’s career office created a course to help prepare students for the world of work, and what traits she is looking for in career counselors.

Graduates of the Massachusetts College of Art and Design often buck the perception that an art-school degree is a disadvantage in the job market.

At a rural high school in Washington State, courses like electronics and exercise science engage rather than divert students.

The university, entwined with Silicon Valley, develops innovative students with a synergy that has been summarized as "one plus one equals four."

Colleges’ career centers need to reposition themselves to be more effective, says Michael Sciola, associate vice president for institutional advancement and career initiatives at Colgate University.

Colleges are teaching undergraduates how to be self-starters. But what does that really mean?

Institutions gamble on free-for-all tool shops as engines of entrepreneurship.

Paul Quinn College, in Dallas, is the first urban institution to adopt the work-college model, in which students’ labor both educates them and keeps the campus going.

Both liberal-arts values and job training beyond the campus have a place in undergraduate education, as some colleges are showing.

Students at the U. of Oregon, acting as consultants, test ways to help nearby cities. The idea is spreading.