Wednesday, December 21, 2011
Predict the future demand for skills, requires the capacity to predict the future. Faced with limited ability to do so, ongoing education is critical. Life-long learning not as an 'enrichment' exercise (History of Jazz, Appreciating Wine), or an opportunity to explore the basics of other fields, but as an ongoing excercise is professional development. There are a record number of students returning for graduate degrees and doctoral degrees, in an effort to improve their earnings and gain competitive advantage. Traditional degre programs are unsuitable for this.
The modern university education includes both technical and liberal arts elements, designed to develope well-developed people with a range of capabilities that will be useful over the course of a lifespan, as well as technical and professional training that will be useful immediately upon graduation. That does not reflect the demands of modern society.
The University needs to grab a growing share of the 'adult education' market, which will require changes in its pedagogical method. Classes structured for working professionals with very different needs, capacities and requirements then traditional students. I advocate for the expansion of certificate-scope programs. I qualify it with the use 'scope', because the historical role of certificate development has been one of curricular development--first a certificate, then a minor, before becoming the focus of an entire degree, post-graduate or doctoral degree.