Ryan Craig, a managing director at University Ventures who is working to create new pathways from education to employment, is skeptical of this notion about the current value of college. He argues there is a concerning and widening divergence between being career-ready and college-educated.
“Colleges continue to act as though they’re preparing students for their fifth job, not their first job,” he says. “Unfortunately, we now know that if students don’t get good first jobs, they’re probably not going to get good fifth jobs.” Furthermore, pointing to low college completion rates nationally, Craig is “…hugely concerned that nostalgic adherence to the college model has yielded crises of affordability, completion and employability.”
For all the training around critical thinking that colleges continue to provide, Craig argues there has been a major shift in the kind of skills employers are looking for — toward more practical, technical, software-oriented and digital competencies. College must therefore be reimagined and consumed differently.
|Civil Discourse Prompts|
|Can the K-12 education system effectively and simultaneously prepare students for college and the workforce without tracking students by either college or career?
Are students graduating from high school with the skills they need to succeed in the workforce?
Are college students career-ready when they graduate?
Despite their different perspectives, Coleman and Craig ultimately identify a similar concern about education in America today for students who pursue college or a career: a lack of student readiness for what comes next. In life, students will one day have to balance the pursuit of their dreams, the desire to deploy their talents and the need to make a living. If their readiness for such a moment is lacking, have they received the freedom and opportunity promised by their education?
|The college board|
Previously named to Time’s 100 Most Influential list, David Coleman took the helm of the College Board in 2012. Under David’s leadership, the College Board successfully redesigned the SAT, which is now being taken by more students than at any other time in history and is the most widely used college entrance exam. And Advanced Placement participation and performance for students of all backgrounds continue to go up in tandem.
|Ryan Craig||Managing Director|
Ryan Craig is the author of College Disrupted (2015) and A New U: Faster + Cheaper Alternatives to College (2018). He is a managing director at University Ventures, which is reimagining the future of higher education and creating new pathways from education to employment.
“Across virtually every industry, technical skills now outnumber all others in job descriptions…”
Ryan Craig, Managing Director, University Ventures