For students struggling with classes that they deem irrelevant to their future careers, the struggle to retain information is real. According to the State of the Student Survey conducted by Wiley, over half of undergraduates and 38% of graduate students reported losing interest in classes that they believe don't teach practical skills. However, incorporating real-world applications into lessons can help engage students, with a quarter of respondents suggesting that this would make the most significant difference. This applies to all majors, whether it's incorporating modern coding languages or software into STEM classes or discussing current issues like student loan forgiveness or the usage of artificial intelligence in philosophy lectures.
Closing the skills gap is critical for students and companies alike. A report by Wiley, closing the Skills Gap, found that 68% of C-suite executives see a gap between what candidates can do and what the role demands. This problem is compounded by the fact that nearly 7 in 10 managers regularly deal with a workforce that lacks the required skills. To address this, professors need to be more aware of students' concerns, as almost two-thirds believe that their institutions are preparing students well for their professional lives, while only 46% of students agreed. The situation is particularly acute in tech, with a Dell Technologies survey of 15,000 Gen Zers showing that over a third felt their education did not provide them with the digital skills necessary for their careers. (Read the full Fortune.com article).
In conclusion, the need for practical education that prepares students for the demands of the workforce has never been greater. At UCSB Professional and Continuing Education, we understand this need and offer a variety of real-world job skills courses, including coding, Project Management, HR and Accounting basics, and more. Our programs are designed to bridge the gap between academic theory and practical skills, providing students with the knowledge and experience they need to succeed in their careers.