Equipping students with the requirements of starting and maintaining a career is one of the key responsibilities of higher education institutions. At present, employers report strong demand for graduate talent but continue to have concerns about the skills and job readiness of those in the graduate labor pool. The education-employment gap is growing. Significant numbers of graduates are even going into non-graduate jobs after failing to find jobs in their fields. This needs to change particularly in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. With the ongoing employment crisis in the region, it is more crucial than ever that young people be prepared to find jobs.
Why Does Higher Education Need To Be Reformed?
Currently, universities are not being used to their full potential. The curriculum is not always up-to-date, not enough young people go to university after finishing school and not enough adults have attended university. They also lack management tools and funding to match their ambitions. The MENA region can work towards bridging the gap between education and employment with increased partnership between universities and regional employers for the purpose of creating and adapting knowledge to the current world scenario. Conditions for universities can be improved only by improving the underlying quality of education using digital solutions like higher education software. A fundamental shift from traditional rote-repetition learning to one that promotes problem-solving and application of knowledge is required to help ease the path to gainful employment for the youth of tomorrow.
How Digitization Can Bridge the Education-Employment Gap
Technology can have a huge impact in the education sector. Countries in the MENA region have invested in equipping schools and universities with computers, labs, networks, and software to ensure that students have hands-on opportunities to master their skills. Panworld Education gives the option to universities to incorporate blended education models into their curriculum, mixing printed textbooks and reference materials with digitalized teaching tools that include higher education software by LexisNexis, Britannica, and many other partners. This employment-education gap challenge is not only in technical education or the curriculum but rather in the development of soft skills, such as management and communication skills. The use of digital learning tools and technology like higher education software into the university system significantly help the youth acquire the skills required by their employers.
Policymakers need to consider alternative methods of educational development to address the concerns of employers regarding graduates not being fully prepared for working life upon graduation. Reforms in higher education are required on multiple fronts including curricular refurbishment and increased focus on student-centered learning with flexible learning paths and recognition of informal learning. Furthermore, granting greater autonomy to universities so that they can create strategic partnerships with enterprises can also be considered. Policy makers need to devise funding strategies to sustain quality and meet rising demand for quality higher education with an increased emphasis on the digitization of education. It is also crucial to improve the standards of teaching. Teaching of soft-skills through tie-ins with professional bodies to improve graduate job-readiness also needs to be included. While these reforms are implemented, entrepreneurial activity and lifelong learning should be encouraged as an ongoing response to the persistent problem of jobless youth in the region.
Higher Education Software That Are Changing the Game
Panworld Education provides universities with higher education software like LexisNexis Academic, an innovative tool for academic research. Tailored specially for the academic market, it allows fast access to thousands of credible sources. Since students and researchers spend valuable time and energy gathering information, they should make the most of their time by having access to such a higher education software program.
LexisNexis Academic is one of the best higher education software in the market. Using this tool, the students and the faculty can monitor current events by following continuously updated wire services and the most current editions of publications from around the world. They can also delve into primary or secondary legal sources to perform legal research. LexisNexis also has other handy higher education software, the LexisNexis NewsDesk. It is a media monitoring and analytics solution which is ideal for university students.
Panworld Education also has Britannica Digital as a partner, which has three extremely resourceful higher education software programs – the Britannica Academic which is a comprehensive research tool, the Britannica ImageQuest which is an image library specially designed for students and Britannica E-Books. These higher education software provide access to high-quality comprehensive information. The rich combination of the insightful Encyclopedia Britannica with Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary and Thesaurus, magazines and periodicals, and many other research tools provides the variety of reliable sources that students need to consult when conducting thorough research all from one resource. It is written by Nobel laureates, historians, curators, professors, and other notable experts. The content in these higher education software programs are from trusted resources with balanced, global perspectives and insights that users will not find anywhere else. Britannica Academic is integrated with Britannica ImageQuest, which offers a streamlined ability to explore millions of related images right from the search results page.
Employers also need to invest into providing training for their employees to bridge the education-employment gap in the short term. Training software can be extremely useful for this. Panworld Education has partnered with VitalSource, a training software program for employees which increases accountability and competency through engaging interactive digital content. It helps employers manage and deliver secure content with measurable engagement result while increasing compliance and reducing the costs associated with print-based training content.
Bridging the Education-Employment Gap Needs To Be a Joint Effort
Bridging the education-employment gap in MENA must be a collaborative effort involving private sector partners, companies and the governments. It is time for the region to revamp the way it teaches and learns by adopting a new system that takes personal needs and sudden developments into account. Anyone can and should apply to continue a lifelong journey of learning based on the need of their employers. Meanwhile, newer methods of learning and education need to be incorporated into the higher learning institutes’ curriculums. This can be done using higher education software programs that prepare students for modern careers by helping them acquire skills such as problem-solving, familiarity with emerging technologies, and self-motivation.