Connecting the dots

5 courses of action to connect students, universities, employers and government
By Justin Bedi
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 04/01/2016

In January, Ontario held a Talent and Skills Summit attended by post-secondary education stakeholders. The same week, McGill University president Suzanne Fortier suggested at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, that universities need to prepare students for the modern labour market, while American vice-president Joe Biden indicated that investing in education was one of the keys to saving the middle class.

These sentiments echo what academics, policymakers and students have been suggesting for years: The relationship between higher education and the labour market has changed. That’s meant a shift in student sentiment, where many have begun to question the value of their post-secondary degree and their (to-date) lifelong investment in education. After all, there are opportunity costs associated with pursuing a university education, just as there are opportunity costs facing government when they invest in education over other sectors of the economy.

 And yet it is through education that all parties can ultimately achieve their goals. Students want to be qualified for jobs and find employment after graduation. Employers want qualified employees. The government wants a highly skilled workforce that can compete with any in the world, and universities want to see students succeed in their careers.