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Is your education preparing you for your career?

This is the million-dollar question. Pearson's latest study comes up with an interesting answer.
BY Mehr Talwar |   27-12-2019

Is your education preparing you for your career

Have you wondered whether your higher education has prepared you for the job market?

Chances are – it might not have.

According to The Global Learner Survey conducted by Pearson in September 2019, most students who studied in top destinations for higher education like the UK, Canada, USA, Australia, and Europe, believed that that their education had not prepared them for their careers.

11,000 respondents between the ages of 16-70 from the US, UK, Canada, Europe, South Africa, Brazil, China, India, Hispanic - America and the Middle East were asked if their higher education experience prepared them for a career. The general consensus was that there is a sizeable gap between the skills acquired in college and employer expectations.

An interesting revelation of the study was that while graduates from universities in the popular western destinations of higher education did not feel that college had prepared them adequately for a career, graduates from China and Hispanic America felt otherwise.

Perhaps, this was also because most of the former lot had either picked jobs outside their field of study or decided to switch careers at some point. According to Pearson’s spokesperson Laura Howe, “More than half of the people in the US, UK, Australia, Canada are not working in their degree field”.  And this was probably the reason why these former students felt there was a disconnect between what they studied and their actual jobs.

The question therefore is – did these graduates deliberately choose to work outside their field of study out of choice or because they felt that their education did not equip them with the required skillset?

Perhaps the answer is both. What the study made clear is with the rapidly evolving world of work, learning that we formerly associated with, and completed in, college is now going to be a continuous experience. It is no longer just for students or capped by time or limited to an academic setting.

This might be another reason why we are seeing the increase in the numbers of executives returning to education. Or learning on the go.

John Fallon, CEO of Pearson said that ““Universities should expand access to mid-career adults with short courses, soft skill training and stackable credentials,”

He further suggested that employers should reshape their workforce by collaborating with schools/ universities.

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Mehr Talwar

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