Revealing Higher Ed Initiatives For Career Readiness In Phoenix Issue ‘Future of Work’

This article was originally posted here.

The latest issue of Phoenix's ‘Future of Work’ delves into how member services are gearing up to equip students and graduates for future careers. Recent research from UUK projects 88% of new jobs will be at graduate level by 2035. This indicates the demand for career-ready graduates in the future workforce. However, the workplace they are set to enter is evolving rapidly, prompting a strategic response from higher education professionals. 

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The Paradigm Shift in Job Landscape

The article explains the move towards flexible and hybrid work models due to the global pandemic and technological advancement. It also examines the growing influence of generative AI in various higher education facets. While generative AI excels in efficiency and automation it often lacks the human touch essential for emotional understanding, creativity, and complex problem-solving. This is where the need for soft skills comes into play to ensure effective collaboration with AI systems while maintaining that human touch. 


The Role of Soft Skills in the AI Era

According to the 2023 NACE Job Outlook Report, communication and critical thinking emerge as vital skills for graduates in remote or hybrid work setups. Echoing this, research from the Carnegie Foundation and Stanford Research Center attributes 85% of job success to well-developed soft skills. Yet, the gap highlighted in the NACE report between employer-demanded competencies and graduates' capabilities raises alarms within career services and the higher education industry.

The pressing concern arises: How can the higher education sector narrow the employability gap and cultivate a future workforce equipped for an evolving and uncertain job market?

Elevating Career Readiness Through Structured Remote Internships

Interpersonal skills, known as soft skills, can be enhanced through practical experiences in real-world scenarios. In the current landscape of remote work transformation, engaging in remote internships emerges as a solution to address the challenges associated with the employability gap in the workplace.

Our latest report ‘Unlocking Career Readiness’ gathers insights from 700 student-employer pairings to demonstrate the impact of structured remote internships on career readiness competencies. The findings reveal both interns and their supervisors acknowledge skill enhancements, even when perceptions slightly differ between interns and host companies. 

Moreover, the report delves into prevalent hiring methods in today's job market and how experiential learning programs align with the current hiring approaches. Access our 'Unlocking Career Readiness' report for in-depth insights into crucial soft skills in demand and employers' perspectives to better equip learners for the AI-driven workplace.

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