In a recent interview, David Armstrong, a long-time educator in higher education in Florida, discussed the challenges colleges and universities face, particularly those publicly supported by state governments. According to Armstrong, the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has only added to the many challenges facing higher education, including funding challenges and demographic changes.
Armstrong notes that most colleges and universities prioritize academics and the academic knowledge that faculty members can impart to students. However, colleges and universities may not always be able to provide students with the skills and experiences they need to succeed in the workplace, particularly in areas such as global awareness and global skills.
To address this skills gap, Armstrong suggests that internships, particularly remote internships, are an affordable way for students to gain meaningful experiences with global companies and learn the additional skills they need to be effective in the workplace. Virtual internships, which allow students to work remotely with companies worldwide, have become increasingly popular in recent years, particularly in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
By working with global companies, students can gain exposure to different cultures and business practices, which can help them to be more effective in their future careers. In addition, valuable networking opportunities help them to build relationships with potential employers.
Overall, Armstrong's comments highlight the ongoing challenges facing colleges and universities in the United States and the potential benefits of virtual internships to address these challenges. As the job market becomes increasingly competitive and global, virtual internships will likely become an even more important part of higher education, providing students with the skills and experiences needed to succeed in the 21st-century workforce.