We live in a rapidly changing world that necessitates a diverse skill set to keep up. According to research, student demographics, cultural standards, and entrepreneurial norms all show predictable variations.
The higher education landscape has evolved dramatically, and students must remain abreast so they can evolve as per future trends.
Gone are the days when getting a degree was enough to land a student their dream job. Multiple reasons have caused tectonic shifts in the higher education landscape and hiring market. Today, students require more than just a degree to stand out from the crowd. They must train themselves with marketable skills in order to survive and thrive in the current environment.
With the outbreak of the pandemic, the skill gap widened even further, requiring a better understanding of the trends that would drive future employment patterns. Many international institutions have adapted to these developments to keep their students up to date. They started to equip their students with the necessary skills, technology, and experience to make it in the real world.
The first departure from the typical teaching module was the introduction of the blended learning model, which became necessary when schools and institutions closed.
This approach is revolutionising traditional learning by incorporating online resources to enhance traditional classrooms. But, this isn’t the only trend that’s shaping higher education. Higher education is undergoing multiple major changes.
1. Joining hands with Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Today, advancement in technological tools has helped bring out the creative and curious side of the human mind. AI is one such tool that helps create a personalized study schedule for each student. It fills in the gaps left by traditional learning by disseminating material in little chunks that can be customized to meet the needs of individual students. And, since the information is generated by AI, all the material produced stays updated!
2. Rise in online learning
Since the year 2020, online learning has become quite the buzzword. Online learning is a subgenre of digital learning, and it goes beyond conventional classroom settings. Students who learn online are not limited by factors such as time, distance, or location. This allows students to study whenever and however they choose.
The majority of students have progressed to this mode of learning. As for the rest, international institutions are already working to lessen the impact of education disruption on people who come from underprivileged backgrounds and aren’t tech-savvy.
3. Increase in demand for massive online courses
Massive Open Online Courses are free, short-duration courses that can be accessed from anywhere at any time and are created for the mass population. 2020 saw over 180 million learners online, spread across 2800 courses, and 19 online degrees, and 360 micro-credentials.
These courses offer students a great way to build their skills.
Due to the convenience of MOOCs, learning isn’t limited to those who can afford higher education. This is one major advantage of these courses, apart from their short-duration lessons, which allow students to learn more in less time.
4. Bridging the skill gap
Students choose higher education because it helps build their skills and enhance their profile. Hence, many universities are offering internships where students can build their profiles and meet market demands. Despite all of this effort, the talent gap persists, and institutions are collaborating with corporations to bridge this difference. They are working towards creating Corporate Partnership Programs, which will help them build a long-term commitment to the business community.
The ongoing pandemic-induced economic crisis has widened the skill gap, mandating urgent human and digital skill upgrades. Thus, it will be crucial for institutions to help students upgrade, be market-ready, and vault over the competition.
With higher education constantly evolving, institutions will have to up their game to deliver more value. With emerging technologies like AI and AR/VR, learning will become accessible to anyone and everyone. This will allow students of any age to learn at their own pace and create schedules that best suit them.
Although these tools and technologies are convenient, it may be difficult to bring about this change in developing countries where traditional learning is more affordable. Institutions will have to create strategies to make these facilities accessible to everyone, no matter their background.