We have fixed traditions in education. The needs of the next level up are set by the professors who teach that level. It really makes sense for a system focused on the cultural development of 19th century English gentlemen but it has almost nothing to do with getting kids ready for employment.
As an example, the aerospace industry is exploding right now. Employment is skyrocketing but not necessarily in total numbers of employees. What then?
Productivity of the labour force is a key factor and the skills of the future are critical business understanding of the massive airframe and engine building companies.
Let’s go ask them what they’ll need 3 years out, 5 years out, and much beyond that is dreaming a bit.
Take the same model to information technology. “Who you gonna call?” Microsoft? Google? Facebook? Amazon? Spend as much time identifying the skills they need as they do the new technologies they will pursue. Let’s ask them.
Now apply this model to a whole range of employment areas that we have in the world today. And we don’t ask once a year. We ask relentlessly and share the information. Will the major employers help?
If they can see a reasonable link between proposed education and their employment needs they’ll be right with you.
If they see a group of institutions simply trying to promote their academic version of what maybe needed, they’ll quickly be eating lunch in someone else’s restaurant.
This is just business.
It’s not alumni rah rah rah.
It’s not the morality of nationhood.
It’s not indebtedness to future generations.
It’s skills, a pure business issue.