2024 Global Skills Report -- from Coursera

  • AI literacy emerges as a global imperative
  • AI readiness initiatives drive emerging skill adoption across regions
  • The digital skills gap persists in a rapidly evolving job market
  • Cybersecurity skills remain crucial amid talent shortages and evolving threats
  • Micro-credentials are a rapid pathway for learners to prepare for in-demand jobs
  • The global gender gap in online learning continues to narrow, but regional disparities persist
  • Different regions prioritize different skills, but the majority focus on emerging or foundational capabilities

You can use the Global Skills Report 2024 to:

  • Identify critical skills for your students to strengthen employability
  • Align curriculum to drive institutional advantage nationally
  • Track emerging skill trends like GenAI and cybersecurity
  • Understand entry-level and digital role skill trends across six regions
 

Daniel Christian: My slides for the Educational Technology Organization of Michigan’s Spring 2024 Retreat

From DSC:
Last Thursday, I presented at the Educational Technology Organization of Michigan’s Spring 2024 Retreat. I wanted to pass along my slides to you all, in case they are helpful to you.

Topics/agenda:

  • Topics & resources re: Artificial Intelligence (AI)
    • Top multimodal players
    • Resources for learning about AI
    • Applications of AI
    • My predictions re: AI
  • The powerful impact of pursuing a vision
  • A potential, future next-gen learning platform
  • Share some lessons from my past with pertinent questions for you all now
  • The significant impact of an organization’s culture
  • Bonus material: Some people to follow re: learning science and edtech

 

Education Technology Organization of Michigan -- ETOM -- Spring 2024 Retreat on June 6-7

PowerPoint slides of Daniel Christian's presentation at ETOM

Slides of the presentation (.PPTX)
Slides of the presentation (.PDF)

 


Plus several more slides re: this vision.

 

Is College Worth It? — from pewresearch.org by Richard Fry, Dana Braga, and Kim Parker
As economic outcomes for young adults with and without degrees have improved, Americans hold mixed views on the value of college

 


From DSC:
I post items like this in the hopes that those working within the world of higher education will lower the price of obtaining a degree while moving much more aggressively to offer more affordable ways of learning throughout one’s life.


A relevant addendum on 6/6/24:


Universities Try 3-Year Degrees To Save Students Time, Money — from the74million.org by Elaine S. Povich
As states explore shorter degrees, some faculty say they undercut students’ education.

With college costs rising and some students and families questioning the return on investment of a four-year degree, a few pioneering state universities are exploring programs that would grant certain bachelor’s degrees in three years.

The programs, which also are being tried at some private schools, would require 90 credits instead of the traditional 120 for a bachelor’s degree, and wouldn’t require summer classes or studying over breaks. In some cases, the degrees would be designed to fit industry needs.

 

OPINION: Americans need help paying for new, nondegree programs and college alternatives — from hechingerreport.org by Connor Diemand-Yauman and Rebecca Taber Staehelin
Updating the Pell Grant program would be an excellent way to support much-needed alternatives

Janelle’s story is all too familiar throughout the U.S. — stuck in a low-paying job, struggling to make ends meet after being failed by college. Roughly 40 million Americans have left college without completing a degree — historically seen as a golden ticket to the middle class.

Yet even with a degree, many fall short of economic prosperity.

 

Making your campus neurodivergent friendly — from timeshighereducation.com
How to create a university where neurodivergent staff and students feel welcome and thrive in the classroom, in the lab and throughout campus

Neurodivergent students and staff think about, interact with and see the world differently from their neurotypical peers and colleagues. Universities that adopt inclusive practices to welcome people with ADHD, autism, dyslexia, dyspraxia and other disabilities to campus also foster their distinct strengths and talents in the classroom, labs, boardrooms and social spaces. This collection of resources offers advice for teachers, researchers, PhD supervisors and administrators for supporting neurodiversity in higher education.


Some Colleges Will Soon Charge $100,000 a Year. How Did This Happen? — from nytimes.com by Ron Lieber; via Ryan Craig
Some Vanderbilt students will have $100,000 in total expenses for the 2024-25 school year. The school doesn’t really want to talk about it.

It was only a matter of time before a college would have the nerve to quote its cost of attendance at nearly $100,000 a year. This spring, we’re catching our first glimpse of it.

One letter to a newly admitted Vanderbilt University engineering student showed an all-in price — room, board, personal expenses, a high-octane laptop — of $98,426. A student making three trips home to Los Angeles or London from the Nashville campus during the year could hit six figures.

This eye-popping sum is an anomaly. Only a tiny fraction of college-going students will pay anything close to this anytime soon, and about 35 percent of Vanderbilt students — those who get neither need-based nor merit aid — pay the full list price.

But a few dozen other colleges and universities that reject the vast majority of applicants will probably arrive at this threshold within a few years. Their willingness to cross it raises two questions for anyone shopping for college: How did this happen, and can it possibly be worth it?


‘Running Out of Road’ for FAFSA Completion — from insidehighered.com by Liam Knox
The number of students who filled out the federal aid form is down nearly 30 percent. The ramifications for access and enrollment could be devastating.

And that’s probably an optimistic estimate, said Bill DeBaun, NCAN’s senior director of data and strategic initiatives; if the pace of completion doesn’t pick up, the decline could be closer to 700,000 students. That could translate to up to a 4 percent drop in college-goers come fall, DeBaun said, which would be the largest enrollment drop since the COVID-19 pandemic—and one that’s likely to be made up primarily of low-income and first-generation students.


Study: Nearly 40 Percent of Students Started, Never Finished College — from insidehighered.com by Kathryn Palmer
Federal researchers followed the post-secondary outcomes of 23,000 students for 12 years. 

Only 60 percent of students who enrolled in college earned a degree or credential within eight years of graduating high school.

That’s one of the biggest takeaways from a new report the National Center for Education Statistics released Monday that analyzed the enrollment, completion and financial aid outcomes of students.

The researchers tracked the postsecondary educational outcomes of roughly 23,000 students beginning in 2009 when they were freshman in high school through 2021, when the cohort was eight years out from graduating high school.


Race to the Finish | The rise of faster bachelor’s degrees raises the question: What is college for? — from chronicle.com by Kelly Field; from Jeff Selingo

Taken together, the two recent decisions illustrate a blurring of the lines between the two- and four-year sectors that is taking place not just in Idaho, but nationwide, as colleges struggle to overcome enrollment declines and skepticism about the value of a bachelor’s degree.

“It’s pretty clear that higher education is in a funk,” said Robert M. Zemsky, a University of Pennsylvania professor, who has been advocating for three-year programs for more than 15 years. “There’s a sense that we have to do something to make the product better, more relevant, and less costly to students.”


Excerpt from Next — from/by Jeff Selingo

Bottom line: While critics of a shorter degree see it as a lesser replacement for the four-year baccalaureate degree, advocates see it as another option for students who might not be interested in college at a time when enrollment is falling.

  • “We need to use this opportunity to redesign and do things better,” Carrell said. “That means that we all need to stay curious. We need to be a learning enterprise…and learn from the evidence we produce.”

Job-Ready on Day One — from the-job.beehiiv.com by Paul Fain

The U.S. faces a serious shortage of workers in the skilled trades—fields like HVAC, plumbing, electrical, solar, and construction. And those labor gaps are likely to widen as the federal government spends billions on infrastructure projects.

Employers in these industries are desperate for hires, says Doug Donovan, the founder and CEO of Interplay Learning. Yet the “challenge is not employer demand for workers,” he says, “but rather ensuring that learners learn about skilled trades careers and pursue them.”

The Austin-based Interplay offers online and VR training for workers in the skilled trades. The company was founded in 2016 with a focus on upskilling the hands-on worker. Even before the pandemic exacerbated labor shortages, Donovan says companies in these trades needed to hire workers who didn’t have all the skills required for jobs.

Interplay’s online courses and 3D, interactive simulations get close to what a learner is going to see on the job, says Donovan. “We aren’t trying to replace hands-on, instructor-led training,” he says. “We are trying to deliver tools that enhance that hands-on time or make it more efficient.”


 

 

Student perceptions of American higher education — from usprogram.gatesfoundation.org by Edge Research & HCM Strategists
Continued research exploring college enrollment declines

Overview of 2023 Findings
Despite our understanding of the value of higher education, perceptions among these audiences make it clear that institutions need to prove their value to them. In particular, why does the value of a 2-year or 4-year degree outweigh the value of credentials and job training programs? Both High Schoolers and Non-Enrollees see and select other paths that are shorter, cheaper, and/or more directly linked to specific job opportunities.

As part of that effort, these audiences want and need supports throughout their college journeys to reach the destination of acquiring a degree. These audiences feel anxious about making the wrong choices when it comes to college, and that those choices will impact the rest of their lives. Finally, it is also important to understand that the information received by these audiences differs by cohort. High Schoolers are at the epicenter of the college information network. Non-Enrollees, on the other hand, are forced to seek information about colleges, and the information they find tends to be less positive compared to what High Schoolers receive and consume about higher education.

Higher Education Must Prove Value to Potential Students, Who are Currently More Attracted to Immediate, Lower-Cost Options


Many Students Don’t Inform Their Colleges About Their Disability. That Needs to Change. — from edsurge.com by Stephanie A.N. Levin

After engaging in a policy review and coding a set of policy documents from disability service offices at colleges and universities across the U.S., it became clear to me that I wasn’t alone in my reluctance to seek accommodations at my college. It turns out that many higher education students with disabilities are hesitant to self-identify and pursue accommodations that could support them in their studies.

According to the most recent data published by the National Center for Education Statistics, about 20 percent of undergraduate students and nearly 11 percent of graduate students have a disability. There’s a discrepancy though, between the rate of students reporting having a disability, and those who are actually registering with their campus disability center. It turns out many students don’t inform their colleges of their disability and that has led to a support gap.The truth is, too many college and university students with disabilities decide to forgo a request for the accommodations that they may need to be successful.


5 ways to support today’s online learner — from insidetrack.org

  1. Make online learning learner-centered, demand-driven and career-advancing
  2. Help cultivate a sense of belonging
  3. Reduce barriers to online learning
  4. Encourage investment in planning and support structures
  5. Build up online learner confidence

 

The New Academic Arms Race | Competition over amenities is over. The next battleground is technology. — from chronicle.com by Jeffrey J. Selingo

Now, after the pandemic, with the value of the bachelor’s degree foremost in the minds of students and families, a new academic arms race is emerging. This one is centered around academic innovation. The winners will be those institutions that in the decade ahead better apply technology in teaching and learning and develop different approaches to credentialing.

Sure, technology is often seen as plumbing on campuses — as long as it works, we don’t worry about it. And rarely do prospective students on a tour ever ask about academic innovations like extended reality or microcredentials. Campus tours prefer to show off the bells and whistles of residential life within dorms and dining halls.

That’s too bad.

The problem is not a lack of learners, but rather a lack of alignment in what colleges offer to a generation of learners surrounded by Amazon, Netflix, and Instagram, where they can stream entertainment and music anytime, anywhere.

From DSC:
When I worked for Calvin (then College, now University) from 2007-2017, that’s exactly how technologies and the entire IT Department were viewed — as infrastructure providers. We were not viewed as being able to enhance the core business/offerings of the institution. We weren’t relevant in that area. In fact, the IT Department was shoved down in the basement of the library. Our Teaching & Learning Digital Studio was sidelined in a part of the library where few students went to. The Digitial Studio’s marketing efforts didn’t help much, as faculty members didn’t offer assignments that called for multimedia-based deliverables. It was a very tough and steep hill to climb.

Also the Presidents and Provosts over the last couple of decades (not currently though) didn’t think much of online-based learning, and the top administrators dissed the Internet’s ability to provide 24/7 worldwide conversations and learning. They missed the biggest thing to come along in education in 500 years (since the invention of the printing press). Our Teaching & Learning Group provided leadership by starting a Calvin Online pilot. We had 13-14 courses built and inquiries from Christian-based high schools were coming in for dual enrollment scenarios, but when it came time for the College to make a decision, it never happened. The topic/vote never made it to the floor of the Faculty Senate. The faculty and administration missed an enormous opportunity.

When Calvin College became Calvin University in 2019, they were forced to offer online-based classes. Had they supported our T&L Group’s efforts back in the early to mid-2010’s, they would have dove-tailed very nicely into offering more courses to working adults. They would have built up the internal expertise to offer these courses/programs. But the culture of the college put a stop to online-based learning at that time. They now regret that decision I’m sure (as they’ve had to outsource many things and they now offer numerous online-based courses and even entire programs — at a high cost most likely).

My how times have changed.


For another item re: higher education at the 30,000-foot level, see:


Lifelong Learning Models for a Changing Higher Ed Marketplace — from changinghighered.com by Dr. Drumm McNaughton and Amrit Ahluwalia
Exploring the transformation of higher education into lifelong learning hubs for workforce development, with innovative models and continuing education’s role.

Higher education is undergoing transformational change to redefine its role as a facilitator of lifelong learning and workforce development. In this 200th episode of Changing Higher Ed, host Dr. Drumm McNaughton and guest Amrit Ahluwalia, incoming Executive Director for Continuing Studies at Western University, explore innovative models positioning universities as sustainable hubs for socioeconomic mobility.

The Consumer-Driven Educational Landscape
Over 60% of today’s jobs will be redefined by 2025, driving demand for continuous upskilling and reskilling to meet evolving workforce needs. However, higher education’s traditional model of imparting specific knowledge through multi-year degrees is hugely misaligned with this reality.

Soaring education costs have fueled a consumer mindset shift, with learners demanding a clear return on investment directly aligned with their career goals. The expectation is to see immediate skills application and professional impact from their educational investments, not just long-term outcomes years after completion.


 

It’s Time Higher Ed Become Financially Literate — from forbes.com by Brian Curcio

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

The Alarming Reality
Over the past 12 years, US student loan debt has quadrupled to a staggering $1.7 trillion. Nearly 44 million Americans carry an average debt of $37,718, and over 11 percent of aggregate student loan debt (pre-COVID) is more than 90 days delinquent.

This past year, the average public university student borrowed over $32,000 to receive a bachelor’s degree. However, only 11 percent of employers believe that a degree prepares students for the workforce. It’s a cruel irony: a $32,000 loan – not counting interest – for a degree that doesn’t prepare you for the career needed to repay the debt.


Another higher education-related item:

The IT Leadership Workforce in Higher Education, 2024 — from library.educause.edu by Mark McCormack

The IT Leader Workforce in Higher Education, 2024, aims to map the current contours of the IT leader workforce, understand its current challenges and opportunities, and reflect on what it all might mean for building a stronger workforce and—ultimately—a stronger higher education for the future.


 

 

Nearly half of companies say they plan to eliminate bachelor’s degree requirements in 2024 — from highereddive.com by Carolyn Crist
Many employers are dropping degree requirements to create a more diverse workforce and increase job candidate numbers, survey results show.

In 2023, 55% of companies removed degree requirements, particularly for entry-level and mid-level roles, the survey shows. Employers said they dropped these requirements to create a more diverse workforce, increase the number of applicants for open positions and because there are other ways to gain skills.

“Due to the expense of attending college, earning a bachelor’s degree is generally more difficult for people from traditionally marginalized groups and those from lower socioeconomic backgrounds,” Diane Gayeski, higher education advisor for Intelligent.com and professor of strategic communication at Ithaca College, said in a statement.

 

Nearly half of companies say they plan to eliminate bachelor’s degree requirements in 2024 — from highereddive.com by Carolyn Crist
Many employers are dropping degree requirements to create a more diverse workforce and increase job candidate numbers, survey results show.

Forty-five percent of companies plan to eliminate bachelor’s degree requirements for some positions in 2024, according to a Nov. 29 report from Intelligent.com.

In 2023, 55% of companies removed degree requirements, particularly for entry-level and mid-level roles, the survey shows. Employers said they dropped these requirements to create a more diverse workforce, increase the number of applicants for open positions and because there are other ways to gain skills.


Fitch Ratings issues deteriorating outlook for higher ed in 2024 — from highereddive.com by Natalie Schwartz
The credit ratings agency cited high labor and wage costs, elevated interest rates and uneven enrollment gains across the sector.

Dive Brief:

  • Fitch Ratings issued a deteriorating outlook Monday for U.S. colleges and universities in 2024, citing high labor and wage costs, elevated interest rates and uneven enrollment gains across the sector.
  • These challenges will limit colleges’ financial flexibility next year, according to the credit ratings agency. Moreover, Fitch analysts expect only a 2% to 4% uptick in colleges’ net tuition revenue and said tuition increases likely cannot counter rising operating expenses.
  • The outlook expects the divide to grow between large selective colleges and their smaller, less selective counterparts. “Flagship schools and selective private institutions are expected to experience relatively steady to favorable enrollment, while some regional public institutions and less-selective private schools in competitive markets have experienced declines,” according to the analysis.

Credit rating agencies split on higher ed outlook in 2024 — from highereddive.com by Jeremy Bauer-Wolf
S&P argues economic conditions will stress regional institutions, though Moody’s says the sector is stable overall.

Dive Brief:

  • Two credit rating agencies are somewhat divided in their outlooks for U.S. higher education in 2024, with one arguing the sector has stabilized, while the other forecasts tough economic conditions for less selective, regional colleges.
  • Revenue growth from sources like tuition and state funding looks promising, Moody’s Investors Service argued in an analysis Thursday. S&P Global Ratings, however, said Thursday that only highly selective institutions will enjoy student demand and healthy balance sheets. Their less selective counterparts face enrollment declines and credit pressures in turn, S&P said.
  • Both organizations agreed that labor shortages and similar challenges will squeeze colleges next year. Higher ed is contending with a boom in union activity, while widespread faculty tenure “remains a unique sector risk, limiting budget and operating flexibility,” Moody’s said.

 

 

 

More Chief Online Learning Officers Step Up to Senior Leadership Roles 
In 2024, I think we will see more Chief Online Learning Officers (COLOs) take on more significant roles and projects at institutions.

In recent years, we have seen many COLOs accept provost positions. The typical provost career path that runs up through the faculty ranks does not adequately prepare leaders for the digital transformation occurring in postsecondary education.

As we’ve seen with the professionalization of the COLO role, in general, these same leaders proved to be incredibly valuable during the pandemic due to their unique skills: part academic, part entrepreneur, part technologist, COLOs are unique in higher education. They sit at the epicenter of teaching, learning, technology, and sustainability. As institutions are evolving, look for more online and professional continuing leaders to take on more senior roles on campuses.

Julie Uranis, Senior Vice President, Online and Strategic Initiatives, UPCEA

 

3 Questions for Deborah Dougherty on Higher Ed’s Past and Future — from insidehighered.com by Joshua Kim
A conversation with the director of the Andison Center for Teaching Excellence at Alma College about higher ed in 2060.

From DSC:
I was hoping to see a bit more from Deborah’s answer to where she sees higher education (including Alma College) might end up 35 years from now. Her answer seemed like business as usual —  the status quo. Nothing will change (hopefully, in her perspective). If that’s the case, many will be shut out of higher education. We can do better. I don’t mean to bash a residential, liberal arts, collegiate experience. I worked for such an institution for 10 years! But it needs to be augmented. New business models. More access. 


Butler University launches two-year college with degrees free to most students — from chalkbeat.org by MJ Slaby

Students can earn an associate degree from Butler University at no cost to them, and continue on to earn a bachelor’s degree for $10,000, thanks to a new program.

On Friday, Butler announced it is opening a new two-year college on campus that will offer  associate degrees in business and allied health. The program will start enrolling students in fall 2025.

The program is focused on Indianapolis-area students from low-income backgrounds, including students who are undocumented. The university said in its Friday announcement that it wants to make college more accessible and affordable for previously underserved students, and help them navigate the college-going process.

 

 

Where a developing, new kind of learning ecosystem is likely headed [Christian]

From DSC:
As I’ve long stated on the Learning from the Living [Class]Room vision, we are heading toward a new AI-empowered learning platform — where humans play a critically important role in making this new learning ecosystem work.

Along these lines, I ran into this site out on X/Twitter. We’ll see how this unfolds, but it will be an interesting space to watch.

Project Chiron's vision: Our vision for education Every child will soon have a super-intelligent AI teacher by their side. We want to make sure they instill a love of learning in children.


From DSC:
This future learning platform will also focus on developing skills and competencies. Along those lines, see:

Scale for Skills-First — from the-job.beehiiv.com by Paul Fain
An ed-tech giant’s ambitious moves into digital credentialing and learner records.

A Digital Canvas for Skills
Instructure was a player in the skills and credentials space before its recent acquisition of Parchment, a digital transcript company. But that $800M move made many observers wonder if Instructure can develop digital records of skills that learners, colleges, and employers might actually use broadly.

Ultimately, he says, the CLR approach will allow students to bring these various learning types into a coherent format for employers.

Instructure seeks a leadership role in working with other organizations to establish common standards for credentials and learner records, to help create consistency. The company collaborates closely with 1EdTech. And last month it helped launch the 1EdTech TrustEd Microcredential Coalition, which aims to increase quality and trust in digital credentials.

Paul also links to 1EDTECH’s page regarding the Comprehensive Learning Record

 

More colleges are resetting tuition. Does the strategy work? — from highereddive.com by Danielle McLean
Some institutions have seen short-term enrollment gains from slashing their sticker prices, but the strategy doesn’t guarantee a turnaround.

But as more colleges take the tuition reset plunge, questions around the effectiveness of strategy remain. Some colleges have seen immediate and long-term benefits from the practice, with surging enrollments and applications. However, for many colleges, that growth tapered off over the next few years. And the resets were not enough to turn around the financial fortunes of every college.

“For some schools, they did it and maybe they were too far gone,” said Lucie Lapovsky, an economist and higher education consultant who’s worked with colleges on tuition resets. “Most of our private colleges in this country are challenged right now. It’s not easy.”


Student loan repayments have resumed. Here’s 4 charts that break down American educational debt — from cnn.com by Alex Leeds

As student loan payments resume this month, more than 43 million Americans carrying that debt saw the end of more than three years of relief from monthly payments. But the financial landscape in which they resume payments has shifted.

Researchers are still working to understand the impact that the pause had on borrowers’ finances, said Jonathan Glater, a professor at Berkeley Law and co-founder of the Student Loan Law Initiative.

“People who are precarious at the outset…will also be financially more precarious when the payment obligations resume,” Glater said.

Since 2003, student debt has been the fastest-growing form of household debt, increasing more than 500% over the two decades, far more than increases in mortgage and auto debt that occurred over the same period, according to data from the New York Federal Reserve Bank.

 

Regional Colleges Saw Biggest Application Gains After Tuition Resets — from insidehighered.com by Kathryn Palmer
A new report compared post-reset application growth at nationally known and regional institutions. 

Dozens of colleges and universities have dropped their sticker prices for tuition over the past decade, even as research has shown that tuition resets have a nominal influence on long-term enrollment increases. But a report released this week shows that regional colleges were more likely than nationally known institutions to see increases in applications after a reset.

“Students are more focused now on return on investment than they used to be,” said Devon McGee, a principal at Kennedy & Company, the higher education consulting firm that produced the report. Compared to bigger-name colleges, “A lot of these regional institutions are great liberal arts–type institutions, but they are less associated—fairly or unfairly—with preparing students for a job.”


Why hybrid learning needs hybrid faculties — from timeshighereducation.com by An Jacobs & Norma Rossi
Online courses should be integrated into everyday faculty functions to improve remote and in-person classes as well as the overall student experience


 
© 2024 | Daniel Christian