Higher-education professionals believe providing “a well-rounded education” is more important than preparing students for specific careers, while the public at large has the opposite opinion, according to research presented at the recent National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities meeting.
That difference may be causing some families to rethink whether it’s worthwhile to send their kids to college and could have an impact on future enrollment.
In an Inside Higher Ed blog post discussing the presentation, writer Michael Stoner noted that schools actually do incorporate more job-related skills and knowledge in coursework than students and parents might realize, but they often use statistical data to tout the value of study programs and research rather than describing the successes of their alumni and faculty.
“Telling better stories about what colleges and universities do and how they do it will help immensely,” Stoner wrote. He also agreed that institutions need to participate more often in public discussions and debates about the value of higher education.
An Education Dive brief also suggested schools should share more information on the percentage of recent graduates who obtain good jobs in their fields and identify which industries are most likely to hire grads from their programs.