Preparing students for the world of work

Today’s students face many challenges, especially when it comes to making sure they have the tools they need to succeed in today’s technology-driven workforce. In our latest piece of research among sixth form and undergraduate students, we found that leaving university adequately prepared for the world of work is a top priority for students in choosing where they study.

But currently, just under a third of undergraduates feel they’re getting their money’s worth or that their studies are relevant to the workplace, casting doubts over how well universities are preparing them for their careers.

It’s not just students demanding greater workplace skills. The CBI/Pearson Education and Skills Survey released earlier this month found that companies in the UK are unsatisfied with the growing skills gap among recent graduates, and they believe it could hold back UK business.

Most students are looking for courses developed in close collaboration with employers, and which provide opportunities to engage with these employers, so they are in the best position to get a job upon graduation. Nearly two-fifths of the students in our survey cited “employability” as a crucial factor for their decision to pursue higher education.

For many students, having the right technology in place can help bridge this gap. According to Professor John Heath, the University of Birmingham's Pro Vice Chancellor, the virtual learning environment at Birmingham has become “absolutely central to our educational offering”. The university firmly believes that a modern learning environment should be flexible and fluid — and that online systems can play a vital role in moving teaching away from static, rote learning. As the VLE of choice for Birmingham, Canvas powers the university’s collaborative and interactive learning environment where knowledge is applied to real situations and students think on their feet.

When students are empowered and encouraged to take control of their own learning, we believe a more engaged and well-prepared generation will enter the workforce, narrowing the skills gap and fuelling industries and economies with workers who have both the skills and the confidence to make meaningful contributions.

 

Keep learning,
Kenny Nicholl
Director of Higher Education at Canvas