The Work-Ready Graduate

College and universities are at an inflection point as employers are increasingly looking outside of higher education to recruit talent for their organizations. What they want is new talent who are essentially work-ready and possesses those requisite capabilities that are responsive to their current needs. A changing labor market, unfavorable demographics, and the rise of alternative pathways are all putting pressure on higher education to adapt to a new set of market conditions. In Part I, six unrealized opportunities are identified that offer the potential for meaningful reforms that can stem the tide and preserve the pre-eminent position of higher education as the preferred source for developing tomorrow’s workforce.

In Part II, we draw on our experience from creating the Business in Practice program at the Peter T. Paul College of Business and Economics at the University of New Hampshire. The program offers over 70 two-credit courses each academic year to provide a bridge between the core curriculum and current business practices. Taught by industry professionals, each course is designed to leverage their background and tacit knowledge to accelerate the professional development of our students. Supported by examples, we introduce the idea of practice-based learning, discuss how to develop courses in collaboration with working professionals, and share some of the challenges and successes associated with a program of this scale and scope. Our goal is to inspire colleges and universities to welcome industry professionals in partnership to truly develop a work-ready graduate. 

Creating the next generation of thinkers and doers.

You can visit the Springer Website to view the complete table of contents.

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Neil B. Niman

Associate Professor Emeritus

Jennifer R. Chagnon

Associate Director, Business in Practice