How 3 Experts Say Colleges Can Prepare Students for 21st-Century Careers

College and business leaders often refer to a “skills gap”—a shortage of qualified candidates to fill open jobs—or debate whether such a gap exists. What’s clear is that students who enroll in college, whether straight out of high school or at some juncture in their working lives, face a lack of information about which academic programs will lead to given career paths. And those programs may not prepare them for an evolving economy.

Last month The Chronicle invited five experts to our office, in Washington, for a roundtable discussion on integrating career development into the educational experience. They considered how to expand models of work-based learning and promote opportunities for all students.

A few stayed afterward to offer more advice: Edward Smith-Lewis, director of the Career Pathways Initiative at UNCF, the organization formerly known as the United Negro College Fund; Lakeisha Mathews, director of the Career and Internship Center at the University of Baltimore; and Jill Klein, interim dean of the School of Professional and Extended Studies at American University, where she also serves as an executive in residence in information technology and analytics. The full roundtable report is available free here.

This article originally appeared in The Chronicle of Higher Education, July 1, 2019.