The Hechinger Report: Pressure mounts for universities to anticipate in-demand jobs

“Colleges and universities are already being called upon to anticipate areas of growth and supply and to help Americans learn the skills they’ll need to weather the impending recession.

Universities and colleges that have spent decades focusing on bachelor’s degrees have a new incentive to work with employers: They desperately need the revenue that comes from offering shorter-term programs to boost the employability of people who have been laid off, said Matt Sigelman, CEO of the labor analytics company Burning Glass Technologies.

With a devastating recession looming, compounded by state funding cuts and declining endowment returns, these institutions are expecting big drops in their numbers of tuition-paying conventional undergraduates.

“There are a lot of colleges that need to reposition right now,” Sigelman said. “You need to be able to bring in a new group of learners.”

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