Bentenbi is a knowledgeable Associate Professor with expertise in information and emerging technologies. Her career has been marked by academic leadership roles in higher education institutions in her home country, Algeria. She showed a knack for curriculum development and program accreditation in both master’s and doctorate grades. She excels at inspiring and motivating faculty and learners and promoting collaboration among diverse stakeholders with effective communication. She has been leading a research team accredited by the Algerian Ministry of Higher Education that focuses on digital transformation, data literacy, and internet user behavior besides her academic career. She is also a speaker and trainer, sharing her knowledge globally with audiences from various sectors and countries. Whether it’s higher education, government organizations, libraries, information institutions, or corporate entities, her dynamic presentations and training sessions leave a lasting impact. She trains entrepreneurs in Cameroon, Nigeria, and other countries.
Developing career readiness involves gaining skills, like communication, teamwork, problem-solving abilities, creativity, and critical thinking. As the job market evolves, higher education institutions must prioritize nurturing these core competencies. This entails incorporating technology and digital skills into the curriculum while providing hands-on learning opportunities and career readiness programs. Simultaneously employers should collaborate with institutions to ensure that their curricula align with job requirements, thereby bridging the skills gap. Additionally, students must embrace learning to adapt and thrive in the workforce. This article aims to elucidate how students can acquire these skills through education, internships, and career services. Furthermore, it underscores the role of employers in narrowing the skills gap. Emphasizes the imperative for learning.
Navigating Digital Transformation in Higher Education
Digital transformation has had an impact on education bringing about increased flexibility, personalization, and global connectivity. Simultaneously it has empowered individuals to access and acquire skills effectively bridging any expertise gaps and ensuring that the workforce remains adaptable and competitive in a changing job market. The field of education technology (edtech) to name a few, is revolutionizing the industry with its courses, digital resources, and virtual reality simulations. Edtech plays a role in bridging skill gaps well. For instance, programs like P- TECH are instrumental in helping students from underserved areas get both a high school diploma and an associate degree in a technology-related field.
P-TECH teams up with local businesses to equip students with relevant skills and prepare them for their community’s workforce needs. Another successful example is the Oxford University Internship Program, which connects students with businesses to gain practical experience in their field of study. Since its launch in 2018, the program has helped over 800 students secure internships with top employers. That said, embracing digital transformation can help higher education become more inclusive, innovative, and career-focused for future generations.
Internships, Experiential Learning, and Career Services in Higher Education
Higher education institutions play a role in preparing students for careers. One effective way to achieve this is by providing learning opportunities, such as internships and co-op programs. These experiences allow students to gain real-world exposure and valuable insights into their chosen fields. Students who engage in experiential learning are more likely to land a job that matches their career aspirations. Internships often lead to job offers, as employers prefer candidates with experience.
Providing career services is crucial for educational institutions to help students with their professional journey. These services should include help with job searching, resume building, interview preparation, and networking opportunities. Developing connections can be pivotal for job seekers in industries. By implementing initiatives, colleges and universities not only enhance their reputation but also attract more students while fostering strong relationships with industry partners.
The Role of Employers in Bridging the Skills Gap
Colleges and universities prepare students for their future careers, while employers also have a significant role in reducing the skills gap. Employer-driven initiatives that focus on career readiness and diversity empower students for work opportunities. These may include job fairs, mentorship programs, and internships with leading companies. When organizations and higher education institutions team up, they can help students become top talents and create a supportive environment for ongoing learning and personal development.
The Importance of Lifelong Learning
To stay relevant in the workforce, individuals must keep upskilling and reskilling. Considering this, ongoing learning and development have emerged as a necessary and valuable component of modern-day employment. There are sufficient benefits of upskilling and reskilling for enhancing career prospects. For one, it can significantly boost employability by increasing one’s market value and making them more attractive to employers. It can lead to faster career progression from academia to industry and move into higher-paying positions. Upskilling and reskilling can increase confidence and job satisfaction. But who handles this ongoing learning and development? The answer is everyone–from educational institutions to employers and individuals themselves. Firstly, educational institutions should ensure they continually update their curricula and provide their students with ongoing learning opportunities. Second, employers, too, should prioritize training and development opportunities for their employees. Finally, individuals must be proactive about their learning and invest time, energy, and resources into bolstering their skill sets.
In summary, the changing landscape of higher education and today’s job market require individuals to develop skills and prepare for their careers differently. The new paradigm emphasizes abilities, like communication, teamwork, problem-solving, creativity, and critical thinking. In order to address the skills gap, educational institutions should focus on incorporating technology and digital skills into their curriculum and career readiness programs.