Bentley Hosts Event on the Future of Work and How Colleges and Employers Can Partner to Prepare Students for Careers in the Innovation Economy

Career Climbers / 13th November 2017

More than 90 percent of students say they go to college to improve their job prospects. But the skills that employers want don’t always match the skills that students are learning in college. On Nov. 9, Bentley University partnered with The Chronicle of Higher Education and Strada Education Network to host “The Future of Work: The Path from College to Career,” an event exploring how universities and employers can work together to prepare the workforce of the future. 

“A close partnership between higher ed and employers is essential at a time when graduates are heading into a fast-changing economy where they need to be prepared for jobs that don’t even exist yet,” said Gloria Cordes Larson, president of Bentley University and the author of PreparedU: How Innovative Colleges Drive Student Success.

The event, held on the Bentley campus, brought together college administrators, corporate executives and students to discuss the innovative practices and real-world challenges in putting students on the path to fulfilling careers. The program included:

Panel: “How Employers See the Challenges: A Conversation with Experts from a Diverse Set of Industry Sectors” 

  • Moderator: Goldie Blumenstyk, senior writer at The Chronicle of Higher Education
  • Panelists: Jessica LoDolce, senior director of financial planning and analysis at Thermo Fisher Scientific; David Lucey, vice president of talent acquisition at Epsilon; and Bruce Soltys, 2nd Vice President for Talent Acquisition at Travelers.

Interview: “Helping Low-Income Students Enter the Workforce”
The barriers that first-generation students encounter in the transition from college to career, and how can institutions help them.

  • Scott Smallwood, managing editor at The Chronicle of Higher Education
  • Guest: Hector M. Rivera Jr., M.S.M., M.B.A., chief operations officer at Our Piece of the Pie 

Interview: “The Road to Career Success”
The Chronicle sat down with Strada Education Network to discuss the most common challenges for graduating students in connecting with employers.

  • Moderator: Scott Smallwood, managing editor at The Chronicle of Higher Education
  • Guest: Michelle Weise, Senior Vice President, Strada Education Network

Panel: “How Colleges are Responding: Experts from Academe Weigh In” 
Local university leaders debated best practices and new innovations in preparing students to enter the workforce.

  • Moderator: Scott Carlson, senior writer at The Chronicle of Higher Education
  • Panelists: Scott Latham, PhD, vice provost, innovation and workforce development
    at University of Massachusetts Lowell; and Susan Sandler Brennan, associate vice president, university career services at Bentley University

Bentley’s market research has demonstrated that employers want multi-faceted employees who possess the essential “hard” technical skills such as software development and data analysis coupled with traditional “soft” skills like communication and collaboration. 

Read more about the skills that graduates need to future-proof their careers

“Higher education should focus on preparing graduates with the skills and knowledge that will give them an edge in the workplace,” said President Larson. “This means combining left-brain and right-brain thinking, integrating hands-on learning experiences with classroom learning, and exposing students to the technologies they need to be successful in today’s evolving economy.”

Read more about what colleges and universities should be doing to drive student success


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