Universities always aim to create tough, relevant, and inclusive curriculums that will serve as a solid foundation to provide the best education for students. A lot of effort is put into identifying courses and skills that are most pertinent to the current job market trends and employer expectations. For instance, educators, at one point, realized that soft skills were also of paramount importance for students make a mark in an organization after they get recruited, and so universities have integrated soft skills into their curriculums too.
Likewise, universities also research rigorously to identify academic skills that will be in demand in the long run. For instance, we all know that COBOL( common business-oriented language) has become irrelevant today, but the language was once invaluable to the business world. After programming languages like C, C++, and Java emerged to meet the contemporary needs of programmers and the pace of technological evolution, curriculum designers removed COBOL from their syllabus.
So what we’re trying to say is that universities should regularly review and alter their curriculums, taking into account the existing and potential demands of employers. But, due to the rapidly changing job market trends, universities often fail to identify the right courses and skills for their students at the right time, which is why students struggle to be job-ready. Students possess academic skills, but the skills fail to translate into career success. So, how will universities create job market ready curriculums for students?
The importance of curriculum development in education
The job market has become more global than ever. Today, any economic, social, or geopolitical change, in one part of the world, has the power to impact the job markets in the rest of the world. As a result, curriculum designers struggle to design curriculums that are both latest and long-lasting.
If a university doesn’t update its courses and other academic offerings continuously, then the graduating students will not possess the ‘must-have’ skills. Each time a breakthrough is made in a field, be it art, science and technology, business, or marketing, universities should identify and add courses around the developments made. Curriculum development in education should be a continuous process.
Apposite curriculums will motivate students to feel more confident about their choice of courses, stick to the courses they choose and not keep switching between courses, learn skills that will make them job-ready, and land their dream job after graduating. Students wouldn’t drop out of college if they knew they’d surely get the job they want if they completed the course they chose.
On the other hand, curriculum development in education can improve the revenue of universities also. If universities identify the skills with high-returns and immediately include the recognized courses in their curriculums, they will see almost all their graduates bagging a good job. Such universities will undoubtedly attract students from foreign countries too, significantly increasing the student enrollment rate. Higher revenue will help a university to hire a more experienced faculty, undertake research and development, and afford state-of-the-art amenities and infrastructure.
The approach to strategic curriculum development
By now we know the importance of curriculum development in education and how it plays a prominent role in driving student success and improving a university’s overall ranking as a seat of learning. But we also know that the traditional method of creating curriculums does not fit well into the current dynamic labor market scenario. So, what could be the solution? The answer to this lies in harnessing the power of big data and machine learning.
Using the potential of a predictive analytics platform, course planners will get inclusive insights into how well a particular course is aligned with the ‘hot’ job market trends. But, universities do not have a dedicated team of tech-savvies who can build such a platform for them. Also, hiring a team of experts to develop an in-house predictive model is not an ideal option, both economically and strategically.
To fix this gap, universities can opt for vendors who can create niche and robust analytics platforms especially for the educators. But hiring vendors isn’t a cheap affair too. Besides, for vendors to deliver the expected outcomes, they must have a thorough understanding of the university’s strategy and motives. Hence, universities should choose their vendors wisely.
However, in today’s technology-driven world, we also have a lot of applications flooding the market. Universities can leverage education analytics tools like Talismatic that are easy-to-use and serve the need of educators for insights like no other approach can.
Earlier, curriculum designers studied only the current labor market trends or took inspiration from trends in the past to create curriculum. But the changing market of today has created the need for insights that describe the employer demands not just today but also predict the demands of the future.