Wednesday, October 04, 2023 | Rabi' al-awwal 18, 1445 H
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Bridging the Gap Between the Education and Future Skills

A look at the Academe

With future skills, there are several key reasons that the educational gap has been a major issue in the debate. Despite all the efforts focusing on curriculum development to keep pace with the global changes and employer expectations, today’s requirement labor market is ever-changing which should be taken into consideration. In Addition, it should be looking at the economic variables and requirements of the new generation of students.

In light of a rapidly changing ‘labour landscape’; (Bongomin et al, 2020) stated that the current university education framework finds context in the preceding three industrial revolutions. "Demand for ‘generalists’ is likely to be higher than that of ‘specialists’ in most industries", that is making it imperative for academic institutions to identify skills and abilities needed and produce graduates with deeper skills and knowledge which is required in the future labor market. On the other hand, researchers show that students have insufficient skills needed for future occupations, which specifically confirms that a gap exists between the skills needed in the job market and the competencies and skills they have upon graduation. for instance, the questionnaire results of (Zeidan& Bishnoi, 2020)' study showed that students "believed it was hard to relate theory and application during an internship. Results also demonstrate that even for the purposes of ‘internship readiness’, the respondents were expected to have knowledge of latest applicable software and techniques applicable in the industry. Moreover, only 22% of the undergraduates believed that industry expectations could be met, whereas 78% stated otherwise. Undergraduates opined that their existing knowledge of accounting methods was outdated, while the Business administration undergraduates felt their knowledge of marketing theories was outdated".

According to the report of (the global skills gap in the 21st century), the gap between education and future skills is a global and widespread issue. The report identifies the biggest burden educational institutes face. Referring to the view of Stephen Isherwood “the pace of change in the workplace is ever increasing, so graduates need to ensure they are developing the skills and abilities that will not only empower them to land the job of their choice but also allow them to thrive as their career develops.” To that end, it’s imperative that educational institutes equip graduates qualified, and trained for the world of work. Soft skills, like leading a team and making a decision, is an equally important aspect of technical skills and knowledge acquired during a degree. This could help bridge the gap between students, and future skills. Moreover, it provides a clear look at which skills and behaviors need to improve.

In conclusion, as there is a requirement of alignment curriculum and set up to keep pace with the future jobs' continuous changes, researchers and educators hoped to make up the gap through curriculum content either through self-funded external training programs, or more internships. Additionally, must stress on skill-based curriculum with emphasis on developing soft skills. "Witnessing Curriculum revamping to match the rapid tempo of scientific and technological advances and develop graduates who can constantly reinvent themselves and exhibit creativity are imperative" (Zeidan& Bishnoi, 2020).

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