As the future of work looms, more universities offer life-long learning programs
- At the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business, learning is a lifelong proposition. To keep alumni competitive in the marketplace, MBA grads can take any executive level program tuition-free for the rest of their lives, the school says.
- The school's dean, Scott DeRue, recently spoke to Axios about his concern for grads in their 40s and 50s; their education provided skills and capabilities, but in a changing market, “retooling isn’t easy,” he said. Designed as a partnership for life between the graduate and the university, the school hopes to help them “retool before their job is destroyed,” DeRue said.
- Stanford University offers a somewhat similar program, Axios noted. Its “open loop university” allows students to take up to six years of classes on their own timetable and throughout their lives, rather than follow a traditional four-year college path.
The notion of lifelong learning lends itself well to upskilling employees for today’s needs and preparing them for jobs of the future. Employers are increasingly looking at employee career development as both a way to cultivate the workforce more effectively and as a retention tool, especially as more employees say they expect such development to be provided by their employers.
To stay ahead, more employers are opting for partnerships with various organizations, including universities. Educators are working with the business community to groom talent for jobs for the supply chain of the future, for example; other are working with tech companies to design courses for needed skills in an attempt to shore up the employee pipeline nationwide. Whatever the means employers use to achieve this goal, lifelong learning is likely here to stay as employees and employers alike struggle to keep up with an ever-changing workscape.