Best Practices

Linking Academic Training to Business Needs

Published Jun 02, 2011

More degrees isn’t the answer to economic growth. Tailoring higher education to industry needs—that’s where we can make a difference in our state economies.

That’s the core finding from “Degrees for What Jobs?”, a recent report from the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices. The report underscores the importance of linking students’ academic training to marketplace needs and discusses how governors and policymakers are preparing their state’s workforce for twenty-first century jobs.

Degrees for What Jobs” recommends five action steps:

1.  Set clear expectations for higher education’s role in economic development 

2.  Emphasize rigorous use of labor market and other data to define priorities 

3. Encourage employers’ input in higher education  

4.  Require public education institutions to collect and publicly report impacts 

5.  Emphasize performance as an essential factor in funding

The report highlights a few states already moving in this direction. How does this relate to what’s happening in your state?