The essence of how students are educated has drastically changed, leading many students to adopt new trends in higher education. Current trends show that many are foregoing traditional institutions and adopting study through online courses.
Many students feel a sense of freedom once they have graduated high school and look forward to receiving that first paycheck. Even though a college education also requires completing assignments and projects, there is more choice regarding what and how you want to study.
What Is Higher Education?
Higher education is generally considered any formal education beyond the high school level, which usually takes place at a college or another educational institution. Higher education opens many doors and gives you many options when applying for jobs. According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, the average salary for those who graduated last year was $72,173.
Once you’ve completed a few years at a post-secondary institution, you’ll be awarded a degree, diploma, or certificate. Extracurricular activities not only give you different experiences but also look good on your resume.
What Is the Current State in Higher Education?
The pandemic greatly affected the education sector, which has led to the prediction that a 15 percent drop in enrollment nationwide will result in a $23 billion revenue loss. SimpsonScarborough, a researcher for higher education, indicated a probability of a 20 percent decline in domestic undergraduate enrollment.
Currently, students are preferring online education and according to surveys, one-third of students enrolled in online colleges. SimpsonScarborough also stated that educational institutions could also feel financial impacts as 41 percent of students say they won’t continue college.
Impact of Remote Learning on Higher Education
Remote learning has both advantages and disadvantages. It gives students a lot more freedom and flexibility when it comes to their pace of learning. With the education landscape recently changing from institutions to homes due to Covid-19, there is also the safety aspect of staying home.
On the other hand, a study by IZA Institute of Labor Economics found that online learning can affect a student’s final grade by about 0.2 standard deviations. Some students find it challenging to focus on their coursework. In addition, they feel more disconnected from their peers and instructors.
Top Challenges in Higher Education
Higher education still faces challenges today. The effects of the virus have been far-reaching. Mental wellbeing has been a huge issue, which has led many students to not complete their programs in community colleges and other higher education campuses.
- Decline in international student enrollment: Each country had different mandates for controlling the virus. The US closed its borders to protect the population from imported cases, which resulted in the decline of international student enrollment.
- Increase in student loans: College student debt has is steadily one of the most pressing concerns in higher education. Students who don’t qualify for government financial aid are often required to take out student loans to cover the cost of education. These loans are notorious for being difficult to pay off.
- Gap in foundational skills: Each school has different learning outcomes and definitions of student success. Some universities might be too focused on job preparation, resulting in a lack of preparation for skill development. Many employers are looking for employees who excel in critical analysis, time management, and communication. Since these skills are not usually taught, students feel less confident after graduating.
- Transition to remote work: Recently, many formal education centers had to adjust their educational experiences. Some universities are still adjusting to management structures, administrative procedures, and communication routines. All of these variables have contributed to a difficult transition to remote learning.
- Decline in overall enrollment: Universities and schools have had difficulty reaching their enrollment target. When the world went into lockdown, many students scrambled to find jobs to help their families financially. Others found online jobs, while some began earning money through freelancing.
What Are Some Future Trends in Higher Education?
Higher education institutions are trying their best to adapt and change to a new learning environment. Some of these trends are still in the planning stage, but they will challenge the growth of community colleges, universities, and other higher education institutions.
Digital Learning Environment
It’s no surprise that universities and schools are adapting to a digital learning environment. This type of learning environment provides prospective students with access anytime and anywhere. Learning is now customized to suit individual learners using tools like laptops, tablets, and mobile devices.
Why Is This Trend Important?
This trend has a stabilizing factor in uncertain times. It increases learning opportunities that will remain stable when there are sudden, unforeseen changes. Education professionals facilitate effective digital learning environments. This allows students to communicate and collaborate, despite being in online programs
Student Mental Health
Mental health awareness is now becoming more visible in higher education. It has been difficult for students to live and work in the same, resulting in burnout in both students and teachers. Education providers prioritize student health by offering mental health services, allowing students flexibility for mental health, and providing mental health education.
Why Is This Trend Important?
The mental health needs of students and teachers need to be taken into consideration. Programs and support should be provided, and there should no longer be a stigma that surrounds mental issues.
Presence of Top-notch Technology
A lot of things have evolved during the pandemic, including technology. It is now expected that public and private colleges provide secure systems and robust networks to help students access resources anywhere.
Why Is This Trend Important?
Digital delivery of education should also include the training and development of teachers. Using tools like mass messaging alert platforms, chatbots, and virtual meeting software is now part of adapting to cutting-edge technology. This will also attract more enrollees, knowing that the school can provide what they need.
Technology is continually evolving, which affects future education industry trends. This means that traditional curricula need to be updated with the focus on providing skills for future careers. Sure enough, curricula is slowly evolving to be of and maintain relevance with our ever changing world.
Why Is This Trend Important?
This important trend can make professional goals possible for students. Students are equipped with industry-specific skill sets when education leaders create corporate partnership programs. It is also highly beneficial to initiate partnerships with civic leaders, local businesses, and lawmakers to create updated, relevant curricula for education students.
The pandemic may have negatively impacted people’s lives, but something good has come from it. Schools and colleges are now making sure that there’s a better sense of community and that students can still feel supported.
Why Is This Trend Important?
This trend is essential because institutions need to provide student engagement solutions to stir students’ interests and fellowship. Being in a virtual learning environment doesn’t mean that everyone has to be isolated. Now, higher education is collaborating with student affairs departments to organize interactive online activities.
Essential Higher Education Skills for Today’s Students
Employees are constantly looking for candidates with talent. Higher education trends show that learning exceeds degree programs. Learning the skills below will set you up for your future career.
- Time Management Skills: The shift in learning has forced students to learn how to manage their time to accomplish goals and tasks for the day. Being intentional with how you spend your time will contribute towards learner success.
- Communication Skills: Communication is an important life skill and can be divided into three components, verbal, nonverbal, and written communication. Students should practice addressing peers and professors with respect, even though it seems unnecessary in a chat or email.
- Critical Thinking Skills: It is important while doing your coursework to learn to think outside of the box. You don’t just look at the situation for what it is, but you learn to look at it from different angles to come up with a solution. Critical thinking skills are essential in the workplace, regardless of the field.
- Interpersonal Skills: Even online, there are opportunities to work together as a group. Group work helps you to develop interpersonal skills. This means you know how to share your opinions with others without offending them and receive criticism without getting offended. It also means being open-minded and accepting of others.
- Problem-Solving Skills: You can develop your problem-solving skills through practice and collaboration. People think differently, so getting someone else’s opinion on a problem helps to solve it.
Can a Coding Bootcamp Help Me Prepare for the Future of Higher Education
Coding bootcamps are one of the top trends in higher education. Bootcamps can help you gain skills in web development, user experience (UX) and user interface (UI), data science, and cyber security. With constantly-evolving technology, it is helpful to adapt and acquire new skills.
Top Higher Education Bootcamps
Below is a list of bootcamps that you can do while finishing your higher education. Most of these bootcamps are flexible, which will allow you to take them in your spare time. The main advantage here is that you’ll be able to add new projects to your professional resume.
|Flatiron School||Data Science||$16,900||In-person, online|
|General Assembly||Digital Marketing||$3,950||Online|
Current Trends in Higher Education: Take the Next Step in Your Career
There has been a lot of adjustment in these current trends in higher education, as remote learning has become inevitable. With the trends and challenges that aren’t always foreseen, institutions should always be open to evolving and adapting. Students are still in need of competency-based education, shaping how the future will look in the coming years.
Trends in Higher Education FAQ
A global trend in higher education is that institutions are switching to online learning. The current pandemic has forced educational institutions to provide virtual learning for students. Now, more people than ever before are turning to online learning for higher education.
Quality in higher education means that education covers students’ cognitive development, as well as social, mental, and physical development. This is regardless of race, ethnicity, or cultural background.
"Career Karma entered my life when I needed it most and quickly helped me match with a bootcamp. Two months after graduating, I found my dream job that aligned with my values and goals in life!"
Venus, Software Engineer at Rockbot
Improving higher education quality can be done by becoming student-centered and continually assessing the needs of students. This feedback can then be incorporated into creating new curricula.
Higher education is vital because it equips students to prepare for their careers in the next chapter of their lives. Students will learn foundational concepts and strengthen their soft skills like time management, creativity, and communication skills.
About us: Career Karma is a platform designed to help job seekers find, research, and connect with job training programs to advance their careers. Learn about the CK publication.