We all know technology is affecting every industry. But perhaps none more so than higher education. The necessity of a four year degree is being seriously challenged. There is a growing sentiment that you can earn six figures without going to college. It’s time to start thinking differently about higher education executive hiring.
In a recent CNBC survey, 44% of Americans don’t believe a four year degree is worth the cost. And according to US News and World Report, a software developer is the number one job across all fields. It pays well, is in high demand, and you don’t need a four year degree to learn to write code.
Another challenge facing university administrators is financial solvency issues. The widening wealth gap in the US means fewer families can afford college, and for those that can, competition between universities is heating up, costing more in advertising to attract the best and brightest students.
Risk & Insurance recently noted, “Higher education faces a similar challenge today. For the majority of colleges and universities, the traditional model is broken in at least four areas:
- The academic culture is largely isolated from the realities faced by parents, students, politicians, and society.
- Professors are languishing in a career field where they struggle on all sides.
- Too many courses and teaching methods are on life support.
- The role and value of academic research is problematic.
And according to a recent opinion piece in the New York Times, paying for a college education for many may not be a wise investment.
This is a serious risk management situation, at least as seen by Harvard professor Clayton Christensen. He predicts bankruptcy or forced merger of half of all U.S. colleges and universities in the next 10 years.” One school that was on the verge of closing may be the beacon for the future, “It will cut in half the number of major programs and shift the curriculum to courses that better reflect student academic interests and careers. Topics will address sustainable systems, leadership, persuasion, and decision making in a data-driven world.”
Deloitte’s 2018 Higher Education Industry Outlook notes, “…it is more critical than ever that leadership employ strategies for approaching change and modernization proactively.” Among the challenges listed are meeting students expectations for the modern world and adopting a digital and analytics approach, “Today’s leading universities employ staff and faculty who are digitally savvy and expect the same on-demand experience at work that they enjoy in their personal lives.”
Hiring for higher education is more complicated than ever before. Finding the right candidates requires more than a job posting. To be competitive in today’s market, you need an executive recruiting partner. At Sheer Velocity, our recruiters can help with your higher education needs. We will help you identify the best and brightest candidates who have chosen to pursue leadership positions outside the corporate arena. We understand the passions and motivations that drive these executives. To learn more or speak with us about a current opening, send us a note, and we’ll work with you to achieve your specific needs.