January 2017

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8 Mobility | January 2017 PERCEPTIONS PEGGY SMITH, SCRP, SGMS-T President and Chief Executive Offi cer Worldwide ERC ® Cheers, T he talent crunch continues. Employers are seeking every possible avenue to solve the skills and labor shortage, and increasingly, smart companies and universities are creating partnerships that serve them both. Companies need to identify and train employees, and universities need to increase enrollments. Two of the things that are happening at the corporate level—a need for training and for filling the talent pipe- line—make partnerships with universities a practical relationship. We know that training and professional development are growing in importance to employ- ees as recruiting tools and benefits. The Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce estimates that in the U.S. alone, companies spend $772 billion annually on postsecondary education and training. Classroom and online training dovetails nicely with corporate partnership programs, presenting a compelling and cost-effective outlet for adult learners seeking individual courses or full degrees. It's an effective marketing channel for universities, too—the ultimate two-way street that serves the corporation's engagement and education needs, and drives registration for the school as well. University and corporate partnership programs are not a new idea, but they're becoming more prevalent and innovative, with such options as discounted tuition rates that provide a degree at little or no cost to employees, offer university credit for prior learning, make use of corporate partners as adjunct professors, present curriculum that aligns with the corporate mission, and deliver opportunities for cross-promotion between the organization and the university. Degrees in international business and courses with a global focus have become a standard at the university level. And more recently, aligning with younger generations' entrepreneurial DNA, we're seeing coursework and degrees designed for those who want to try their hand at a startup and run their own companies. Universities are also tapping into younger generations' desire for doing meaningful work, maintaining transparency, and incorporating personal val- ues into their work experience, with a greater emphasis on studies that cover corporate social responsibility. If universities do well at maximizing these learning opportunities for students, they can open a universe of career opportunities to young professionals. From the University to the Universe

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