I have worked at two fortune 100 companies that do appreciate their employees for how long they have worked at the company. But in neither instance did they receive any type of financial gain to support their dreams and obligations.
With this idea, would the employer provide some type of financial reward as a way of showing their appreciation?
Perhaps higher education should consider adopting some type of adjusted version of the K-12 21st century skills, https://k12.thoughtfullearning.com/FAQ/what-are-21st-century-skills
If a core set of skills of focused on, it won't matter what industry wants "this week". From the skills gap report you shared, the top three in my opinion are communication (written and spoken), critical thinking and leadership. This trio of skills is applicable to any field graduates may go into and are essential to living a prosperous and productive life.
I was able to develop these three core skills through hands on experiences rather than in the classroom through a lecture. To better prepare all learners for the needs of tomorrow, higher education needs to transition from a model that focuses on having students sit in a classroom where they study information to then regurgitate it for tests to one that teaches skills through hand on experiences.
Courses that impacted me the most were ones where I was challenged to do something without a clear path of how to do so. These challenges ranged from raising supplies for the homeless to interviewing professionals in careers of interest. In all these experiences, I gained experience in how to effectively communicate through the written and spoken word. I had to think critically of how to achieve the goal and developed leadership skills by working towards it.
One thing that I find wrong with higher education is the abundance of majors while not providing a means for students to explore options that may best suit them. By having an abundance of majors, it pigeonholes learners to learn just about that area. Although this may be ideal to be a specialist, it puts the student at a disadvantage long term. I have not looked for a study but it would be interesting to see what percentage of graduates actually obtain and maintain a career in their area of study. Having graduated over 10 years ago, my observation is that few do and over time people transition industries so many times that after a certain point their area of study no longer matters.
In today's day and age, it is naive to think that someone is going to stick in the same field their entire life. Over the years, I have met people that dedicated many years to studying law, medicine and business to then switch industries years down the road. This is why it is crucial that higher education adopts some list of core values to focus on for preparing all learns to better meet the needs of tomorrow.
This brings me to ask, what is the goal of higher education and why do people commit to obtaining a higher education?