Voices and Viewpoints

Improving Employment Outcomes for Students Through Employer Engagement

by Heather L. Fox / Oct 24, 2014

Are your programs aligned with what employers want?

Business and industry involvement in the development of programs of student and the ongoing improvement of programs of study is an important strategy to ensure that students who graduate from these programs have the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to secure living-wage employment. As information and accountability around graduate employment rates are becoming increasingly commonplace colleges are looking for models to improve engagement with business and industry to ensure their graduates have a competitive in the job market.

Matt Glover, Senior Director, Global Information Technology, AMX and BILT Chair; Ann Beheler, Executive Director of Emerging Technology Grants, Collin College; and Glenn Wintrich, Dell Innovation Leader, BILT Chair Emeritus.

 The National Information, Security, and Geospatial Technology Consortium (NISGTC) have embraced the strategic engagement of business and industry through their development of Business and Industry Leadership Teams (BILTs). These diverse teams of business and industry leaders provide valuable insight on both what skills and abilities they are looking for in new employee and the trends that will impact employment among their graduates. “The BILT allows college to get industry leadership on curriculum to better prepare students to be workforce ready upon graduation,” explained Matt Glover, Senior Director, Global Information Technology, AMX and BILT Chair.

The guidance provided by these national BILTs is combined with that provided to colleges by their local advisory committees. In combination, the guidance from business and industry is used to improve the rigor and efficacy of their programs of study and to capitalize on new emerging trends in the industry. Read the Business & Industry Leadership Team Strategies for Transformative Change Brief to learn more about the BILT model.

What strategies are you using to engage business and industry in program development and enhancement? Have you seen improvements in employment for graduates?  How did you capture and report these results to your employer partners and other stakeholders?

Heather L. Fox is a doctoral student in Human Resource Education at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and currently serves as project coordinator for the Pathways Resource Center and OCCRL.

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