Colleges are increasingly being judged by how well they prepare students for jobs and careers after they leave, and in response, most are trying to adapt their programs and offerings to align with the needs of employers. How are they doing?

This week’s episode of The Key uses two recent studies (from Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce and from the Upjohn Institute) as a jumping-off point for a larger conversation about how colleges and universities are responding to the growing pressure to prepare learners for work.

Our guest is Michelle Van Noy, an associate research professor and director of the Education and Employment Research Center at Rutgers University campus in New Brunswick. In a wide-ranging conversation, she discusses the complex set of factors that make easy answers hard to come by in this realm, the differing expectations of different types of institutions, the roles that employers and learners themselves have as well as institutions, and the emergence of skills-based hiring, among other topics.

The Key is hosted by Inside Higher Ed Co-founder and Editor Doug Lederman. This episode is sponsored by the Gates Foundation.

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