November 5, 2021

How Schools Can Prepare Their Students for the Professional World

School Resources|Student Success
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What are the most important skills that students need to prepare for the 21st Century workforce? More importantly, how can educators, boot camps, and programs help kids gain these competencies? How are universities responding to preparing their students for future employment?

We’re going to break down the top ways schools can help prepare their students for the professional world.

1. Encourage Teamwork

One of the biggest things that students today need to succeed at work is the ability to work as a team. They need to understand how to communicate, compromise and share credit so that they can be a valuable contributing member to projects. This can be taught in school by encouraging teamwork on some projects and assignments.

Students who want a position of leadership should know how to work in teams, manage projects, and meet deadlines. While students may learn these skills in the workplace, there are steps teachers can take to help prepare them for these challenges. Teachers need to dispel the idea that working together is cheating or somehow not what happens in the professional world. In many workplaces, working in teams is a requirement for success. Students must be taught how to work in teams while honoring individual accountability. Part of that will be learning how to give and receive feedback constructively. The other part is self-awareness: an ability to monitor their own progress and realize when they could use coaching or additional materials.

2. Think Towards The Future

In many ways, real-life begins at graduation for students — they begin to put their knowledge into use and manage their own finances and life plans. So schools should focus not just on whether students have learned material, but where it will take students later. Will they be a financial, career, and personal success because of what they learned? And when students ask, “Will I ever even use this in real life?” have an answer — and an example of why they will.


3. Teach Complex Thinking Skills

In the current workplace, it’s not just about getting to the right end, but getting there by the best path. This is something that can be reinforced in colleges or bootcamps by giving students context for decision-making and solving problems.

Jobs in the modern workplace require innovation, creativity, and the ability to look at a task and not only see the outcome, but also imagine different ways to achieve it.  Colleges and universities need to do a better job of teaching these skills. They need to teach students how to think, not what to think.

4. Involve more employers with your school

Adding workplace skills to academic study benefits students, but it also has advantages for universities. Being in touch with employers helps enhance the profile of a university with employers and make them more likely to recruit there. In addition, many national ranking systems use some measure of employment success in their calculations.

Because it involves the students who get involved in a live interview with a real employer, it means that many more recruiters know about the university. Again, this is bound to feed into job offers and help increase the school’s notability.

5. Offer Alternative Financing

The Student Borrower Protection Center reported that outstanding traditional private student loan debt grew 71% in the last decade, outpacing auto loans, credit card debt, and mortgage debt. For many families, the economic pinch is making it even more difficult to qualify for private financial aid.

The private student loan market is dependent on FICO scores and cosigners, so if you don’t have parents with great credit scores that are willing to cosign for your traditional private loan, you’re likely not going to get approved for a private student loan.

There are even students with 700 FICO scores (normally high enough for approval at a good interest rate) being quoted 18-19% interest rates on their loans for college or being rejected outright if they don’t have a cosigner.

In other words, amid uncertain economic times, the barrier to entry into higher education has gotten even higher. News of these trends has spread to universities. A recent survey of university presidents from Inside Higher Ed found that 90% of respondents are concerned about a long-term decline in overall future student enrollment. 

Using Income Share Agreements, we can open the doors to higher education to millions of Americans that either went to college and dropped out because of lack of availability of traditional loans, or that never went in the first place.

By utilizing ISAs, programs have seen higher enrollment, improved retention, and accelerated completion.

Income Share Agreements are making strong headway in the education finance world. Being a financing option that can withstand economic uncertainties such as a pandemic makes them a good option for students and schools alike. 

To be successful today, students need certain skills and key traits to perform well in real-world settings. Teaching students the skills they need in today’s work world in college and bootcamps is important!


Meratas provides a full-service SaaS Platform for Schools and Skills-Training Courses to design, administer, and service custom ISA programs. We help institutions create impactful ISA programs designed to promote student accessibility and increase enrollment. 

Our programs are intended to incentivize students, schools, and capital providers to work together to promote and finance only the best educational programs that lead to more successful careers.

If you’re interested in offering an ISA option at your school or program that has been proven to increase student enrollment, there’s no better time to offer one than now! Click here to schedule a call with one of our ISA specialists and get your ISA program up and running today.

Although every effort has been made to provide complete and accurate information, Meratas Inc. makes no warranties, express or implied, or representations as to the accuracy of content contained herein. Meratas Inc

About the author

This post was prepared by the author, in her/his personal capacity. The views expressed are her/his own, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Meratas Inc.
The information contained in this site is general in nature and should not be considered to be legal, tax, accounting, financial or other professional advice. In all cases, you should consult with professional advisors familiar with your particular situation prior to making any important decisions. Although every effort has been made to provide complete and accurate information, Meratas Inc. makes no warranties, express or implied, or representations as to the accuracy of this content. Meratas Inc. assumes no liability or responsibility for any error or omissions in the information contained herein or the operation or use of these materials. Copyright 2022

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