December 5, 2023

On January 26, leaders from the public and private sectors joined Coursera discussion of the skills needed for employment in 2023 and for. Using knowledge from Work Skills Report 2023 as a springboard for discussion, panelists shared their perspectives on balancing human and digital skills development, the role of micro-commissioning in educational journeys, gaining stakeholder participation in educational programs, increasing student engagement, and creating public partnerships. and the private sector.

Here’s a summary of some of the key takeaways from the discussion with Katie Dawson (AVP, Academic Innovation & Learning at the University of Louisiana System) and Daniela Proust (SVP, Head of Global Learning and Growth at Siemens) moderates Coursera’s Bradley Lawrence (Senior Director, Customer Success).

Balancing digital and people skills

Balancing human and digital skills in vocational training programs requires tailoring learning opportunities to the specific needs of target groups while taking into account the evolving demand for digital skills in the labor market. This can be achieved by leveraging the expertise and infrastructure of organizations that have successfully integrated digital skills into their training programmes. For some organizations, designated internal curators can help align the skills needed within their respective functions.

“What [digital skills] means is by context and then [is] best understood by relevant experts in the field. Within Siemens, we have more than 700 curators. And they come from all functions, from all businesses, from all regions. And they help us adapt educational opportunities to the needs of their target group.”

— Daniela Proust, SVP, Learning and Growth, Siemens

“We see that digital skills are absolutely something that our students will need moving forward, they are things that our teachers and staff need to upskill on. Thus [certification] programs offer us the opportunity to borrow infrastructure from organizations that have figured this out and provide those tools to our students, which in turn will help them get jobs when they leave.”

—Katie Dawson, AVP for Academic Innovation and Learning, University of Louisiana System

Professional certificates and educational paths

In both the public and private sectors, a personalized approach to skills development that recognizes the different goals of individual learners is essential to ensure the effectiveness of programs.

“In our system, we’re looking at how to incorporate industry values ​​and the changing landscape of the industry into our programs… I think the certificates are the next wave of what allows us to work together [with the private sector] more efficiently.”

—Katie Dawson, AVP for Academic Innovation and Learning, University of Louisiana System

“The trick is… [learning] becomes highly individualized…and so we have to build everything in a much more modular way so that people can build their relevant potpourri of, I would call it, educational opportunities that then lead to a more structured approach—a really long way, including certification or even to some degree and everything in between…”

— Daniela Proust, SVP, Learning and Growth, Siemens

Get support for tutorials and encourage student engagement

Ensuring participation and engagement in skills development programs requires leadership support, bottom-up innovation and personalized communication that emphasizes ownership of the individual learning journey. The result is great people experiences and a deeper understanding of individual needs and ambitions.

“You absolutely want to have leadership support, you absolutely want to have organizational support, but if you believe in the power of your people and believe that they are capable and competent, good initiatives like this will rise to the top… when your innovators have good ideas, whatever they are influencers.”

—Katie Dawson, AVP for Academic Innovation and Learning, University of Louisiana System

“How do you engage people? It is through great experiences for people and through meaningful communication that speaks to them [so] that they understand that it starts with them. Learning starts with you. You need to know who you are, what is important to you, where your strengths are, as well as where your career ambitions may lie. If you are happy in your role, what might you want to work on or what could be [the] another interesting leap you want to take?”

— Daniela Proust, SVP, Learning and Growth, Siemens

Partnerships between the public and private sectors

The public and private sectors must work together to support the development of skills needed to employ individuals. This requires a shared understanding of shared goals and a focus on creating opportunities for learning and career progression. Effective collaboration can take many forms, including public-private partnerships that support research and development, innovation, hands-on training and certification programs.

“I think we need to continue to talk — industry, higher education, government — because I think we have a lot more commonalities than differences … we’re actually trying to provide our constituents with the same experiences, that individual enthusiasm for learning, that resilience , that persistence to not only continue your education with us, but also to pursue a great career, whether in government, industry, or what have you.”

—Katie Dawson, AVP for Academic Innovation and Learning, University of Louisiana System

“I think we’re in this together. If I look at it from a corporate or company point of view, again it’s quite multi-layered. We work globally with key universities in research and development, creating new innovations, and we have a strong heritage here that works very well. And this often goes hand in hand with some public authorities, with ministries that then operate in a certain area. So I think it’s almost like public-private partnerships that happen across the board.”

— Daniela Proust, SVP, Learning and Growth, Siemens

See the full Job Skills of 2023 discussion to learn more about how you can use your curriculum to meet today’s employment needs.

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