As the lines between the human and digital world become blurred, today’s students worry that the skills they learn today won’t be relevant in the future.
That anxiety seems to be warranted. According to the report entitled ‘The Future of Jobs’ produced by the World Economic Forum, 65% of today’s primary school children will be employed in jobs that don’t currently exist. Nearly a decade ago, Bath Spa University’s professor of creative writing, Andrew Hugill, listed 10 jobs that didn’t exist then that are now commonplace. The list, which includes titles like virtual environment engineer, gamification consultant and data ecologist, is the perfect example of how quickly things can change.
So, how can higher education institutions prepare students for a world of work that evolves in leaps and bounds? More importantly, how do universities earn the trust of prospective students by assuring them their skills will be future proof? These are the questions we’re searching for answers to in today’s post.
It’s in the detail
To stay relevant, universities must make sure their marketing materials link course outcomes to the future of industries. Your course brochures and landing pages are critical tools for doing this, allowing you to go in-depth on the different ways that you can prepare students for the future of work. Remember that Generation Z is hyper-aware of their place in the global narrative – they are more connected than any generation before them. Your copy needs to capture their aspirations as well as assuage fears with concrete language.
This isn’t always easy in a rapidly changing landscape. And you certainly can’t be making promises you can’t deliver on. So what does good course copy look like?
We particularly like the course copy over at Warwick University’s Computer Science BSc which directly engages with the topic of industry change, offering students the skills to “adapt to change and new developments throughout your career”.
“In short, while we teach using many of the latest technologies, our emphasis on fundamentals will prepare you to engage with any technology. You’ll work closely with industry leaders, enabling you to develop industrially relevant subject knowledge and transferable skills, such as teamwork, communication and planning.”
It’s in your brand story
This kind of copy is great at future-proofing. But it’s not the only tool you have in your arsenal. The brand your institution cultivates through your marketing, press exposure and publishing is an equally powerful tool. Why? These stories can position you not just as the followers of industry trends, but the drivers of them. After all, the best way to predict the future is to create it.
Find your most inspiring research stories and put them front-and-centre. They can be contemporary research stories showing how you’re pushing today’s barriers just like this great piece from KAUST University:
Or, tell the story of how your institution has changed the course of history through its research. King’s College London does a great job of this by highlighting its notable alumni and the amazing work they’ve done. These stories pop up in the most interesting places, such as the side of their Strand Campus Building.
Don’t miss an opportunity to engage with the world of tomorrow. From your social media profiles to your postgraduate prospectus, show that your university is the one pushing the boundaries of science and art to make sure today’s students have a place in tomorrow’s world. Because showing – not telling – is how you’ll attract attention.
To learn more about The Brand Education’s assessment of the current HE landscape, get in touch with us by email. We’re always excited to hear from education experts looking for new ways to engage prospective students.