careers education market changes

In a move that threatens to challenge the established model espoused by the country’s universities, Multiverse, the education start-up, has recently been given the power to award degrees to apprenticeships in subjects such as technology and data science, as reported in the Daily Telegraph earlier this month.

Multiverse will become the first apprenticeship provider to connect young people to training opportunities to be granted degree-awarding powers by the Office for Students, the University regulator. Whilst this appears to be a significant development, it is useful to look at some of socio-economic factors that have led to this this change.

How the job market has changed

The job market has changed significantly over the last two years, driven by the changing nature of consumer habits and the changing face of work in the face of a global public health emergency and more recently, a cost-of-living crisis. These have all caused massive reverberations — how people look for work, how they set themselves up for jobs that they want, or even how they think about jobs. Job seekers have all been impacted — and the same, of course, goes for employers.

Forbes, the global media authority, notes that these factors continue to impact our lives in many ways. This means that we will continue to see an accelerated rate of digitization and virtualization of business and society.

Drivers of digital transformation

As we move into a new year, the need for sustainability, ever-increasing data information, and increasing computer and network speeds will also continue to be important drivers of digital transformation. As a society, we will undoubtedly continue to harness this newfound openness to flexibility, agility, and innovative thinking, as the focus shifts from merely attempting to survive in a changing world to thriving in it.

For many years, getting to university has been seen by school leavers as the ultimate academic achievement, but many courses have failed to provide students with the practical skills that might prepare them for a rapidly changing job market, one that has increasingly started to embrace the digital tools we use every day. These include the ubiquitous voice assistants to language translation and tools that allow us to extract structured data from pictures, whiteboard scribblings, and hand-written notes. It also powers much of the robotic process automation that has enabled workloads to be lightened in admin, logistics, accounting, and HR departments. Whatever your career interest, industry choice or job function, you’re now likely to find there’s an AI-powered solution designed to make your life easier.

This, in turn, has driven the increase in technology careers, which by their very nature can be engaged with remotely, using the very digital tools that tech workers are building and helping to maintain. All of this presents an interesting opportunity for Multiverse and, more generally, the concept of an apprentice, which sits somewhere between a more standard recent graduate (or less experienced jobseeker) and someone who might still be studying and looking at internships to gain more experience.

Careers advice for a technology-based society

Finally, this will also have implications on how careers advice is shaped and disseminated. The old models are becoming increasingly outdated and irrelevant to meet this rapidly changing world. Careers providers will need to become more forward looking, anticipating new tech-based career opportunities. They will also need to become more empowering and more agile and allow job seekers to explore this world on their own terms, using the very tools that so many careers themselves now openly embrace. In other words, there is a real need for a new technology careers platform solution for a new technology-based society.