Developing Talent For The Digital Economy: The Business-Higher Education Forum Shows The Way
The Business-Higher Education Forum (BHEF) is setting the standard for how to craft partnerships between universities and private employers that address the talent needs of the nation’s workforce, particularly those enterprises requiring digital and technological skills.
Nearly 40 years old, the BHEF is a nonprofit membership organization comprised of Fortune 500 executives, major university presidents and other national educational leaders. In addition to its influential national policy voice, BHEF has focused on regional collaborations between its business and academic members that build durable degree programs, curricula and work-based learning in high-demand fields.
The maturation of BHEF’s work, supported in part by a five-year grant from the National Science Foundation, is exemplified in a recent report, Creating Purposeful Partnerships: Business and Higher Education Working Together To Build Regional Talent Ecosystems for the Digital Economy. The report details the BHEF partnership process and how it works to embed crucial skills in existing courses and majors as well as create new majors, minors and curricula that are tightly aligned with the knowledge, skills and abilities (KSA) that employers need. Six ongoing partnerships are highlighted:
Northrup Grumman and the University of Maryland (cybersecurity);
IBM and the City University of New York (data science and analytics and urban sustainability);
NextEra Energy and Miami Dade College (data science and analytics);
Raytheon and Northeastern University (IT and cybersecurity);
The Water Council and the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee (water science);
Boing and Washington University (engineering).