In recent years, there have been a number of calls to strengthen the country’s skilled workforce for a 21st-century economy in which new fields continue to emerge and competition is global. Higher education institutions play a key role in preparing a workforce capable of driving innovation, developing new technologies, and meeting the needs of industry. Just as colleges and universities must ensure that students advance a broad range of cognitive abilities, they must also be responsive to change, shaping programs that align with industry evolution and demand.
As New York City’s public university, The City University of New York (CUNY) has a special responsibility to educate a workforce that will build the city’s economy in the decades ahead. To ensure that CUNY is preparing graduates who can sustain New York City’s global leadership, the University must continually assess key sector needs and review its own academic programs and its approach to helping students secure work. To that end, CUNY Chancellor Matthew Goldstein formed a Jobs Task Force in the fall of 2011 to examine industry and labor force trends in several industry sectors that are of strategic importance to the University and New York City’s economy including: finance, insurance, and accounting; health care; higher education; information technology (IT); and media and advertising. Chancellor Goldstein asked the task force to answer the following key questions with respect to these five clusters:
1) What current jobs requiring a college degree are difficult to fill?
2) What are the jobs and skills of the future that require a college degree?
3) How can CUNY and other institutions of higher education better prepare students for the labor market today and in the future?
The New York City Labor Market Information Service (NYCLMIS) worked with CUNY’s Office of Academic Affairs to conduct the study which included analysis of labor market information, interviews with industry experts, and analysis of relevant literature. The resulting report, Jobs for New York’s Future, presents overarching themes, industry-specific findings, and recommendations made by the interviewed industry experts, as well as next steps recommended by the task force itself.