Part Two: Top ten higher ed trends to watch for in 2019

No crystal ball? No problem.

InsideTrack is keeping close watch on the direction higher education is heading in 2019. Learn more about the students heading to campus, get the facts on what they’re looking for and pick up some tips on keeping your support strategies state-of-the art.

Take a look at the five trends below, and catch up on the first five.

6. Career prep and guidance come from surprising sources

First, the good news: the 2018 Strada-Gallup Alumni Survey tells us that nine out of 10 college grads said they received some form of career advice while in college. Now, the less-good news, especially for those of us dedicated to providing strong student support: the same survey reports that only 30 percent found guidance from the career services office to be helpful or very helpful. Other folks on campus must be filling in the gap, since almost half of grads say that faculty and other staff did offer helpful job-minded advice. Looking ahead, institutions can enhance career resources and equip everyone on campus to provide employment-related advice, so no career gets left behind.

7. Career prep isn’t just for senior year

To ensure 100 percent of students get relevant, actionable career advice, institutions can integrate career preparation into the earliest stages of the higher education journey — even before it officially begins. In a paper delivered as part of Harvard’s 60-Year Curriculum Symposium, InsideTrack’s CEO Pete Wheelan advocated for providing career guidance as soon as students express interest in your institution, and to continue it past graduation to support ongoing career advancement.

8. Social-emotional skills become job market MVPs

We’ve long known that social-emotional skills can pave the way for higher education success. Developing noncognitive abilities like communication, problem-solving and goal-setting helps students overcome challenges to achieving their academic goals. Now we know that employers are asking for these skills, too. An employer survey from the Association of American Colleges & Universities found that oral communication, critical thinking and decision-making topped the list of skills employers are looking for in new hires. The trick is now to help students recognize the valuable social-emotional learning higher education gives them, and make sure they can market those skills to any hiring committee.

9. Home computers may go the way of the encyclopedia set

Remember when updating your annual encyclopedia set was the best way to get all the latest information? Well, some of you might not. Just like in the near future, many students may not remember gathering around the family desktop to access the only information hub in the house. That’s because cell phones are taking the place of the family computer. The Pew Research Center reports that 77 percent of Americans own smartphones — and for one in five Americans, a smartphone is the only way they access the internet at home. Apply this stat to student support, and the value of of multichannel communication becomes even more clear. Text messages and digital resources can increase student engagement and convey information how and when students are most likely to respond.

10. Being a student is just one of students’ many responsibilities

We’re glad you found time to read to the end of this list. Many of your students probably would have a tough time fitting it in to their jam-packed schedules. A survey from HSBC found that 85 percent of university students work while in school. Add in childcare commitments and other obligations, and you could have large numbers of students struggling to balance their future goals with the realities of life today. Student support can offer a twofold response to this challenge: coaches, advisors and other staff help students with time and stress management, while flexible and adaptive resources ensure that support is available whenever and wherever the student can use it.

Here at InsideTrack, we’ll continue to follow these trends throughout the year — and keep our ear to the ground for new insights that emerge as 2019 takes shape. Our student success solutions are designed to help institutions get ahead of the changes shaping higher education and keep student outcomes strong. From helping your staff better serve a new student population, to providing data-informed career support at all stages of the student journey, to ensuring your team is using the most up-to-date support strategies, we support you in becoming a trendsetter for higher ed success.

Read the other top trends shaping higher education in 2019 here

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