Op-Ed: Why business and higher education need each other

The radical realignment of workers known as the Great Resignation shook the business world. There are signs that it may be about to accelerate even faster, making labor shortages and difficulties in retaining talent permanent fixtures in our economy.

In higher education, we understand the difficult situation. From national demographic trends of declining enrollment to public perceptions that higher education may not be worth it, colleges and universities are facing pressures.

These changes have made one thing clear: business and higher education need each other as we seek to reinvent ourselves to meet market demands.

We are part of the same ecosystem. Small but innovative schools like Dominican are valuable sources of high-quality, talented labor because we serve local students who want to stay local. We are incubators of ideas and centers of collaboration and creativity.

Here’s how we can help you:

Entrepreneurship: here, you can specialize in it

Now is the time to collaborate in developing new pathways from university to career. According to a new survey conducted by Wakefield Research for Junior Achievement USA, approximately 60% of teens are more interested in one day starting their own business than in a traditional job.

This is why, at Dominican, we offer a comprehensive major in entrepreneurship. And it confirms what we know about the creativity and ambition of this generation. The next wave of Chicago startups are born here, supported by scholarships that fund student research, internships, and business concepts.

Micro internships are the next big thing

Want to access a larger pool of Chicago talent on a trial basis? Through our micro-internship program, you can hire students in a multitude of fields for short-term remote or in-person assignments.

For our students, many of whom balance work and family responsibilities in addition to their studies, it’s an opportunity to showcase their skills, explore career paths and network, even if they can’t access traditional internships due to busy schedules.

For our employer partners, it’s a way to get projects done while keeping senior executives focused on larger goals and discovering new talent in the process. And you help us to reduce the inequality of internships.

Need connections to a longer-term staffing solution? Recruitment events at schools like Dominican are your chance to access a diverse talent pool among our students, recent graduates, and experienced alumni. They are also a great way to increase your company’s visibility to the next generation of workers and customers.

Encourage employees to improve

Career progression is the top priority for millennials who expect to move up quickly, according to a recent pwc study, with 52% saying it’s the biggest draw to an employer ahead of competitive salaries (44%).

An established tuition rebate program helps your employees advance their skills and provides them with a direct path to advancement within your company. While you can leverage this advantage to recruit top talent, it can also be a powerful retention tool. We offer cohort tuition discounts and even the ability to customize programs to suit your unique needs.

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