July 17, 2015: Friday news roundup

Wow, another week come and gone… is it just us or is this summer flying by? Enjoy this week’s roundup and hope you have fun in the sun this weekend.

Why Higher Ed and Business Need to Work Together
Some interesting research here from the IBM Institute for Business Value reinforces that there’s a skills gap between what’s learned in college and what’s required on the job. For example, about half of the survey respondents said the current higher ed system fails to meet student needs and an even higher percentage (60%) believe it fails to meet the needs of industry.

Is the On-Demand Economy the Future of Work?
As the so-called “sharing” or “gig” economy grows, there’s more and more debate (and lawsuits) over whether this model truly benefits 1099 workers or mainly just the companies putting them to work. This column explores the pros and cons and concludes by asking a lot of weighty questions about what the future holds.

One Entrepreneur’s Plan to Transform Africa
In this interview, entrepreneur and leadership development expert Fred Swaniker shares his thoughts on the business climate in Africa, how it differs from the image we see in American media, and why he believes “The only thing that drives prosperity and job creation and brings people out of poverty is entrepreneurship.” Education is the key to empowering today’s African teenagers to become “the next African Steve Jobs or Bill Gates.”

Rich Kids Study English
All the buzz seems to be about how we need to encourage more kids to study STEM subjects in order to fill the tech-driven jobs of tomorrow. So, who are the students majoring in liberal arts and humanities anyway? According to this article, based on data from the National Center for Education Statistics, it’s the children of wealthy parents, who don’t need to worry so much about being job-ready upon graduation.

Men Think They are Maths Experts, Therefore They Are
Speaking of STEM subjects, there’s a well-worn trope that men are better than women when it comes to numbers and that’s one possible reason why tech and science fields remain predominantly male. Turns out this is yet another example of the “confidence gap” — women are just as qualified and capable but lack self-belief and, therefore, are less likely to pursue careers in those areas. Imagine what could be accomplished if people let go of their stereotypes!