Rethinking Higher Education: Focusing on Skills and Competencies

Gerstein, Miriam and Hershey H. Friedman (2016), “Rethinking Higher Education: Focusing on Skills and Competencies,” Psychosociological Issues in Human Resource Management 4(2): 104–121

18 Pages Posted: 25 May 2016

See all articles by Miriam Gerstein

Miriam Gerstein

Brooklyn College

Hershey H. Friedman

Brooklyn College of the City University of New York

Date Written: May 24, 2016

Abstract

The perceived purpose of college education keeps shifting. There was a time that its purpose was seen as teaching ethics/morality/values to students. Today, the focus is on delivering skills and competencies to succeed in life as well as a career. This paper posits that the ideal university ensures that all courses regardless of discipline work together to enhance the skills of students. This ensures that students will be resilient and productive regardless of how often the nature of their work changes. The accounting major is used as an example to demonstrate how a skills- based education together with a disciplinary major produces the ideal accountant. The outdated distinction between intellectual and vocational majors is meaningless since any major can be enhanced once there is an emphasis on delivering skills together with the content.

Keywords: competency-based education; skills; 4 C’s of education; college majors; organizational agility; critical thinking; adaptability; collaboration; communication skills; lifelong learning; outcomes assessment; storytelling

JEL Classification: I23, D83

Suggested Citation

Gerstein, Miriam and Friedman, Hershey H., Rethinking Higher Education: Focusing on Skills and Competencies (May 24, 2016). Gerstein, Miriam and Hershey H. Friedman (2016), “Rethinking Higher Education: Focusing on Skills and Competencies,” Psychosociological Issues in Human Resource Management 4(2): 104–121, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2783887

Miriam Gerstein

Brooklyn College ( email )

New York, NY
United States

Hershey H. Friedman (Contact Author)

Brooklyn College of the City University of New York ( email )

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