How Higher Ed Will Handle New Learning Looks


Todd Zipper believes there will always be a place for a bachelor’s degree, but learning doesn’t stop there. In this episode, the president of Wiley Education Services discusses the importance of lifelong learning, the need for career-connected education to bridge the skills gap and predicts a truly hybrid classroom of the future.

Wiley Education Services is a leading, global provider of technology-enabled education solutions that supports more than 70 universities and over 800-degree programs, as well as corporations. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Wiley enabled the shift to virtual learning by creating valuable online education tools for higher ed institutions. 

“There is going to be this ‘microverse’ of education that’s going to happen.” – Todd Zipper

The company is also working to address the growing skills gap. A recent Wiley report found more than 55% of HR and learning and development professionals believe a skills gap exists at their company, and more than half attribute the gap to not being able to find qualified candidates. Wiley believes in faster, more affordable, job-relevant education to address this growing disconnect between what universities deliver and the outcomes for students and employers.  

“You have to really think about supply and demand,” Zipper explained. “On the supply side … the university needs to focus on understanding the job market, understanding the trends, and building curriculum and learning outcomes around that. On the demand side, it’s partnering with employers, actually understanding who they are, what job openings they have, how to build co-curriculum with them. It’s that locking arms that we need to see much more of between universities and employers that I think you’ll see out of the pandemic.” 

According to Zipper, continuous workforce learning is another trend that’s here to stay. Wiley’s report also found that 51% of employers believe technology skills become outdated in two years or less. 

“You can’t just go to school once; it’s a going to be a constant process of going in and out of school,” he said. “There is going to be this ‘microverse’ of education that’s going to happen. You’ll have education providers that look like us, that look like a traditional university, that look very different, maybe even internal training arms of these corporations – they’re going to help fulfill reskilling and new skilling needs.” 

When it comes to the new normal and future of higher ed, Zipper remains optimistic. He says the need for post-secondary education will continue to grow dramatically with a focus on accessibility, affordability and outcomes.  

“We’re in this perfect moment right now where the pandemic allowed us to see how we can use technology so well,” said Zipper. “There’s just a lot of really great opportunities out there.” 

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