Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education: Preparing Pennsylvania’s Workforce of the Future

Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education’s 14 universities offer innovative programs and opportunities that prepare students to achieve success and upward mobility regardless of zip code or family background. State System students are career ready when they graduate, in high priority industries and occupations with more than 500,000 alumni residing in Pennsylvania.

While traditional bachelor, master’s and doctoral degree programs will continue to have an important role in higher education and the State System, there is a significant growth in the demand for non-degree credentials that are closely aligned with the skills and competencies that Pennsylvania employers value in current and future employees. These credentials may take many forms including badges, courses, certificates, micro-credentials and certifications, and will be increasingly stackable to full degree programs.

Recent funding from Lumina Foundation and The Strada Education Network helped the State System build detailed competency maps that highlight education and career pathways in six in-demand industries in Pennsylvania:  advanced manufacturing, healthcare, information technology, finance and business services, energy, and agribusiness. These maps are designed to articulate employers’ requirements for competencies and credentials and will be used by higher education institutions to inform training and education programs designed to build the talent pipeline within Pennsylvania. These maps will also be used as a resource when building pilot programs to train workers, job seekers and students to better meet employers’ workforce needs.

This #Prepared4PA initiative to bring together employers and educators for successful transitions in the workforce is just getting started. At the forefront of this initiative is the System’s Redesign, a deepened relationship with communities and regions, enrollment growth by serving new populations while meeting employer needs, the expansion of learning opportunities by strengthening career readiness, and a commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion.

Join the State System in building a more skilled and talented workforce across the Commonwealth. You can partner with us by participating in the development of a pilot program, working with one or more of our universities to develop workforce aligned programs, or invest with the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education Foundation to amplify the impact of these programs, services and opportunities to improve affordability, accessibility and inclusivity; and to and prepare students to thrive and power our economy. Visit today!