Universities urged to hire more corporate execs as professors

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Cooperation between the private sector and universities is crucial to ending jobs-skills mismatch worldwide

MANILA, Philippines – Businessmen at the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting in Tianjin, China urged universities across the globe to step up and play a bigger role in addressing the growing problem of job-skills mismatch.

In a WEF statement released Wednesday, September 12, leading businessmen said that despite having stellar academic records, workers today still lack what companies need in competing in a globalized setting.

Adecco Group-Japan Executive Committee Member and Regional Head Mark Du Ree said universities must employ more professors or instructors from the corporate world, or those who are practicing the subjects they are teaching, to address the mismatch.

India-based Genpact President and Chief Executive Officer N. V. (Tiger) Tyagarajan agreed and said that currently, companies spend so much time and effort training workers, even if they already have their degrees.

“What we need to do is have more corporate cooperation with the academics. How can we get academics to spend time in the real world – in the working world – so they know what they’re talking about?” Du Ree said.

New normal

Du Ree also said that there are other things in the work place that are part of the new normal. These include the needs and demands of young workers that go beyond financial compensation as well as waiting for more experience before obtaining a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) degree.

He said that workers today should think of acquiring experience first before pursuing an MBA because this degree is not part of the career path of all workers.

“The question is, do they want to work with us, why do they want to work with us, and what do we represent? Are we able to help these people have better work, and therefore translate that into a better life?” Du Ree said.

For Kevin Taylor, President, Asia-Pacific, BT, Hong Kong SAR, because of these factors, young workers are changing the nature of companies worldwide.

Taylor noted that young workers are not interested in working 7 days a week, or staying up into the wee hours of the morning to finish their work.

He said workers now get their work done anywhere, at any time. Taylor said his company has 20,000 employees working from home in the United Kingdom alone.

Taylor said the future will be defined by how companies can adapt to the working habits and ideals of young workers, not the other way around.

“It’s great, the desktop is dead,” Taylor said. –

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