Ideas | February 3rd 2017

Higher Expectations for Higher Education: Bridging the Gap Between Campus and Workplace

The intersection between academic and workplace environments is constantly evolving: academic spaces shape workplace design, workplace shapes academic, and on and on. This symbiotic relationship influences the physical environment of both space types and responds to skillsets emphasized in each. 

As we know, workplaces today are shifting away from isolated cubicles and private offices in response to the growing demand for open, collaborative spaces where team interaction and creativity can flourish. Companies are investing in social cafés and collaborative hubs — flexible work environments that are widely adaptive and people-focused.  Not surprisingly, employers are looking to hire individuals who will thrive in these non-traditional work environments. Collaborative teamwork, strategic problem solving, strong communication and other real-world skills are now the traits weighed most heavily by prospective employers. 

In this continuation of CBT Studies ― an ongoing research series into the ways design impacts life on campus ―  we examine the disconnect between skills developed in the classroom and those needed after graduation. We discuss some targeted design solutions to bridge the gap between education and employment, and how architects and institutions can achieve them together.

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