New Jersey City University has struck partnerships with several financial services companies while updating its business curriculum, all part of a robust campaign to respond to modern-day challenges and changes.
NJCU President Sue Henderson said the university is collaborating with Fidelity Investments to train the firm’s employees to be better leaders. NJCU is also partnering with Fidelity on a talent acceleration program to give Fidelity employees professional and personal development.
Another group of employees wanted to earn an MBA with a specialization specific to Fidelity. As a result, Henderson said NJCU tweaked its curriculum to accommodate this request.
“Today’s workforce is constantly changing,” Henderson said. “We are offering the kind of curriculum that is closely connected to what needs to be happening right now. We need to offer the kind of employees that these companies need.”
Henderson said the program is another aspect of ensuring that prospective members of tomorrow’s workforce receive the requisite skill sets to succeed.
NJCU’s School of Business is offering the Institute for Dispute Resolution, which teaches business students to mediate disputes rather than entering into litigation. Businesses, Henderson said, recognize the best way to solve problems is to go through mediation rather than litigation because it preserves a business relationship and still attains a resolution.
“The capacity to be able to resolve disputes without getting into a kerfuffle is a valuable skill,” she said. “It is easier to solve a problem than it is to clean up things.”
NJCU will host a training on dispute resolution in May for real estate developers from Spain.
Henderson said the economy is made stronger by a partnership between businesses, legislatures and higher education.
“When higher education partners in this way, students develop the skills that are needed in today’s workforce,” Henderson said.
Challenges associated with closing the skills gap revolve around connecting with prospective students and “cutting through the noise,” Henderson said.
To overcome this challenge, NJCU asks businesses how it can partner with them to improve their services.
“If you are not staying relevant, no one is going to enroll in your programs,” Henderson said.