Graduate Student Discovery Session: Educational institutions and industry collaborations, are they beneficial?

Streamed Session

Brief Abstract

This presentation will explore the collaboration between higher education and industry to uncover the benefits and barriers. Although educational institutions and organizations often pursue different outcomes, integration between them offers value to the community, industry, educational institution, and most importantly, the students.

Extended Abstract


Students work diligently to obtain a college degree and often pay a large amount of money to attend an educational institution in hopes of receiving a job in their major when they graduate. Students may not be prepared for the workforce with only a degree and no practical experience. Further, they may not know the type of job they are enthusiastic about or qualified for without exposure to a variety of job positions and industries. Can colleges and universities do more to assist students in the transition from higher education to the workforce?

Educational institutions that prepare students for the workforce often have students that graduate with higher job placements. Providing direct work experience to college students throughout the time they attend college will allow them to decide if they like their selected major before they graduate. Further, it gives them the advantage of knowing the variety of positions that may be available to them when they graduate. Students can gain enthusiasm for school and life after graduation by allowing them to access different work positions and companies. Giving them a glimpse into their future while attending college may provide for a higher success rate after college for many students.

Developing collaborations between educational institutions with corporations, government, and non-profit agencies will give students the knowledge of the diversity of jobs that are available to them. While internships exist, they often only provide one opportunity for students to see a glimpse of employment. Opportunities such as spending a semester working with a variety of companies or class video conferences with employers can give students options for the future and help them pave the way for potential jobs. Advancements in technology allow universities to build relationships with organizations that were once difficult because of time, distance, or finances.

While many universities have career fairs and alumni networks, many students are never exposed to different job opportunities before this. Giving students exposure to different career possibilities before their junior year will give them the knowledge of what career path they may want in the future. It also provides a means to network.

Universities need employers and employers need universities. Forming an active partnership can benefit both parties. Looking past the bottom line and towards the future will benefit the students, the educational institution, employers, and the surrounding community.


This session will be virtual (asynchronous) and include a voice over PowerPoint presentation. Innovative ideas will be explored during the presentation to bring the education and workplace worlds together. Attendees can email their own ideas or comment on the suggestions provided. If applicable, audience engagement during the presentation to share ideas and discuss innovation and collaboration of higher education and industry.