The 2019 World Development Report highlights the changing nature of work across the globe. In high-income countries, which include most countries in Europe and Asia, having a good basic education will not be enough to be productively included in the labour market in the coming decades. Productive workers will need good-quality higher education. Therefore, in addition to considering quality-adjusted years of basic education, it is important to consider a measure of quality-adjusted years of higher education (QAYH). Like learning-adjusted years of basic education, QAYH measures both quantity and quality.
The standard approach for estimating expected years of basic education uses the age-specific enrollment rates over all individuals age 4–18 as the main input. The nature of higher education requires a different treatment, for several reasons. First, there is no theoretical age at which higher education is expected to happen, the only requirement is to have completed basic education. Second, higher education is not always pursued full time. Many students pursue degrees while working part time. Third, higher education degrees are not uniform in length; they vary across disciplines and across countries.
The World Bank on QAYH analysis uses the percentage of individuals with a higher education degree at age 30–34 as a measure of educational attainment. This age range was chosen because most people complete their education by this age. As the analysis is forward looking, the best estimate of the expected higher education level is that of people who are in the earliest age range for which education has been completed (that is age 30–34). Older age ranges might be more informative of the expected higher education level of previous generations. To express this measure of attainment in years of education, it is assumed that a university degree is equivalent to 3.5 years of higher education, in order to account for differences across disciplines and education systems. This assumption can be relaxed, and different numbers of years chosen, but the variability essentially comes from attainment rates.
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Higher education by developing understandings with changing trends of the world of the work enables learners to investigate career opportunities better. With this aim, every learner has some expectation with their high qualification to raise their achievements in life. They plan their long or short-term goals for future work.
In addition, higher education makes the postgraduates well informed and responsive according to opportunities but there are also limitations for careers of these graduates. In general, overall downsizing of job opportunities delays the results of nations’ expectations towards postgraduates. Demanding more graduates by a smaller group of companies puts more pressure on higher education to empower students with the new trends and needs of the labour market. It was revealed from different studies that every additional year of higher education could be increased production in wage employment with 10 percent even controlling simultaneous factors. Meanwhile, skill development is the key with higher education for export efficiency ability. In Pakistan for example, cities with higher education rates show a high level of development. Students must have to deal with the employment opportunities, particularly in Pakistan where there are uncertain economic conditions and instability between production students following post-graduation and employment.
The world is changing day by day and the role of education, especially higher education, has become more important now. Every noble institute has a mission to explore how to enable learners to become educated citizens that our society needs with fulfillment of learners needs. Collaborative interaction of education with employment implements the nature of derived goals. There is a need for time to interact with the students to make them up for the world of work. It is challenging with excitement and needs more research to develop this area internally and externally.
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