How Northeastern University Is Connecting Theory and Practice at the Intersection of Higher Ed and Industry

In the 21st century, the world of work is constantly changing. This podcast series, Reimagining Career Pathways, will explore the needs of the future workforce, rethinking traditional education pathways to connect students today with the in-demand jobs and skills of the future.

In recent years, Northeastern University has become known as one of the top higher ed institutions for connecting students to careers. According to Princeton Review, Northeastern’s cooperative learning program, which boasts 95% student participation, links students with a network of over 3,000 local and global employers. And within 9 months of graduation, 92% of Northeastern students reported that they were employed or in graduate school.

But Northeastern’s interest in career readiness doesn’t end with their own students. The university is analyzing and shaping the national dialogue about the connection between education and work through their Center for the Future of Higher Education and Talent Strategy, ”an applied research center-focused on issues and trends at the intersection of higher education and industry.” As founder and executive director at the center, Sean Gallagher is at the helm of research on industry needs, innovations to connect higher ed and the workplace, and bringing employer perspectives into the higher education community.

So what do employers want? According to Sean, in today’s workforce, foundational skills are a top priority.

“If you dissect all the job postings out there, or if you meet with employers and talk with them about their job needs that they anticipate—what you’ll also see is broader-based foundational skills: communication, problem solving, critical thinking, writing, team leadership, project management.”

So what can be done to help prepare students to meet the needs of the future workforce? Listen to our full interview with Sean Gallagher and guest host Kevin Fudge of ASA to find out how colleges, school systems, and employers are collaborating to prepare students for the future of work.

This podcast episode is sponsored by American Student Assistance®. ASA® is a national nonprofit committed to helping kids know themselves, know their options, and make informed choices to achieve their education and career goals. To learn more about ASA, visit

Hannah Nyren

Hannah Nyren

Hannah Nyren is the General Manager of EdTech Times. A Texan by birth but a Bostonian at heart, Hannah is an educational writer, AmeriCorps alum, and one-time StartupWeekend EDU (SWEDU) winning team member. She started her career at a Pearson-incubated edtech startup, but has since covered travel, food & culture, and even stonemasonry in addition to education.