Innovation Imperative Series

Northeastern's thought leadership series on the future of higher education and its relationship to the global economy.

Innovation Imperative: Enhancing the Talent Pipeline

April 29, 2014
Intercontinental Hotel Boston

On April 29th Northeastern hosted a panel discussion of CEOs and thought leaders about what employers are looking for in a globally competitive talent pipeline.

The event coincided with Northeastern’s third national opinion survey on the role of higher education in preparing tomorrow’s workforce. The new survey presented the views of C-suite executives on global competitiveness, the employee skills gap, employer workforce investments, higher education outcomes, and suggestions for policy reform.

The panel was the centerpiece of a summit on the future of higher education and the "talent pipeline" sponsored by Northeastern, WGBH Radio and the New England Council. It was moderated by Kara Miller, host of WGBH's "Innovation Hub."

“As the nation turns its focus to higher education outcomes, we see that the American system has many strengths, but also many opportunities for improvement and innovation. The best attributes of American higher education—its diversity and competitive dynamic—are precisely the qualities that will lead to much-​needed innovations.”
— Joseph E. Aoun, President of Northeastern University
Northeastern University, WGBH, The New England Council


Gary Gottlieb

Gary Gottlieb

President and CEO
Partners Healthcare

Joseph Aoun

Joseph E. Aoun

Northeastern University

Kara Miller

Kara Miller

WGBH's "Innovation Hub"


Jeff Selingo

Jeff Selingo

Contributing Editor
Chronicle of Higher Education

Jim Brett

James T. Brett

President and Chief Executive Officer
The New England Council


Survey Highlights

Innovation Imperative: Enhancing the Talent Pipeline

April 29, 2014
Boston, MA

2013 Innovation Survey Infographic

At a time of great debate over the value of college degree, a new national survey reveals a concern among U.S. business leaders about the pipeline of talent produced by American colleges and universities. While most executives express support for the American system of higher education, they also believe the U.S. is falling behind global competitors and inadequately preparing graduates to succeed in the modern workforce.

The new survey, the third in a series by Northeastern University, presents the views of C-suite executives, with particular focus on global competitiveness, the employee skills gap, employer workforce investments, andopportunities for policy reform.

Announcement of the findings

Full survey results

Summary of key survey findings

Presentation of the findings

Video of the event


Click here for previous survey and event highlights.

In the press

Boston's business leaders lag colleagues nationally in recruiting students on college campuses, new poll says Boston Business Journal 4.29.14

Business Leaders See U.S. Colleges as Lagging in Readying Students for Jobs Chronicle of Higher Education 4.29.14

Poll: Business Leaders Seek Higher Ed Improvements Inside Higher Ed 4.29.14

Biz leaders find college grads lacking Politico 4.30.14

Business leaders unimpressed with college grads’ skills The Hechinger Report 4.29.14

Poll: Skills Gap May Be Lengthening Job Searches WGBH News 4.29.14

Poll: Skills Gap May be to Blame for Difficult Job Search WGBH, OnCampus blog 4.29.14