In last night’s State of the Union address, Pres­i­dent Obama announced a new effort to help Amer­i­cans get “the skills employers need and match them to good jobs that need to be filled right now” by increasing appren­tice­ships and com­mu­nity col­lege training programs.

The pres­i­dent is absolutely right to focus on using higher edu­ca­tion to increase employ­ment. If we really want to make progress, how­ever, he needs go to beyond the steps he out­lined. All types of col­leges and uni­ver­si­ties will need to be involved—and they’ll have to adjust to two seismic shifts in the land­scape of higher education.

The “tra­di­tional” col­lege stu­dent aged 18 to 22 is no longer the norm. Many people still think that the typ­ical col­lege stu­dent is an 18– to 22-​​year-​​old who’s attending a four-​​year res­i­den­tial insti­tu­tion. But according to some esti­mates, non­tra­di­tional students—returning adults, part-​​time stu­dents, mid­ca­reer pro­fes­sionals, and every other per­mu­ta­tion of learner—now make up 85 per­cent of all under­grad­u­ates. The exploding num­bers of such new stu­dents is what I call “the rise of the rest.”

Read the article at Bloomberg Businessweek →