61: University of Texas at Dallas Adds Quickbooks Bootcamp to Accounting Degree Program w/ Jennifer Johnson

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Jennifer Johnson, Senior Lecturer at The University of Texas at Dallas, discusses how we can better bridge the technology gap between what institutions are teaching and what employers are looking for.

Ask The question. When we graduate a student with this degree, what skill sets would you expect them to have and how can we accomplish that? You're listening to enrollment growth university from Helix Education, the best professional development podcast for higher education leaders looking to grow enrollment at their college or university. Whether you're looking for fresh enrollment growth techniques and strategies or tools and resources, you've come to the right place. Let's get into the show. Welcome back to enrollment growth university, a proud member of the connect Edu podcast network. I'm Eric Olson, AVP of marketing at Helix Education, and we're here today with Jennifer Johnson, senior lecturer at University of Texas at Dallas. Jennifer, welcome to the show. Thanks are great to be here. Really excited to talk with you today about how we can better bridge the technology gap between what institutions are...

...teaching and what employers are expecting. Before we dig into that, Jennifer, can you give the listeners a little bit better understanding of both University of Texas at Dallas and your role there? Yeah, so I'm a senior lecturer at the University of Texas at Dallas. It's one of the schools in the UT system in the state of Texas. Ut Dallas, as we call it, is located in Dallas, Texas. We've got between twenty five and Thirtyzero students. Our school was a little unique in that we started as a graduate university. They were founded by Texas instruments actually, where they needed some more engineering and computer science students. So they got some land and developed a university here in Dallas and over the years they needed that land to the state and we started out as a master's and PhD and Computer Science and Engineering and from there we have grown from the top down, from PhD students down to freshmen, and here we are now with almost twenty five to thirtyzero students. So it's...

...been very exciting. I work in the Jendall School of management on the CPA and I'm an accounting lecturer and I'm just starting my tent academic here with the School of it. Let's dive right in, Jennifer. A recent study from the Association of American colleges and universities reports that sixty percent of employers don't believe college graduates are prepared to succeed in entry level positions. It's a sobering statistic. Can you share your own personal experience of graduating with confidence and then quickly realizing you weren't fully prepared for life after your degree? Sure, it's been a while since I've graduated, but I do remember. I do remember that feeling where I felt like I was super smart, I could conquer the world. I'm a graduated with a master's degree in accounting. So I jumped into public accounting. I guess at what the time was the big six. They are now the big for and accounting, and my first few days out there they were. They did great in training me, but what I quickly realize...

...is I knew a lot of theory but I didn't know how to do it. I knew what a debit in a credit was in accounting speak, but how did I document that? How did I talk to a client? How did I engage in conversation? So there was clearly a disconnect between the knowledge and the theory I had in my head and how to execute it in the real world. So, in order to prevent other students from experiencing something similar and to better bridge higher education theory with practical application, let's talk about one solve. You've created within your accounting course at UT Dallas. It's almost like an accounting software boot camp exactly. So accounting students have to do a lot of transactional entry work and the minute they jump into a job, whether it's an audit professional, attacks professional or even just bookkeeping or accounting work, they're reviewing transactions, entering transactions, and up to this point they really have only done that on paper. So my goal when I started teaching was to make...

...sure they at least knew how to make a journal entry in a computer system. About four or five years ago partnered with into an education and they provided some technology and resources from my class and throughout the course of a semester stir. Now the students are learning how to use quick books, which is an accounting software package, and in using that package they're really putting the pieces together in their accounting coursework. And my favorite part is watching the light bulb come on and they might have learned how to enter a transaction in my class and now they're making that link to prior courses where they had learned about what it meant and how it worked. So it's really neat to see them put all those pieces together. You mentioned seeing those light bulb moments. What has the initial feedback from from your student spin about the broader application learning that they're receiving? I think they get several things, the first of which is just confidence. They get to go into a job and know that they can contribute from...

...day one. So many businesses, specially small businesses, use quick books and even if they don't use this tool, they use some other accounting software package. So the students feel much more confident on day one that they're not going to break it, that they at least be successful until they get their hands around exactly what the company is doing. Jennifer, when we're thinking about our other degree programs, how do you suggest we similarly think about bridging potential technology or hard skill gaps? I think it's just a matter of jumping in. You know, you don't need an entire course in software. It's just starting to enter. Do Students to the fact that there is the software available and, like I said, if you pick up software that a lot of businesses or companies use in your industry, the students will fill more confident. And if it's not the exact one that they use, I'm sure there's a lot of similarities and that's what I find in accounting as well. So if it's...

...two weeks or two months or an entire semester for a course, any little bit help. And I find these students today they are Super Technology Salvy and the fact that they're not afraid to try something new and really, as the instructor, I think I walk in and I say Hey, I may not know this, great just to know we're going to learn it together and let's see what's going on. The one of their other skill sets I think the student gets is just the ability to troubleshoot. They they learned how to dive in, how to uncover, investigate and find answers. I think employers find that highly valuable. Really good stuff, Jennifer. Any final advice for institutions who are listening to this, excited about what you're doing at you to Dallas and want to make sure their curriculum is lining up with an incorporating these hard skills that employers are looking for. I would encourage you to reach out to advisory board members or former students and survey them and ask the question, when...

...we graduate a student with this degree, what skill sets would you expect them to have and how can we accomplish that, because I think that resource is going to be an amazing eyeopener and you can take those pieces and put them into your classrooms. Jennifer, thanks so much for your time today. What's the best place for listeners to connect with you? Of The heaveny follow up questions? I'm sure they're welcome to reach out to me via email. My email is Jennifer Dot Johnson at you t Dallas Dot eed. You Awesome. Thanks against so much for joining us today, Jennifer. Thanks, Charak. Attracting today's new post traditional learners means adopting new enrollment strategies. Helix educations data driven, enterprise wide approach to enrollment growth is uniquely helping colleges and universities thrive in this new education landscape, and Helix has just published the second edition of their enrollment growth playbook with fifty percent brand new content on how institutions can solve today's most pressing enrollment growth challenges, downloaded today for free at Helix Educationcom.

Playbook. You've been listening to enrollment growth university from Helix Education. To ensure that you never miss an episode, subscribe to the show on Itunes or your favorite podcast player. Thank you so much for listening. Until next time,.

In-Stream Audio Search

NEW

Search across all episodes within this podcast

Episodes (248)