The world of education has drastically changed, especially since universities and higher education institutions suffered a global pandemic.

With remote learning at the forefront of many colleges and universities’ priorities, they are tasked with learning how to support students, faculty, and staff from afar while also maintaining data security, privacy, control, and other critical operations. A robust set of higher education solutions can provide student success so they can stay ahead and help institutions adopt cloud-based finance and workforce management functionality across teams.

That’s where Workday Higher Education comes in!

Read on to learn more about Workday for Higher Education and how our senior-level Workday consultants can help you improve efficiencies and optimize your investments.

What is Workday Higher Education?

Workday Higher Education is a set of higher education solutions that leverages advanced student technologies to streamline manual processes and unify core university operations in a centralized, cloud-based solution.

This allows higher education organizations to improve processes like student administration, payroll, human resources, financial aid, and data analytics to deliver a more comprehensive user experience for university employees and students alike.

Understanding the Need for Workday Higher Education

Workday for Higher Education delivers a user-friendly experience, providing solutions on mobile devices to enhance the student experience and enable faculty to manage tasks anywhere, at any time. Workday applications are built especially for multitenant, cloud delivery, and they offer quite a few benefits you can’t get with on-premise, single-tenant SaaS systems.

Let’s take a look at a few of the main features of Workday Higher Education:

Better Decision-Making with Real-Time Analytics

With embedded reporting tools and real-time analytics, users can gain a complete view of their institution, improving visibility, accessibility, and engagement over time. A cloud-based system like Workday removes the need for a complex data warehouse and reduces the reliance on costly, third-party applications to coordinate data between different security schemas.

By leveraging built-in predictive analytics in Workday, users can go beyond the surface of traditional academic management trends to meet student and faculty needs more effectively.

More Time for Strategic Plans

Workday manages all of your typical IT maintenance processes and more, including upgrades, data security, application availability, backup, disaster recovery, and performance tuning. This means internal teams can spend more time creating strategic academic plans that further pursue their institution’s mission instead of spending all their time managing data or configuring systems to keep information secure over time.

Constant Innovation

Workday removes the complexity and costs of typical system upgrades by providing simple adoption and automated updates. With one platform, one code line, and one user community, this multi-tenant cloud approach makes use of a single data core and improves the speed of innovation.

This way, institutions can facilitate more consumable improvements for their Workday system and leverage industry best practices to improve efficiency across the board.

Higher Education Focused

Workday addresses a few areas of concern that higher education Workday customers care about most, including:

  • Academic guidance appointments
  • Activity-based pay for employees
  • Flexible payment calendars
  • Open-ended terms for employment
  • Named professorships


Workday leverages traditional academic calendars and instructional models, like competency-based learning, badges, and prior learning assessments, to provide a more flexible solution for institutions nationwide. This way, schools can ensure their Workday system meets their current needs and offers the flexibility to change as organizational needs evolve.


As Workday applications evolve, higher education issues will remain at the forefront of their priorities. For example, the design of the Workday Student infrastructure ensures each student is matched with the right courses at the right time and promotes a smoother path to graduation or other timely academic goals.


Workday Higher Education allows users to arrange applications in a way that satisfies the unique demands of their institution rather than sticking to a restricted set of inflexible hierarchies. Software built for traditional education models lacks the customization and configuration capabilities to meet the needs of modern higher education institutions, but Workday provides more than 500 business processes that leverage updated standards and techniques to manage data and improve efficiencies.


Here are the four main benefits of Workday for Higher Education:

  1. Improve productivity and user adoption with easy-to-use mobile applications and a comprehensive desktop platform
  2. Promote better decision-making with instantaneous data management and accessibility, collaborative workforce planning, and advanced budgeting functions
  3. Remove costly system maintenance and inefficient upgrade cycles with a comprehensive SaaS delivery model
  4. Empower staff and faculty to leverage self-service tools to take control of their own experiences


Here are the key features you’ll find within Workday for Higher Education:

  • Integrated auditing and compliance controls
  • Single source of truth for finance, Human Resources (HR), payroll, student, and planning data
  • Intuitive mobile experiences and accessibility

Higher Education Institutions Using Workday

Here are a few of the higher education institutions that use Workday to improve efficiency, productivity, and success across the entire organization:

  1. University of Virginia:
    Improved talent management by reducing the average time to fill a job position from 90 to 57 days.
  2. Wake Forest University:
    Effectively planned, implemented, and extended data by aligning 100+ decision-makers in the university budgeting process.
  3. Furman University:
    Streamlined class registration processes to meet student needs and promoted easy-to-use mobile applications to drive student success.
  4. Florida Atlantic University:
    Improved financial management by leveraging dashboards with more than ten years of data to analyze budget trending reports.
  5. University of Washington:
    Saved 2,000 hours per month spent on time and attendance management and improved employee experiences by leveraging automation tools.

Results of Use

The proof is in the pudding – Let’s take a look at a few core statistics that represent the success of higher education institutions after using Workday:

  • 30% reduction of time for payroll calculation
  • 50% reduction of time spent on monthly close processes
  • 50% reduction of time spent reimbursing expenses
  • 60% reduction in procurement cycle time
  • 10% reduction in costs for adjunct faculty from improved planning and analytics
  • 86% improvement in the implementation of adjunct faculty contracts
  • $900k saved annually with the elimination of out-of-pocket spend

Workday Student Information System (SIS)

Workday Student is the only student administration program available for modern institutions, and it was developed in collaboration with some of the best higher education institutions across the country. Together, they have created a better option for educational campuses operating with outdated legacy technology.

The end-to-end Student platform also provides integrations with Workday Financial Management, Human Capital Management, Grants Management, and Adaptive Planning to facilitate a more comprehensive user experience across the entire organization. 


Here are the top five benefits of Workday Student:

  1. Provide mobile experiences to improve student engagement and productivity
  2. Allow students to plan schedules and better understand their own academic eligibility and progress over time
  3. Gain comprehensive, actionable insights with a unified data core
  4. Use self-service tools and user-friendly interfaces to empower students and faculty
  5. Reduce and manage costs by using a true cloud delivery approach


Here are the key features of the Workday Student platform:

  • Mobile application that puts tasks and data in users’ hands
  • Flexible foundation to make changes quickly
  • Single cloud platform for improved user experiences
  • Seamless planning capabilities for academic scheduling, budgeting, and forecasting
  • Self-service capabilities to empower users to take control of their own experience

How Can We Help?

Whether you need an intuitive system to enhance student and faculty experiences, additional support streamlining operations across your entire institution, or just an extra hand getting started with Workday, Surety Systems can help.

Our senior-level Workday consultants have the skills and experience needed to ensure a successful Workday project, ensure business continuity, and help you optimize your investments, from implementations to integrations, upgrades, and everything in between.

Contact Us

If you’re ready to learn more about Workday Higher Education and how our skilled Workday consultants can help, contact us today!