Education & Workforce Alignment to Address the Skills Gap

Burning Glass just published a new research report entitled Different Skills, Different Gaps: Measuring and Closing the Skills Gap. For the analysis, Burning Glass used a new econometric model to map supply using federal workforce statistics and demand based on job postings and churn rates to illustrate which occupation families have ample talent supply chains and which face skill gaps.

Here are some of the findings I found most interesting:

  1. ‘Architecture and engineering’ roles, and ‘computer and mathematics’ professionals are some of the most undersupplied roles today with 15% and 17% more openings respectively than available workers in the market. From 2012 to 2016, these same two occupation families have seen the strongest improvements in the supply and demand ratio – whereby the supply has risen more sharply than demand.
  2. In 2012 there was no skills gap for computer scientists, but as of 2016 there are now 1.2 computer scientist job openings for every available worker. This represents the single largest change in the growth of any technology job and is primarily due to the growing demand for data science expertise across many industries.
  3. Operations research analysts are an excellent example of a hybrid job that requires the need for both information technology skills and business analysis skills. An increased need for multidisciplinary competencies introduces more strain into the training and education systems for an ever-growing number of hybrid jobs which ultimately contribute to larger skills gaps.

In looking at the skill deficits, there are numerous root causes. There could be a combination of too few workers in the pipeline, changing role requirements in a specific industry, or long lead times on educating and training new talent. The report provides several recommendations for managing this byzantine problem set. I especially appreciated the clarity around the treatment of workforce as ‘end-customers’ of the education and training systems and employers needing to signal changing competency and credentialing requirements. We need better alignment between education and workforce to meet the evolving demands of a changing labor economy – a cause Couragion is dedicated to addressing every day.  

Read the full report here:

Melissa RisteffComment