employment pathways

Is it time to shake up traditional learning, employment pathways?

A new framework attempts to tackle the education-to-employment arena and illustrates how technology plays a pivotal role.

Traditional learning-to-employment pathways are becoming a thing of the past, and educators and employers should instead focus on supporting competency-based approaches to education, training and hiring.

The case for a different focus comes from Innovate+Educate, a national nonprofit that works to create new employment pathways.

The nonprofit released a new paper that makes the case for competency-based education. Shift Happens: The Entrepreneurs, Wonks, and Investors Revolutionizing the Learning-to-Employment Landscape examines the challenges facing employers and the players working to close the skills gap through new models of learning and hiring.

Recent data suggest that traditional learning-to-employment pathways haven’t kept pace with the needs of the U.S. labor market.

In fact, one national survey found that while 59 percent of college graduates thought they were ready to apply their skills and knowledge to the real world, only 23 percent of employers felt the same way. And investors are taking note: in 2014, over $400 million in investments went to startups focused on hiring and recruiting, according to TechCrunch.

“The shift to competency-based learning and hiring is here to stay,” said Jamai Blivin, founder and CEO of Innovate+Educate. “We believe the shift is critical to creating pathways to employment for the many workers struggling or left behind in the current education-to-employment system.”

(Next page: Technology’s role in new education, training and hiring methods)

Laura Ascione