Each year, we share our 10 most-read stories. Not surprisingly, many of this year’s Top 10 focused on microcredentials, the student experience, non-traditional students, and the post-pandemic campus. This year’s 5th most-read story focuses on the impact microcredentials could have on the skills gap.
Last year, a majority of U.S. employers said that 2020 brought more difficulty in filling open jobs due to the skills gap than previous years. Additionally, a Gartner survey found that 58 percent of employees felt that they need new skills in order to successfully do their work.
Without a proper plan of action to provide critical training, organizations risk ineffective business operations and missed employee growth opportunities. To close the skills gap, organizations must prioritize and invest in continued learning opportunities like microcredentials: mini-qualifications that enhance an individual’s skills and knowledge in a specific subject area.
By leveraging existing microcredential programs from educational institutions, companies can effectively upskill and reskill their employees. Simultaneously, universities benefit from corporate partnerships with companies by offering microcredential options, creating more accessible education opportunities and expanding their reach with potential students.
The skills gap becomes a skills canyon
Nearly every industry is feeling the pinch from the current talent shortage. This scarcity is further exacerbated by companies’ need for high-quality employees with specific skills. And as more employers struggle to recruit talent with in-demand skills, candidates who combine technical experience with soft skills, such as listening and attention to detail, become more sought after.
Additionally, underdeveloped training resources and a lack of standardized growth opportunities leave employees feeling unsupported by managers and senior leaders. Without structured programming from their employers, employees may not seek additional external training opportunities, turning the existing skills gap into a skills canyon.
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