The U.S. Education System Isn’t Giving Students What Employers Need – HBR.org Daily

There’s a direct disconnect between education and employability in the U.S., where employers view universities and colleges as the gatekeepers of workforce talent, yet those same institutions aren’t prioritizing job skills and career readiness. This not only hurts employers, but also sets the average American worker up for failure before they’ve even begun their career, as new employees who have been hired based on their four-year educational background often lack the actual skills needed to perform in their role. To create change as an industry, we must provide greater credibility to alternate education paths that allow students to gain employable skills. Now is the time for employers to increase credibility for skills-based hiring, to remove stigmas around vocational education, and to move forward to create equal opportunities for all students.
The Covid-19 pandemic stripped millions of Americans of their jobs. As of April 2021, the economy was still down 4 million jobs compared to February 2020. At the same time, we are seeing unprecedented labor shortages, with 8.1 million jobs open and unfilled across the U.S. Markets that saw explosive growth due to the pandemic, such as cybersecurity and technology, are struggling to maintain the levels of innovation needed to continue that trend, because they can’t find the right talent.

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