Post written by Ryan Craig and Jamai Blivin
Jamai Blivin is the founder and CEO of Innovate+Educate, a nonprofit focused on closing the skills gap.
The skills gap is generating unprecedented attention — and with good reason. Nearly 8 million Americans are unemployed and looking for work while an estimated 6 million jobs remain unfilled. Fifty-three percent of college graduates students believe they’re ready to apply their skills and knowledge in the workforce, but only 23% of employers agree. It is increasingly clear that misalignment between post-secondary education and workforce needs is suppressing economic productivity and growth, as systematic reliance on degrees as a skills-proxy, exacerbated by an epidemic of upcredentialing, prevents individuals and employers from achieving their potential.
Fortunately, the shift from degree- and pedigree-based hiring to competency-based hiring is accelerating. A panoply of educational options now allow job-seekers to acquire skills in close to real-time. Employers are pioneering data-driven approaches to scout and acquire talent — closing skill gaps, increasing diversity, and driving social and economic mobility.
Next week, at the fourth annual Close It Summit produced by Innovate+Educate, the employers, educators and entrepreneurs leading the competency-based hiring movement will convene to move the revolution forward. The shift is real. And here are the top 10 signals it is happening now.
8. Discontent with value the college degree “bundle” is at an all time high. According to Accenture’s college graduate survey, 51% consider themselves to be underemployed or working in jobs that don’t require a college degree. Kaplan and Money Magazine found that only 21% of parents feel the cost of college is justified. A recent Gallup Poll suggests that only 42% of Americans say college is necessary for workforce success – a 13% drop from 2009.
7. Traditional higher education has grown enthusiastic about shorter, alternative credentials. The American Council on Education released a report titled “Quality Dimensions for Connected Credentials,” providing new framework for evaluating emerging credentials. Meanwhile, Lumina Foundation’s Credential Transparency Initiative unveiled a prototype of the Credential Registry, demonstrating that the day is near when postsecondary credentials of all stripes will be on a level playing field.
6. Launch of Workday Student, the first student information system for colleges and universities that connects directly to Workday Human Capital Management, with the objective of closing the education-employment gap.
5. EdSurge publishes University Ventures’ market map of 50-plus companies that are matching candidates to jobs on the basis of competencies, including Credly, the leading digital credential service provider, which has now issued over 1 million badges, Portfolium, the emerging ePortfolio-based competency marketplace, with over 2.5 million students and alumni in its network from over 180 partner universities, and CodeFights, the leader in gamified hiring, with 1.5 million challenges attempted in the last month.
4. Launch of Skillful in Colorado and Phoenix, the Markle Foundation-backed realization of a competency marketplace, allowing candidates to create competency profiles and match to relevant employment and training opportunities.
3. Brave interview-less hiring experiment announced at Indian e-commerce leader Flipkart: coders to be hired solely on basis of code review and without regard to credentials or even interview. And in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Innovate+Educate held a “no resume” hiring fair supported by the Rockefeller Foundation in which over 300 youth were hired in four hours based on demonstrable skills – not resumes or traditional credentials.
2. LinkedIn took the first step in integrating its economic graph with the power of Lynda.com with the launch of LinkedIn Learning. Just one week earlier, LinkedIn launched an online job placement service in India that tests an individual’s skills and recommends best-match jobs.
1. Top employers announce the end of degree requirements for entry-level jobs (Penguin Random House), that they view degrees as a misleading indicator and have decided to conceal the credential from hiring managers (Ernst & Young), will not consider school attended (Deloitte) or flat out attack the value of degrees as “worthless as a criteria for hiring” (Google).