It’s back-to-school season. But for some in the U.S., especially full-time employees, a traditional education is not an option. However, they want to improve their skills, position themselves for a promotion, or transition into a new career. Tips-based education. Fortunately, there is growing support for skills-based programs such as boot camps, certificate programs, and workforce training, especially in the wake of the pandemic and the big shake-up.
However, there are some glaring missing elements from the conversation about upskilling and reskilling related to the digital economy and jobs in today’s in-demand labor market. Company leaders willing to invest in skills programs and need a skilled workforce to scale and weather recessions should pay attention to these five factors when educating in skills.
1. Don’t forget basic skills training and prerequisites.
The skills gap is real. According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, 31 percent of working-age Americans have limited or no digital skills: One in six cannot use email, web searches or other basic online tools. There is a high emphasis on skills courses and not enough pre-primary education courses to provide learners with basic digital skills or prerequisites for success. Focusing on foundational skills and preparing learners for more rigorous courses or training is the key to success. Why is this important in today’s labor market? The millions of jobs in the United States require a lot of digital skills. The Brookings Institution’s Metropolitan Policy Project found in a 2017 study that nearly 100 million American workers hold high or moderate digital roles. Businesses should consider partnering with a reputable skills training provider that offers technical foundation courses.
2. Employers say they support training for employees, but there are financial limitations to this support.
Only 25% of U.S. employers who provide educational benefits to employees are willing to provide equal or more than the IRS exemption of $5,250, according to the Institute for Human Resource Management dollars in educational aid. From 2008 to 2018, companies with educational benefits dropped from 66% to 51%, the Aspen Institute noted in a 2020 report. In addition, a large number of employers only offer reimbursement rather than advance payment, which can be a barrier for workers to participate in skills education. Company leaders need to assess how these constraints affect the company’s bottom line and how it affects the ability of employees to acquire the skills they need in an increasingly digital economy.
3. Formal paths to promotion and entry-level positions are often elusive for workers.
While many are motivated to enroll in skills programs, the skills education industry has yet to do a satisfying job of helping learners understand how they Get an entry-level job using the new skills they acquired with their current employer. While there is growing discussion on this topic, there needs to be a conscious effort to teach graduates how to navigate their careers and enable them to pursue new career opportunities. Companies can foster a culture of nurturing talent by considering internal candidates for upskilling or retraining and encouraging them to apply for open positions.
4. A one-size-fits-all program completion schedule does not meet the needs of learners.
The amount of time an individual is willing to devote to a skills program varies depending on whether they are employed full-time, the type of work they do, and whether they have a family. A recent study by my employer, the Chegg Skills study, revealed that 61% of working-age adults aged 18-50 believe that balancing family and personal responsibilities is the biggest barrier to completing an educational program. Having a flexible time model will allow more people to complete a program. Unfortunately, most — with a few notable exceptions — build a one-size-fits-all program. Skills programs must allow program requirements and schedules to be flexible to accommodate learners. Employers can offer flexible schedules to support workers who are in education.
5. Hiring bias is real.
Unfortunately, the recruitment market is biased against graduates of skills programmes. While there are growing calls to remove the “paper ceiling,” the fact remains that skills and boot camp graduates have different employment rates than those who complete more traditional educational programs. Evaluating and hiring workers based on their skills and knowledge should become more standardized over time. Company leaders can review their hiring policies and basic requirements, including skills and certification programs, focusing on workers’ knowledge rather than where they get it from.