Workshop On Future Skill Demand

Awarded Scholars:
Martin Orland, Center for Education of the National Academies
Project Date:
Nov 2006
Award Amount:
$35,000
Project Programs:
Future of Work

Providing students with job-related skills has become crucial to their future employment. A growing number of jobs require basic reading, math, and computer skills, and an undergraduate degree is now a prerequisite for many entry-level positions. But very little is known about which skills employers will demand in coming decades or how quickly demand for skills will grow. Martin Orland, at the Center for Education of the National Academies (CFE) will organize a workshop to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of alternative research methods and data sources for predicting future changes in skill demand. Workshop attendees will focus on economic studies of the correlation between wages and skills, the use of Bureau of Labor Statistics data, analyses of trends in skill use and demand based on occupational databases, and case studies of specific firms. While these various methods produce widely varying predictions, Orland proposes to explore ways of combining the unique strengths of each, for instance, by enriching economic models of skill levels and the wage distribution with data on the evolving use of technology in different industries. The workshop represents the first step in CFE’s multi-year project on education for Twenty-First Century skills.

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