The skills gap is real.

As the career-skills gap becomes increasingly problematic, employers look to institutions to better prepare their students for the workforce. 

Recruiters are saying the workforce simply lacks the hard and soft skills needed to fill the ever-increasing number of high-skilled jobs today. Those jobs range from entry-level positions for college graduates to leadership roles within an organization. Human resource leaders reported that the skills gap grew 12% since last year (WES/FW). If there’s clearly a gap today, what will it look like in the future?

There's compelling evidence of a skills gap.

Over the years, many efforts have been made in gathering research to reveal both the current skills gap and the growing chasm that organizations are seeing in the future.

Leadership +22%

Problem Solving +19%

Teamwork +17%

Mechanical Skills -14%

Fine-Motor Abilities -20%

Since 1970, demand for cognitive competencies has increased while demand for physical competencies has decreased.


of employees will require significant up-skilling by 2022.


of students with both an associate degree and a non-degree credential said their education made them an attractive job candidate

What soft skills are needed most today?

Below is a summary of the most valuable soft skills recognized by some of the most respected industry experts.

SHRM /Monster

World Economic Forum






Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Professionalism/Work Ethic


Career and Self-Development

Problem Solving/Change


Emotional Intelligence



Decision Making



Critical Thinking

Active Learning



of HR leaders report having a formal effort in place to deemphasize degrees and prioritize skills or are actively moving in that direction.

Students want alternative credentials.

Digital credentials add tremendous value to the student experience. Alternative credentials show evidence of valuable skills developed beyond a formal degree.

One in five Americans has said they plan to enroll in an education program in the next six months, according to Strada's Public Viewpoint survey on COVID-19’s impact on adults’ work and education.

Skills training tops the list of preferred education options (37 percent) among respondents if they were to enroll in a program in the next six months, followed by nondegree credentials (25 percent). Rounding out the list were the bachelor’s degree (16 percent), associate degree (12 percent) and graduate degree (10 percent).

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