Urban Institute: Training for Jobs for the Future

During the next 10 years, low-wage jobs will continue to grow significantly. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that of the 15 occupations predicted to add the most jobs from 2016 to 2026, only 5 pay annual wages higher than the national median (Bureau of Labor Statistics 2016).   Predictions of automation and increased use of technology bring concerns that many workers will need to learn new skills or change locations to find jobs as whole sectors are displaced. One study projecting the implications of automation in the US found that by 2030, 23 percent of current work activity hours could be automated with currently available technology.  These trends suggest a need for a major revamping of policies and programs that prepare people for careers and retrain people who must change careers.

The authors of Training for Jobs for the Future focus on three promising approaches to certifying skills:

1. A “verified resume”*** chronicling a worker’s skills through the endorsements of past employers and educators.

2. Increased reliance on competency-based education that measures skills rather than seat time.

3. The development, validation, and promotion of a broader ecosystem of stackable skills-oriented credentials such as micro-credentials, badges, and short-term certificates.

***The verified resume is a concept developed and promoted by Arnold Packer, formerly of Johns Hopkins University. A verified resume is a document that records the skills and knowledge that people acquire through their lives, both as students and workers. Packer describes the verified resume as “midway between LinkedIn and a credential.” Interest in verified resumes has grown in recent years with developments in blockchain technology that can reliably document skill verification by a distributed network of actors. 

What is your experience with verified resumes?  Do you teach learners about them?   Employers, are you seeing more of them for middle-skill job openings?

Mike Cruse

Career Pathways Moderator