A Different Take on the Skills Gap

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A Different Take on the "Skills Gap": Why Cultivating Diverse Competencies is Essential for Success in the 21st Century Economy

Author

Matthew T. Hora
Assistant Professor, Department of Liberal Arts and Applied Studies
University of Wisconsin–Madison
Research Scientist
Wisconsin Center for Education Research

Ross J. Benbow
Associate Researcher
Wisconsin Center for Education Research

Amanda K. Oleson
Assistant Researcher
Wisconsin Center for Education Research

Yimin Wang
Project Assistant
Wisconsin Center for Education Research

Summary

The nature of the “skills gap” in Wisconsin was examined through interviews with 141 employers and educators. Results highlight the importance of both technical and non-cognitive competencies for success in the workplace. To ensure students and workers acquire needed skills, policymakers should support high-quality teaching and training; recognize the value of the liberal arts/general education; and foster partnerships among educators, employers, and the community.

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