Bridging the Skills Gap Starts in High School or Sooner

Bridging the Skills Gap Starts in High School or Sooner

According to the World Economic Forum’s Closing the Skills Gap 2020 report, “42% of the skills demand for jobs across all industries will change between 2018 and 2022.” The rapidly transforming skillset that will be in demand within the next few years must be addressed now – and one way to do that is by recognizing that the standard education system that has been in place for a century must be reevaluated.

Talent Gaps Span Multiple Industries

The Department of Labor reports that there are 6.4 million unfilled jobs. The DOL expects employment to grow by 6.8 million jobs by 2029, with health-care related jobs representing about half that growth. However, there are talent gaps being reported in construction, IT, healthcare, and other technical jobs, including construction, electricians, and engineering. By 2024, there will be more than a million unfilled computer science jobs.

Tech Skills Gap and Tech Talent Shortage – Two Challenges Employers Are Facing

While sometimes used interchangeably, there is both a tech skills gap and a tech talent shortage facing today’s employers that is only predicted to get worse. According to KPMG, there is a shortage in cybersecurity talent of more than 4 million. When cybersecurity is necessary for every industry, this shortage is alarming. But even in the talent that is available, there is a skills gap that is growing quickly as older, more experienced workers retire and new ones fill their places. While progressive companies are focused on retaining existing talent and offering training and upskilling to get the talent they need, the shortage means that we not only need to turn out more skilled tech workers but make sure they have the right skills – from programming languages to data analytics, AI, IoT, UX, and networking. The time to start instilling these skills in students is during high school or sooner.

How to Prepare Today’s Students for Tomorrow’s Workplace

In an article in Dark Reading, Sander Vinberg suggests that companies need to stop seeking experts altogether and instead hire people who are motivated to learn and have an interest in technology and provide the training they need on the job. Because tomorrow’s workplace demands will be high-tech and high touch, employers will be seeking people to hire who are tech savvy but also creative, communicative, and with a high EQ (emotional intelligence).

CTE May Help Fill the Skills Gap in Many Industries

High school and community college career and technical education (CTE) programs give students the academic, technical and employability skills needed for workplace success. When it comes to technology skills, one effective way to deliver this training is through the Google IT Support Professional Certificate. Exclusively through Global Grid for Learning (GG4L), Google is bringing their IT Support Professional Certificate to Career & Technical Education high schools across the U.S. This hands-on program, fully developed by Google, introduces learners to the fundamentals of IT support that are critical for success in the workplace – like troubleshooting, customer service, networking, operating systems, system administration, and security.

Future-Proof Skills Initiative

One way to help prepare students is through GG4L’s Future-Proof Skills Initiative. “Future-Proof Skills” is a Global Grid for Learning strategic impact initiative centered on career readiness. The initiative promotes learning environments for students in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) and business education. This can be achieved at the K-12 and college level. GG4L works with a number of vendors whose mission aligns with the initiative to better prepare students for the future. These vendors provide education and enrichment in STEAM and support GG4L’s initiative. For more information, visit the Future Proof Skills website page.

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