ERIC Number: EJ1120918
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Nov-10
Can-Do-Hub: The GitHub of Competencies
Weise, Michelle R.
New England Journal of Higher Education, Nov 2016
The debates between vocational/technical training and education are getting old. On one side, we have academics arguing for the timelessness of an education--learning that is not specifically tailored toward work or "the what." On the other side, there are employers retreating more and more from training candidates--and blaming institutions for the sad state of potential hires. Discussions about knowledge, skills and abilities--and the skills gap--inevitably devolve into a dichotomy of "hard" and "soft" skills. Somehow, institutions of higher education teach those soft skills and the ability to "learn how to learn" for a lifetime. Jobs, on the other hand, teach you hard skills--implying a narrower kind of learning experience. Critics argue that employers should therefore own all training by keeping workers current with useful knowledge and skills for rapidly evolving markets. In such an economic climate, Michelle R. Weise advocates the need for a GitHub for competencies to lay the groundwork for a marketplace that does not depend solely on the degree as a proxy for talent. Weise argues that we know that liberal arts competencies are powerful enablers in the workforce, but we need more precise ways of proving it. Most employers use the degree as a screen or general sorting mechanism that may not relate to the jobs' duties. All of this imprecision has led to the demand for higher and more degrees for jobs that don't really require a degree in the first place. A can-do-hub would re-set the long-broken dialogue between industry and education and enable more direct connections between our students and the jobs that they desire.
Descriptors: Minimum Competencies, Skill Development, Job Skills, Skill Obsolescence, Employment Qualifications, Vocational Education, Education Work Relationship, Profiles, Portfolios (Background Materials), Management Information Systems
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
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