A shortage of skill places the United States under pressure

February 4th, 2016




Last week, Bloomberg reported the global skills gap is widening, especially in the United States.


The global skills gap refers to the difference between the skills that the work forces, particularly students recently out of college, possess and the desirable skills that employers are looking for.


In Bloomberg’s article, “the metric of the Ancient Babylonians” it is indicated to the reader that math proficiency is worse now than it was in a time we now consider to be uncivilized


While this metric is not particularly fair, there is no known way to give the ancient Babylonians a standardized test under common core, the point still stands.


Due to new technology, the work force is developing at a speed that educators and students just cannot keep up with.


The Hays Global Skills Index is a scale from zero to 10 that factors in educational flexibility, labor market participation, labor market flexibility, talent mismatch, overall wage pressure, wage pressure in high skill industries, and wage pressure in high skill occupations.


These factors are then averaged to grant a conclusive score to each country’s wage gap.


In 2015, the United States received a score of 6.9 out of 10. This score is up to 0.6 points from the previous year.


When breaking down the factors that contribute to this score, the United States performed the worst in talent mismatch and wage pressure in high skill industries, receiving a 10 out of 10 score in both these areas.

China Drone School

When observing the factor of talent mismatch on a comparative global scale, the Hays Global Skills Index reported that he United States performs 0.3 points worse than the United Kingdom, five points worse than India, 5.1 points worse than China and 6.2 points worse than the Netherlands.


It is important to comprehend how some countries with developing and unstable economies are able to outperform the United States in matching skilled employees to employers.


A great deal of this issue can be attributed to common core and what students are learning in school currently.


As technology in the workforce improves and changes, the common core remains largely the same.


Due to this, students are learning skills that could be considered outdated, or replaced with more practical ones.


Fortune Magazine gave the example of the high demand for computer programmers and the lack of programming skills required or taught in schools in the article about how online education could narrow the global skills gap.


However, many possible solutions have been proposed to remedy this problem, one being online education in relevant topics supplementing what is learned through common core and being available to all.


This would not only shrink the skills gap, but also shrink the income gap of those receiving quality education and those who are not.


Another solution, proposed by JP Morgan Chase and Co. suggests that career specific pathways be provided throughout education to ensure that skills for certain jobs are met in the emerging workforce.


Currently, the idea of revisiting common core is the most popular solution.


This would involve shaping standardized curriculum to ensure that the students of today are taught the skills of tomorrow.


Editor’s Note: Information from Bloomberg, Fortune Magazine and the Hays Global Skills Index were used in this report.