2012 SHEEO Higher Education Policy Conference
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2012 SHEEO Higher Education Policy Conference. Working with business leaders and responding to changing workforce needs Nicole Smith August 2012. Universal Challenges. Recessions accelerate process of skills-biased technological change.

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Working with business leaders and responding to changing workforce needs nicole smith august 2012

2012 SHEEO Higher Education Policy Conference

Working with business leaders and responding to changing workforce needs

Nicole Smith

August 2012


Universal challenges
Universal Challenges

  • Recessions accelerate process of skills-biased technological change.

  • Jobs that remain, require more and more postsecondary education and training.

  • Fastest growing industries are the ones that use postsecondary education most intensely

  • The United States has been underproducing college-educated workers for decades (Goldin/Katz). 

  • The undersupply of postsecondary-educated workers has contributed to inefficiency, inequity and mismatch

  • If we continue to underproduce college-educated workers, the large and growing gap between the earnings of Americans of different educational attainment will grow even wider.


Skills biased technical change is the engine that favors services
Skills biased technical change is the engine that favors services

SOURCE: The Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce analysis of Census and O*NET data


The economic value of college education has increased over the past 40 years
The Economic Value of College Education has increased over the past 40 years.

Wage growth by education level for men

Wage growth by education level for women

Source: Center on Education and the Workforce Analysis



Post recession 2007 the growth has been in college level jobs
Post recession 2007: the past 40 years. The growth has been in college level jobs



Working with business leaders and responding to changing workforce needs nicole smith august 2012

About the past 40 years. 65 percent $772 billion on education and training is spent outside of the formal postsecondary education system. (in billions of dollars)


Characteristic of mismatch
Characteristic of Mismatch the past 40 years.

  • Knowledge, skills, abilities that for all intents should have been learned in the education system remain wanting. Even soft skills such as communication skills, networking, general people skills have grown in importance but remain insufficient.

    • 5.6 million people in the US have been unemployed for six months or more.

    • 43% of all unemployed and just over 4 percent of the entire labor force.

    • Disproportionately minority

    • More likely to be male,

    • Significantly more likely to have high school as the highest level of education attained.




Cognitive skills are on the rise
Cognitive skills are on the rise cognitive competencies


Taxonomy of tasks
Taxonomy of Tasks cognitive competencies


Our responsibility
Our Responsibility cognitive competencies

Impact Those “At Risk”:

  • First generation college attendees

  • Strengthen high school to college pipeline

  • Improve graduation rates

  • Reduce need for remediation

  • Improve workforce preparedness

  • Leverage resources between public and private sectors to support educational excellence