Report Examines Competencies Needed to Succeed in Workforce

A new report from the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce (CEW) pinpoints the five most in-demand competencies across the labor market. Those work skills include communication, teamwork, sales, customer service, leadership, problem-solving and complex thinking, all of which can yield higher earnings.

The intensity in which workers use these competencies, along with their education level, can also affect their earnings, according to the report titled “Workplace Basics: The Competencies Employers Want.”

Dr. Megan L. Fasules

“In a nutshell, the report looks at what competencies are demanded in the labor market, as in what is judged as the highest level and most important competency that you need for your job,” said Dr. Megan L. Fasules, assistant research professor and economist at Georgetown University.  “But also what competencies are rewarded monetarily, which have labor-market value.”

Data for the report was retrieved from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Information Network. According to the research, the past 50 years have shown structural changes to the economy that have caused the demand for cognitive competencies to increase and the demand for physical competencies to decrease.

Though labor economists have been privy to the competencies needed to reflect this change in the market since the early 1980s and 1990s, Dr. Anthony P. Carnevale, director and research professor at Georgetown and co-author of the report, noted that “the question then becomes, ‘How do people get these skills?’” Education beyond high school has become the benchmark which employers use to determine if people can learn and adapt to competencies needed for their jobs, he added.

The PhD Project Panel Focuses on Building the Pipeline

The PhD Project — a non-profit organization, working to increase the diversity of business school faculty, since 1994 — held its annual conference virtually and hosted its second annual talk titled “Wonder Women Diversity Discussion” to strategize about how best to build the talent pipeline in diversity for unrepresented students pursuing business degrees and Ph.D.’s.

Panelists included Dr. Erika James, the first woman and first person of color to serve as dean of the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania; Dr. Jennifer Joe, a professor and chief diversity advocate at the Alfred Lerner College of Business & Economics at the University of Delaware; and Dr. Sandra Richtermeyer, dean of the Manning School of Business at The University of Massachusetts Lowell (UMass Lowell).

Dr. Jamal Watson, a professor of Communications at Trinity Washington University and editor and contributor to Diverse: Issues In Higher Education, moderated the panel.

“Whether you’re in a corporate sector or academia, we’re all trying to attract, to yield, to retain the best diverse talent as possible,” said James. “So, at the core that’s the work to be done and that exists across both communities.”

Dr. Erika James

Where the differences lie, she said, “is in how we do that work and the power and influence that can be leveraged in different ways across the institutions.”

The corporate sector can play a role in helping to build corporate hiring, staffing and the economy, noted Watson.

“Corporations should recognize that they are key stakeholders and can be significant partners with universities to enhance and retain diverse talent,” said Joe.

Joe noted that partnerships with colleges and universities could — and should — be reciprocal. For example, using corporate donor dollars could help to further develop diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) efforts on campus. Similarly, utilizing academia

Read more:

Utah Expands Higher Education Options For Students With Intellectual Disabilities

With the help of a $1.9 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education, Utah Valley University will be launching a three-year certificate program for Utah residents with intellectual disabilities in summer 2021.

As a part of the program, called Wolverines Elevated, students will earn a certificate in Integrated College and Community Studies, which can be paired with other certificates available at the college.

The program will be based out of the university’s Melissa Nellesen Center for Autism, starting with a cohort of five to seven students for the first two years, with plans to welcome 10 to 12 students per year in the future. It’s funded through a Transition and Postsecondary Programs for Students with Intellectual Disabilities (TPSID) grant, a decade-old federal program.

“One of the things we know right now is more than half of students with intellectual disabilities are unemployed or underemployed as adults,” said Dr. Jane Carlson, director of the Melisa Nellesen Center for Autism. “What we’re really hoping to do is move the needle on the percentage of students who are out there living and working independently in the community in competitive employment. And we firmly believe these students are very capable of achieving that.”

The emphasis of the program is on career development. In the first year, students will be shadowing staff on campus doing different kinds of jobs to explore potential career goals. Their second year will include an on-campus internship, and in their final year, they’ll intern off campus through the program’s business partnerships, so students will graduate with a padded resume. Simultaneously, students take both specialized courses and classes alongside the rest of the student body, with the support of a vocational coordinator and a group of peer mentors.

Students will also participate in “the typical things that college students do when they’re being college students,” Carlson said, like campus clubs and sporting events.

She thinks Utah Valley University is an ideal place for a program like this. A four-year college since 1993, the university started as a vocational school, so it still has a “rich array” of certificate programs that students with intellectual disab

Read more:

National Weather

Click on map for forecast