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From Degrees to Competencies: What A Shift to Competencies Could Mean for Employers and Students

Jeff Grann, Credential Engine, and Becky Klein-Collins, Council for Adult and Experiential Learning, have collaborated on a four-part blog series exploring competency transparency in our learning and labor market systems, the potential role that postsecondary institutions can play, and the work needed to get there. The following is an excerpt from the second article in the series

Today, many employers — particularly large employers —  are exploring how they might hire and promote based on evidence of the specific set of knowledge, skills, abilities, and dispositions required for success in a particular context: what some have come to call competencies.

A system where competencies are front and center would require new tools and strategies, such as:

  • Digital platforms that help individual workers and learners explore competency-based career pathways.
  • Competency-based curricula underlying degrees and other credentials.
  • Competency-based learner records that capture achievements that individuals acquire throughout their lifetime — from both formal learning environments and work or life experiences.

With these tools and strategies, employers could better articulate the competencies needed for particular jobs and could identify the best candidates for those jobs in a way that expands their talent pipeline. Competency-based tools can provide individual jobseekers more clarity about their own skills and abilities, along with a clearer picture of how their existing competencies map to occupations and career pathways.

Read the full article.

Explore the complete blog series: