178 - Getting Technical About the Skills Gap

Posted April 14, 2021 by Mark Perna

Episode: 178

Episode Title: Getting Technical About the Skills Gap

The pandemic might help shrink the technical skills gap in America. Find out why, coming up next on the Syndicate.

 

Ep 178 show:

Welcome—you are now in The Perna Syndicate! I’m your host, Mark Perna. Yesterday we discussed the academic learning loss due to COVID that is contributing to our post-pandemic skills gap. Today, I want to talk about what most people think of when they hear “skills gap,” and that’s technical competency, or the hard skills required to perform a particular job. 

 

I believe that the pandemic will have a major silver lining for technical side of the skills gap. Why? 

 

Economic uncertainty has made a lot of students and families wonder if college is really worth the price tag. For years, the costs of higher education have been spiraling out of control, with the value of a degree not keeping pace. At Forbes I covered several studies that show more and more young people taking gap years and questioning whether or not they should start (or continue) their college degree in such unsettled times. 

 

This is naturally leading to a greater awareness of the postsecondary alternatives to college, like industry training, boot camps, apprenticeships, certification programs, and more. We are moving away from the idea that college is the only way to win—it’s just not supported by the data. 

 

This is a good thing. While I’m not anti-college in any way, shape or form, I believe that the more information and options young people have, the better choices they can make. If more young people, spurred by the pandemic, do pursue other postsecondary training pathways, that’s good news for skills-gap industries struggling to source qualified talent.  

 

There’s another aspect of the post-pandemic skills gap: soft skills. In our newly remote workplace, soft skills are getting lots of attention. On tomorrow’s show, we’ll talk about it. See you then!


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Mark Perna
Mark C. Perna is an international speaker and bestselling author. He also serves as CEO of TFS Results, a strategic consulting firm at the forefront of the national paradigm shift in education and workforce development.
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