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Skills gap gets worse, demand evolving

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81% of HR professionals believe having a degree positions for success

According to US publishing house John Wiley and Sons, the skills gap in the US appears to be getting worse, not better.

Its “Closing the Skills Gap” report found that 69% of US human resources professionals surveyed said their organization has a skills gap. That is up from 55% in a similar survey in 2021.

Todd Zipper, Executive Vice President at Wiley said: “This widening of the skills gap is concerning and not likely to end soon,” said. “The demand for skills keeps evolving faster, and it’s increasingly hard for companies and higher education institutions to keep up, particularly when it comes to soft skills.”

Lingering effects of the Great Resignation may exacerbate the skills gap, as more than 40% of respondents said it takes more time than before to find suitable job candidates. A nearly equal percentage said they must offer higher pay and additional benefits.

Training may be one way to reduce the skills gap, and some firms reimburse employees’ tuition costs for training or partner with colleges or technical schools. The proportion of respondents who said more than 5% of their workforce used tuition assistance rose from 61% in 2021 to 69% in 2022.

Wiley’s report also suggests alternate credentials are gaining on the college degree as a way to validate job skills. While 81% of respondents believe earning a bachelor’s degree positions an individual for success, 62% place less value on whether applicants graduated from college, with most saying they would interview non-graduates who have five years of relevant work experience, certificates from colleges or universities, and digital badges or micro-credentials.

Wiley surveyed 600 US human resources professionals for the report.

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