The nation needs a learning and earning exchange to guide individuals in making education and career decisions, advances a new report from the Georgetown Center on Education and the Workforce.

Original Article:

Options for education and training are proliferating, as are the number of documented occupations—from 270 in 1950 to 840 in 2010—and we still know too little about which programs and credentials best set students on the path to success. With this in mind, authors Carnevale, Garcia and Gulish suggest integrating education and workforce data to improve education and training, place learners and workers onto career pathways, and meet employer needs.

The report breaks down this learning and earning exchange into five areas: statewide business recruitment, program alignment with labor market needs, curriculum alignment with workforce competencies, counseling and career pathways, and job placement and skills gap analysis.

It also provides examples of how states are taking on pieces of this challenge, including:

  • Connecticut’s Training and Education Planning System to help college administrators consider labor market needs in program planning
  • The Skills Outcome Analysis program from the Center for Employability Outcomes at Texas State Technical College, which helps colleges align curriculum with skills needed in industry
  • A number of variations on online career information and exploration tools from Indiana, Virginia and Colorado, among others

Relatedly, ACTE is wrapping up its work to integrate state education and workforce data with data from industry certification providers, so that states can learn more about students who are earning industry certifications and whether they are benefiting from these industry credentials. Look for a final report on the project in September.