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A Skills-Powered Future

Why Skills?

“Skills are rapidly evolving to be the currency of the labor market, and like any marketplace, the marketplace needs to have agreement on the units of measure and the rules of exchange. This framework must include the development of a digital open skills system for American workers and students to align the skills and competencies needed to effectively connect education-to-work. In a time of labor market upheaval, it is of critical importance that job-seekers be able to clearly articulate the value they bring to employers, including learning and skills from both academic and work-based contexts.”

Scott Pulsipher, WGU President 
Testimony to US House Committee on Education and Labor
July 7, 2020 

Powering Skills as a Currency

Skills are a critical currency developed across a lifetime of work and learning. Whether you are just beginning with school, a seasoned professional, or an organization, skills are an important nexus between work and learning in an ever-changing world. The potential of skills to speak to a learner’s unique journey is powerful, but without a way to validate and share them, skills can become keywords without meaning. WGU recognizes the importance of skills and their transformative role in education, hiring, and the workforce. With the right support, skills have the potential to connect each of these sectors and make transitions between them seamless. WGU’s skills work ensures credential integrity and relevance for our learners by utilizing verified frameworks that are recognized by educators and employers alike. To ensure all learners are equipped with the skills to flourish, WGU is committed to relevant skill alignment using rich skill descriptors where the context of skills across industry sectors is clear, transparent, and validated by the voice of employers. WGU’s skills set the path for the future of learning and working with a digital Achievement Wallet that will move transcripts, resumes, and certifications to the next level. Together, WGU is crafting a skills-based future where everyone can thrive.

Relevant Skills Bridge the Gap

The world around us is transforming rapidly, fueled by a surge in innovative technologies and a demand for new and evolving skill sets set against a frustrating skills gap. The global conversation on skills-based education and hiring is gaining momentum driven by the growing chasm between the demand for specific skills and the supply of talented individuals who possess them. WGU is pioneering advancements within the skills-ecosystem to close this gap. The aim is to propel WGU students into a future that values and understands their learning and career potential through skills. The talent supply chain is morphing right before your eyes, with a growing importance in the relevance of skills and competencies for creating opportunity for all, opening doors, and creating a thriving workforce.

Skills for Success

Skills-based hiring has been hindered by a lack of common language and taxonomy for skills. WGU addresses these hurdles through an integrated approach that aligns the offerings of education with workforce needs. The transparency and authenticity of skills can revolutionize the talent supply chain, making it more efficient and inclusive. WGU created enhanced skills definitions called Rich Skill Descriptors. These contain a number of properties that provide greater context, searchability, and meaning.  WGU's focus on defining and inspiring an ecosystem of skills-based education and hiring is designed to bridge the gaps in the current system and usher in a new era of opportunities.

“We believe in a skills-denominated future and that skills-denominated future is going to unlock talent and create pathways at a scale and in a way that we have yet to experience.”

-President Scott Pulsipher