The State of the Future U.S. Workforce: Student Ability Report
YouScience Discovery aptitude-based career guidance assessments taken in U.S. high schools across all 50 states in 2021. Outlining findings and suggest solutions that address the challenge in a holistic, practical ways.
Economies worldwide face a widening gap that is more impactful than inflation or supply chain issues. One that results in lost productivity and may lead to as much as $8.5 trillion in unrealized revenues. One that’s forecast to leave 85 million unfilled jobs by 2030. The gap is the one between available skills and ready-to-work talent, and it is growing. The challenge affects schools, industries, and policymakers.
On one side of the skills gap is industry battling for a limited pipeline of skilled workers. Forty-nine percent of industry leaders say their top challenge is the limited supply of talent Ironically, in May 2022, almost six million people in the U.S. were unemployed
On the other side is an education system that, despite decades of study, the dedication of faculty and administrators, large-scale investment, and the best of intentions, has not fully solved the disconnect between what students study and what industry needs.
In the middle are students graduating from an educational system with more available pathways than ever before but less clarity about what the right approach for their future is. They face a number of issues that lead them to question what is next, including:
• How are school and the classes I am taking relevant to my future?
• What should I do when I graduate?
• What options do I have if I do not go to college?
• Is college worth the time and investment?
• How do I communicate my skills to employers?
Perhaps most important is this question:
• What is the right path for me?
There are many approaches and programs that attempt to address these important questions, but little agreement on the right approach. Solving the skills gap is not only possible, it is essential. Addressing the skills gap requires alignment among policymakers and industry and education leaders in a way that recognizes and supports each individual student’s success. Now is the time. The stars are aligned for massive transformation in education and industry.