- World Economic Forum data shows approximately 50% of the workforce is going to need to reskill over the next few years.
- Founder of Grow with Google Lisa Gevelber sees this need for upskilling as a huge opportunity for career and economic mobility.
- Companies like Google, Walmart and McDonald’s have introduced their own programs to help staff work their way up the company’s ladder or adopt new skills that could help them expand their career outside of the organization.
Go to school. Get a degree. Land the dream job.
Success and education have become deeply intertwined since that chain of events became enmeshed in the American dream. Unfortunately, the societal view of these achievements ignores those who chose a different path.
According to Pew Research, the number of adults older than 25 who have a bachelor’s degree grew from 30.4% in 2011 to 37.9% in 2021.
Impressive, yes. But these figures do nothing to make the job hunt easier for those with the same drive as degree-holding professionals.
What does that mean for those who don’t have the privilege to afford higher education? Whose life events kept them from pursuing a degree? Or those who simply decided that going to college was not part of their life plan?
“If you look at the World Economic Forum data, it actually says that 50% of us are going to need to reskill over the next few years. So that might sound like a scary number, but I think it’s a really big opportunity,” said Lisa Gevelber, founder of Grow with Google, in discussion with Allwork.Space’s Future of Work Podcast.
“If most of us need to find a way to enhance our skills, that means that there’s lots of opportunity in the space for us to find greater economic opportunity, maybe new careers or new economic mobility,” she said.
Here are a couple paths anyone can take to update and enhance their skills, plus learn completely new ones.
Educational institutions and companies have made strides to fill in these skills gaps.
Companies like Google, Walmart and McDonald’s have introduced their own programs to help staff work their way up the company’s ladder or adopt new skills that could help them expand their career outside of the organization.
“[Google] created a bunch of programs that help people with digital skills, and one of the ones that I’m most excited about is our career certificate program,” said Gevelber. “That program is really designed to help anyone, regardless of their educational background or prior work experience, learn everything they need to know to get into one of a handful of in-demand, high-growth, high-paying career fields.”
Those who take part in the Grow with Google program will be able to gain new skills needed for a particular job, participate in over 100 assessments per certificate and will only receive those certificates if they pass all assessments with 80% or higher.
Using programs like Google’s offers a straightforward way to learn without the burden of tuition.
This method may be one of the one of the oldest tricks in the book, but the results speak for themselves.
In fact, a study from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis shows that finding a job through a searcher’s network will result in better job offers than directly connecting with a company. This is largely due to two reasons:
“First, because we assume network connections pass along wage offers like their own, offers passed through network search come from workers who have already selected wages and climbed the ladder,” according to the study. “The second reason comes endogenously from the interaction between network structure and on-the-job search: Job referrals come disproportionately from workers who are more central to the network and these better-connected workers have more access to better jobs and thus even higher wages.”
By making these types of connections, job seekers without a college education can get their foot in the door, create meaningful connections with mentors that can help them advance and thus find a job that allows them to continue to work their way up the ladder.