The bricks of modern education need the straw of experience-based skills

January 13, 2014

Harvard Business Review recently published a post about competency-based education and the advantage it gives employers when they are looking for the right job candidate.

McKinsey & Company’s “Education to Employment” report, referenced in the article, gives a thorough look into what students, employers and educational institutions think about the education students are receiving today. It outlines huge opportunities for growth that are only possible if the three groups work together.

Employers worldwide have expressed that college transcripts are oftentimes not very helpful when assessing a candidate for a position.  This is where competency-based education and assessment comes in. “To link education to meaningful outcomes, what’s needed is the ability in college to assess – in detail and at scale – the development of real world-relevant skills.” Employers can then take this assessment and compare it directly to the job position to determine if the candidate has what it takes to get the position.

A few companies in the United States (HBR’s article outlines them) have used skills-based hiring techniques to pick job candidates. It seems to be working very well for them; there has been a 25-75% reduction in turnover, a 40-70% reduction in time to hire, a 70% reduction in cost to hire, and a 50% reduction in time to train.

These numbers are very promising. We’re going to hear more about employers using competency-based education and assessment in 2014.

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