Matching Skills to Jobs Remains a Puzzle in U.S., Too

Susan Hall
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13 of Today's Hottest Tech Skills

Highlights of the most in-demand skills and their growth over the past year.

I wrote earlier about the European Union's agenda to address the mismatch between worker skills and jobs, now and in the future.


That mismatch of skills and jobs remains a concern in the United States as well, though as far as I know, the government hasn't put a lid on new college programs as the Philippines has to divert students to other majors.


This Philadelphia Inquirer piece delves into the work of Northwestern University professor Dale T. Mortensen, who was recently awarded the Nobel Prize in economics, that tries to explain how high unemployment can co-exist with a high number of open jobs. Writer Victor Li explains:

A recovering economy can experience high unemployment if there aren't enough workers qualified to fill new openings. This is particularly true in times of rapid technological change, when workers who lost their jobs at the beginning of a long recession find they are not qualified to fill new openings. It was recently reported, for example, that an unemployed autoworker applied for his old job but didn't have the skills to operate the new machinery involved.

Among the solutions offered by Li, a professor of economics at the Villanova School of Business:

Stimulus policies should focus on financial assistance for students and retraining and vocational programs for workers, which will equip the work force with the skills to compete in a changing labor market.

In IT especially, it's difficult to tell what the jobs of the future will be and to align training pipelines for those skills. As my colleague Ann All has pointed out, change is already under way, though. The problem for many, as our Mike Vizard has written at CTO Edge, is that IT workers tend to be up to their eyeballs in work, leaving little time to develop new skills and that employers don't want to pay for their training.

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