Unstuck in the Middle: Building a Skills Spectrum


“Middle skills” is a misnomer. The landscape of opportunities between the high school diploma and the bachelor’s degree is broad, complex -- and makes up the majority of the U.S. labor market. But millions of workers trained to the middle-skill level remain locked out of the labor market because of employers’ all-or-nothing approach: jobs either require a degree or they don’t. This panel will make the case that considering skills along a spectrum can unlock new pathways to economic opportunity.

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  1. Categorize and quantify the wide variety of middle-skill positions (e.g., those that require education beyond high school but not a degree).
  2. Understand the emerging landscape of education, training, and credential providers serving middle-skill workers and adult learners.
  3. Learn about the various metrics (e.g., durability, compensation, opportunity for advancement) that could make up a skills spectrum.



Ben Watsky, Chief of Staff, Whiteboard Advisors

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