Some say that STEM skills are the most critical skills in the age of automation. Others think only the uniquely “human” skills of the liberal arts will survive.
We believe it’s both. The most valuable workers now, and in the future, are those who combine technical knowledge with human skills.
Rather than pit a college education against workforce training, we advocate integrating both in the learning process. Learn more in Robot Ready: Human+ Skills for the Future of Work
Human skills, like leadership, communication, and problem solving, are among the most in-demand skills in the labor market.
Human skills are applied differently across career fields and must be effectively translated in terms of their relevance and application within a given field.
Liberal art grads should add technical skills. There is considerable demand for workers who complement their human skills with basic technical skills like data analysis and digital fluency.
Human+ skills are at work in a variety of fields. Human skills help liberal arts grads thrive in many career areas, including marketing, public relations, technology, and sales.
From their first job to their third job, liberal arts graduates commonly transition into high-skill, high-demand careers in marketing, advertising, public relations, management, and human resources and out of low-wage jobs in food preparation and customer service, for example.
Liberal arts grads then hit their stride later in their careers, experiencing rapid wage growth in their late 30s and early 40s—the fastest among majors. They have solid earnings and consistently outstrip certain career-oriented majors, but they don’t ever catch up to STEM majors in earnings.
Authors and Contributors
Strada Institute advances our understanding of the changing nature of work, so that we can design and create the learning ecosystem of the future.
As a labor market analytics company, Emsi uses data from a large number of sources to connect people, education, and work.
Higher education’s measurement of student success is in the midst of an evolution. For nearly five decades, success efforts focused on access, then two decades with completion as the horizon for success, and now the focus is extending to student outcomes beyond completion.
Applied connections between education and work are increasingly a part of undergraduate education in the United States.
Two centuries after the first historically Black colleges and universities were founded, the 101 accredited HBCUs in operation today continue to deliver on their legacy of expanding educational opportunity for Black students that leads to successful and fulfilling lives.
As a field, higher education has experienced a continuing evolution in how to measure success. For nearly five decades success efforts were focused on access, followed by the past decade and a half pursuing completion, and the field now has a growing focus on the value of a degree and student outcomes beyond completion.
Strada’s prior research on undergraduate perceptions of the value of their education demonstrates that students value their education most when they receive support to connect their education and career interests.
In the wake of historic pandemic-related enrollment declines, postsecondary institutions have responded by developing and expanding innovative approaches to engaging learners.
The baccalaureate degree remains the surest path to economic mobility, employment stability, and a host of associated social benefits.
Steep declines in undergraduate enrollment during 2020 and 2021 threaten to widen existing equity gaps in college completion and career opportunities.
Nondegree credentials have been growing rapidly for decades. During the COVID-19 economic crisis, interest in nondegree credentials and skills training options was especially high. Questions about their quality and value, however, remain.
The high school classes of 2020 and 2021 have endured massive disruption to their education.
The pandemic has led to a national crisis of widespread disruption to both work and education for millions of adults in the U.S., especially those from historically marginalized groups.
From its onset in early 2020, the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has upended life across the world, leading to uncertainty around health, work, finances, education, and a host of other issues.
Over the past 15 years, the number of student loan recipients has increased by 51 percent and the debt associated with those loans has more than doubled.
We asked alumni nationwide who had borrowed money to go to school if their loans were worth it. Strada Education Network and Gallup surveyed a nationally representative sample of more than 6,000 student loan holders.
Our mission is to improve lives by forging clearer and more purposeful pathways between education and employment.
How Intermediaries Can Connect Education and Work in a Postpandemic World
How is COVID-19 affecting college students currently enrolled at American four-year institutions?