Cover of The Great Skills Gap by Edited by Jason Wingard and Christine Farrugia
The Great Skills Gap
Optimizing Talent for the Future of Work
Edited by Jason Wingard and Christine Farrugia


312 pages.

Hardcover ISBN: 9781503613539
Ebook ISBN: 9781503628076

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Excerpts and More

An extraordinary confluence of forces stemming from automation and digital technologies is transforming both the world of work and the ways we educate current and future employees to contribute productively to the workplace.

The Great Skills Gap opens with the premise that the exploding scope and pace of technological innovation in the digital age is fast transforming the fundamental nature of work. Due to these developments, the skills and preparation that employers need from their talent pool are shifting. The accelerated pace of evolution and disruption in the competitive business landscape demands that workers be not only technically proficient, but also exceptionally agile in their capacity to think and act creatively and quickly learn new skills.

This book explores how these transformative forces are—or should be—driving innovations in how colleges and universities prepare students for their careers. Focused on the impact of this confluence of forces at the nexus of work and higher education, the book's contributors—an illustrious group of leading educators, prominent employers, and other thought leaders—answer profound questions about how business and higher education can best collaborate in support of the twenty-first century workforce.

About the authors

Jason Wingard is Dean Emeritus and Professor of Human Capital Management at Columbia University School of Professional Studies. He is the former Chief Learning Officer at Goldman Sachs and Vice Dean of the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. He is author of Learning to Succeed: Reinventing Corporate Education in a World of Unrelenting Change, and co-author of Learning for Life: How Continuous Education Will Keep Us Competitive in the Global Knowledge Economy (both with AMACOM, 2015).

Christine Farrugia is Director of Research Initiatives at Columbia University School of Professional Studies.

"Few topics have generated as much attention as the future of work, yet we have given almost no attention to the bigger role that higher education plays in supporting careers. The Great Skills Gap is the first book to take on that question by offering a comprehensive assessment of the challenges and opportunities facing higher education from all perspectives. A must-read for those interested in its future."

—Peter Cappelli, George W. Taylor Professor of Management, Director of Center for Human Resources, University of Pennsylvania

"The Great Skills Gap explores how higher education institutions and employers can tackle the difficult problem – but crucial obligation – of preparing our workforce for lifelong, productive careers in a world of ever-increasing disruption and reliance on digital skills. Wingard and Farrugia challenge us to reimagine existing models of higher education and corporate learning to address long-term talent needs while building a broader, more inclusive talent pool with the digital resilience to thrive in work and life."

—Mariana Garavaglia, Chief People & Business Operations Officer at Peloton, Board Member at Wiley & Sons

"The Great Skills Gap shows us what we can have if employers, educators, and policymakers collaborate – a future of meaningful learning and rewarding careers for a diverse workforce. Only the partnership of educators and employers makes possible the charting of learning pathways combining liberal arts education with technological skills needed for the digital age. By collaborating to make transparent these pathways in learner-centered systems of credentials, we lay the foundation for broader access to learning and the promotion of diversity and inclusion in the workplace."

—Leah VanWey, Dean of the School of Professional Studies and Professor of Sociology, Brown University

"Talent development executives must address the skill readiness of adults at many career stages. This outstanding collection of expert perspectives examines many facets of the partnership between higher education and business. The authors and editors inspire imperatives for future improvement, especially as related to post-traditional students. An essential read."

—Ann E. Schulte, Vice President of Global Talent Development, The Procter & Gamble Company

"The Great Skills Gap provides critically needed focus and breadth exploring one of the most urgent education, business, and public policy challenges we face today: how we innovate, scale, and orchestrate new hybrid education and work strategies for dynamic reinvention. This is a timely and important resource for business, education, labor, and government leaders."

—Jeff Schwartz, US Leader of Future of Work, Deloitte Consulting LLP, author of Work Disrupted

"The Great Skill Gap: Optimizing Talent for the Future of Work is a worthy bookshelf addition for anyone concerned about meeting the labour needs of tomorrow: employers, continuing education instructors, undergraduate educators, workers themselves, and even legislators."

—Eric A. Sader, International Review of Education