Skill Development

Man and woman engineer industry worker wearing hard hat in factory, photo by eakgrungenerd/AdobeStock

Photo by eakgrungenerd/AdobeStock

Identifying training, curriculum, and skills required for employment success

Workers need to acquire relevant skills through education or experience to survive and thrive in the economy. Our work shows why and how employers, education and training institutions, and workers can collaborate to make skill acquisition a priority in a rapidly changing world.

New from the Center

  • Commentary

    Stacking Certificates and Degrees

    Evidence suggests that stackable credentials in college are promising. But we continue to see disparities in rates of stacking across institutions, fields, and race/ethnicity. This suggests that states and colleges have more work to do to ensure strong stackable credential opportunities for all students.

  • Report

    Are Income Share Agreements a Viable Alternative to Student Loans?

    Under an income share agreement (ISA), the student promises a share of their future income to a funder for a set period in exchange for money for school. ISAs have benefits, but their contract terms vary, they exist in a legal gray zone, and there are equity implications.

  • Project

    Pittsburgh's Science- and Technology-Focused Workforce Ecosystem

    RAND was asked to assess Pittsburgh’s science- and technology-focused (STF) workforce ecosystem. What are some barriers and facilitators to participation in that ecosystem? And what are some strategies to facilitate its continued growth?

  • Commentary

    The Value of Education and Training After High School

    Most types of postsecondary credentials can lead to improved earnings. But returns can vary across different fields and by demographic characteristics. Understanding the value of credentials can help individuals, employers, and policymakers make smarter investments.

  • Research Brief

    Building Ohio's Workforce Through Stackable Credentials

    Ohio has been a leader in scaling stackable credential programs since passing initial legislation on stackable credentials nearly 15 years ago. Over this time, Ohio saw strong growth in short-term credential programs. And most individuals who stacked credentials earned a degree.

  • Commentary

    Are Income Share Agreements Fair?

    Income share agreements provide access to postsecondary education for students who could not otherwise pay for school. Borrowers pay back a share of their salary when they get a well-paying job. But since ISAs are not regulated or standardized, they pose unique risks and have the potential for discrimination.

  • Commentary

    The Credentials Students Earn Beyond a High School Diploma

    Americans can pursue a variety of different types of postsecondary education credentials. These include degrees, certificates, industry certifications and licenses, and apprenticeships. Who is earning these postsecondary credentials? And how diverse are they?

  • Commentary

    Fortifying Education as a Pathway to the Middle Class

    Education levels in the United States have been rising for 50 years, including large gains for many demographic groups. Adults with college degrees have higher incomes than their less-educated peers. But declining public support for higher education and increasing costs are making it harder to obtain degrees.

  • Improving Pre-Engineering and Computer Science Education Through Micro-Credentialing

    Louisiana STEM micro-credential project is a partnership between the Louisiana Department of Education, Louisiana State University (LSU), BloomBoard Inc., and the RAND Corporation to develop and study a set of STEM micro-credentials. The micro-credentials are aligned to the content of the courses taught in the pathways and are intended to help teachers apply their STEM training to the classes they teach. The goal of the micro-credentials is to provide job-embedded professional development that will improve teacher instruction and student learning.

  • Mapping Workforce Certificate and Degree Pathways in Ohio: Are Postsecondary Training Opportunities Setting Students Up for Success?

    Project partnered with the Ohio Department of Higher Education aims to develop a clear understanding of the progression of students through Ohio’s workforce certificate and degree pathways and transitions into (and out of) the workforce; and to engage with policymakers and practitioners across Ohio to inform policy and practice.

  • An Analysis of Education and Training Programs in Advanced Manufacturing Using Robotics

    On behalf of the Advanced Robotics Manufacturing Institute (ARMI), RAND conducted a review and analysis of the extant literature on the extent and economic impacts of advanced manufacturing nationally.

  • Mapping Workforce Certificate and Degree Pathways in Ohio: Are We Effectively Providing Postsecondary Training Opportunities to Support Employment Among Adult Learners?

    An exploratory, descriptive one-year study of student progress through Ohio's workforce certificate and degree pathways using the state's longitudinal higher education and employment data.

  • The Evaluation of Career and College Promise: A Partnership between the North Carolina Community College System, the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, and SERVE Center at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro

    RAND is evaluating the implementation and impact of Career and College Promise (CCP), a statewide policy that focused North Carolina’s dual enrollment program through pathways. The goal is to maximize state resources by ensuring that students have a better chance of success when taking college courses and to help ensure that the college courses they take in high school are aligned to careers or can move them further toward their education.

  • Scholars at Work Program Evaluation

    An evaluation of the implementation, effectiveness, and impact of the Scholars at Work program (SaW) for the New York City Center for Economic Opportunity, in partnership with the NYC Department of Small Business Services and the NYC Department of Education. SaW provides Career and Technical Education to high school students studying technical skills in critical economic sectors with opportunities to apply these skills in authentic industry settings.

  • The Appalachia Partnership Initiative

    The project is a five-year effort to improve access to and quality of STEM K-12 education and workforce development programs in advanced manufacturing and the energy sector. The initiative is funded by Chevron Corporation, and the RAND Corporation is providing objective analysis for its programs.

  • Preparing Local Talent for Jobs in the Sub-baccalaureate STEM Economy: A Study of the Marcellus ShaleNET Program and the Energy Sector

    RAND is conducting a multi-method study of the ShaleNET Program, a partnership between energy employers and colleges in Ohio, Pennsylvania and West-Virginia. The program provides sub-baccalaureate training programs for semi-skilled STEM jobs in the energy sector.