Do employers need the skills they want? : evidence from technical work
Changes in the modern workplace, brought about by technology and management innovations and by increased global competition, raise many concerns about the adequacy of workforce skills. In the U.S. and elsewhere, these concerns have led to new ideas about skills, in particular the need for "generic skills" like problem-solving, teamwork, and communications. Many employers and policymakers in the U.S. believe that these skills are necessary for work across most jobs and support school reforms to teach them. This article presents empirical evidence from a study in technical work which challenges conventional wisdom about skills and skill requirements and has broad implications for school reform.
Research conducted by
Originally published in: Journal of Education and Work, v. 10, no. 3, 1997, pp. 205-223.
This report is part of the RAND Corporation Reprint series. The Reprint was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1992 to 2011 that represented previously published journal articles, book chapters, and reports with the permission of the publisher. RAND reprints were formally reviewed in accordance with the publisher's editorial policy and compliant with RAND's rigorous quality assurance standards for quality and objectivity. For select current RAND journal articles, see External Publications.
This document and trademark(s) contained herein are protected by law. This representation of RAND intellectual property is provided for noncommercial use only. Unauthorized posting of this publication online is prohibited; linking directly to this product page is encouraged. Permission is required from RAND to reproduce, or reuse in another form, any of its research documents for commercial purposes. For information on reprint and reuse permissions, please visit www.rand.org/pubs/permissions.
The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.