Academic skills at work : two perspectives

by Cathy Stasz, Dominic J. Brewer


Purchase Print Copy

 FormatList Price
Add to Cart Paperback115 pages Free

Educators, employers and policymakers are interested in academic skills because changes at work require different school preparation if youth are to make a successful transition to employment. Two perspectives for studying skills identified issues in defining and measuring skill requirements for school programs. The two perspectives share the view that skilled behavior is multivariate, and detailed case studies demonstrate how academic skill requirements are contextually bound. The learning environments should reflect potential uses for the knowledge being taught. Technology education should make explicit connections to academic skills and, above all, promote an understanding of why a particular application works. Results from this project are far from conclusive. To further explore multivariate relationships among skills and to sort out the relative importance of education versus experience in rewarding labor market performance, the authors need better information about types of jobs, and more reliable data on non-academic skills from a larger population.

Originally published in: National Center for Research in Vocational Education, MDS-1193, May 1999.

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.

Our mission to help improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis is enabled through our core values of quality and objectivity and our unwavering commitment to the highest level of integrity and ethical behavior. To help ensure our research and analysis are rigorous, objective, and nonpartisan, we subject our research publications to a robust and exacting quality-assurance process; avoid both the appearance and reality of financial and other conflicts of interest through staff training, project screening, and a policy of mandatory disclosure; and pursue transparency in our research engagements through our commitment to the open publication of our research findings and recommendations, disclosure of the source of funding of published research, and policies to ensure intellectual independence. For more information, visit

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.