Skills Analyses: A window into the needs of employers and learners
Our skills analyses are a valuable tool for ensuring that academic programs are aligned with the needs of both learners and employers.Jeremy Lingle, PhD | Division for Teaching Innovation and Program Strategy Nov 6, 2023
Many different sources of information can be referenced as we make certain that our academic programs provide the most valuable knowledge, skills, and competencies to our learners. Examples of these data sources include interviews with advisory board members and industry leaders, economic reports, and student surveys. Another tool that we have available using the information gathered by LightcastTM is skills analyses. Our market intelligence team is able to provide our campus community with information about skills that are in demand in the Denver area or across the nation.
This information can be useful for informing many programmatic decisions, such as:
- Serving as a cross-reference with the skills taught in existing programs to make sure it is aligned with employer needs,
- Informing ideas about new programs to check that demand is strong and addressing any skill gaps in the market,
- To inform marketing decisions so that the most sought-after skills are at the forefront.
Skills analyses involves exploring the content included in job postings. LightcastTM has tools available to provide summary tables of this information. A typical analysis includes two common data points: Foundational Skills are those that appear at high frequencies; and Emerging Skills are those showing large growth over recent years. Foundational skills are important to emphasize in curriculum designed to lead to identified jobs. Emerging skills can inform the development of new content, new courses, or new microcredential programs.
Foundational Skills Example
Working with program leadership, job titles were identified and included in a skills analysis. The following tables include skills or qualifications that appeared in 20% or more of job postings nationally.
Emerging Skills Example
The skills and qualifications appearing in the following table have shown growth of more than 100% over the last five years and also appeared in at least 5% of all job postings nationally.
The market intelligence team here at TIPS can work with you to identify the job titles, degree levels, and regions of interest. We can also refine our research to focus on specific industries, occupations, or companies. Our initial meeting is a vital first step to make sure we can provide you with the most relevant information. Please reach out to Jeremy Lingle, Director of Microcredentials, at Jeremy.firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about skills analyses for your program.