Although employers may require degrees, these credentials may not be the best signal of skills for hiring qualified workers. And students may not see investing in years of postsecondary education as cost-effective. Using competencies to communicate skills could facilitate smarter hiring practices and create a more flexible, lower-cost education system of shorter-term credentials that are valued in the labor market and can lead to a degree. Government and educational institutions need to change their systems to support this shift.
This brief highlights how policy and programming can encourage and support the integration of competencies into postsecondary education and training.