Research News

UW-Madison's Hora publishes skills gap article for February NACE journal

March 10, 2017

UW-Madison's Matthew Hora recently published an article in the February issue of the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) journal.

Hora is a researcher with the Wisconsin Center for Education Research, which is housed within the School of Education. Hora is also an assistant professor of adult teaching and learning with the Department of Liberal Arts and Applied Studies.

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Hora
The article is headlined, "Beyond the Skills Gap," and explores many of the themes in Hora's recently published book of the same name. The idea of the skills gap argues higher education has lost its focus on jobs, and students are leaving universities ill-equipped to join the labor force.

Common suggested responses to deal with this situation include a greater focus around high-demand jobs like nursing and computer programming, as well as a complete structural reform to higher education.

In the article, however, Hora explains how these responses are not the answer.

Hora writes: "Making matters worse, these strategies are counterproductive to the long-term interests of employers, students, and society, largely based on a misunderstanding of what career competencies really mean and a lack of attention to how they are cultivated in the classroom."