The OLC Research Center and HP Present Research on Workforce Skills Communication

Research Brief 

Presents major findings, including the existence of a workforce skills communication gap that prevents students from effectively communicating in-demand workforce skills they have developed to potential employers.



Highlights actionable strategies for higher education leaders, employers, and students who are seeking to bridge this workforce skills communication gap by establishing industry-institutional partnerships.


Study Details


The purpose of this study was to examine whether institutions are using workforce trends to align learning outcomes and help students communicate their level of workplace skill proficiencies to potential employers. Data was collected from 18 academic leaders, program directors, and faculty at public and private institutions, including two-year technical and community colleges, four-year institutions, and graduate schools across the United States. 

Research Questions 

  1. How are institutions using workforce trends to align and measure learning outcomes? 
  2. How are institutions utilizing workforce trends to design and measure learning experiences connected to learning outcomes? 
  3. What methods are used to teach students to communicate their level of skill proficiencies

Data Collection

Each study participant engaged in a one-hour interview with a member of the research team. Each interview was guided by a semi-structured interview protocol based on the study’s research questions. Data were coded and analyzed to reveal themes in responses.


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