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Employers need to rethink credentialing for the in-demand jobs of today.

  • Traditional degrees may not be the answer for everyone.

The idea: With four-year degrees out of reach for so many, the traditional definition of “higher education” needs to be expanded to include technical training, two-year degrees, and certificate programs that have been designed to help fill the roles in fields with the most openings.

Why it’s important: The way we work has changed, fast. For millions of Americans, especially those without a college degree, this shift has made it difficult to land a good job.

  • Key numbers: According to Beth Cobert, COO at the Markle Foundation, nearly 70% of working Americans lack a four-year college degree, which means they are overlooked for many job opportunities, and that makes it tough for these workers to secure jobs in a changing economy.

A solution: Scaling or forming more partnerships among employers, governments, nonprofits and higher education institutions.

  • These partnerships offer alternative pathways to good-paying, high-growth jobs.
  • One way how: by helping workers land new jobs after learning digital skills online, as with Google’s free Applied Digital Skills that teaches digital basics and its certificate in IT Support.

What Google is saying:

“We think that we can help our economy recover quicker by expanding access to digital skills and technologies that Americans need,” said Dunckelman.

  • So far, the company has donated $50 million to support the nonprofits preparing people for the future of work.

The takeaway: Together, employers, governments, and nonprofits have the power to expand opportunity for low-wage workers.

  • “We need to create real opportunities for people... And we think that takes collaboration across a broad range of stakeholders,” said Beth Cobert, COO at the Markle Foundation.

Go deeper

Ina Fried, author of Login
Jan 5, 2021 - Technology

Google workers test a different kind of union

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

With Monday's announcement that some Google employees have formed the Alphabet Workers Union, the tech industry is getting its own innovative take on labor organizing.

What's happening: On the one hand, this isn't a traditional union — it won't be able to collectively bargain or formally represent the workforce. At the same time, the new "minority union" offers a fresh approach to solidarity: It's open to some managers and can represent temporary and contract workers.

53 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Scoop: Joe Biden's COVID-19 bubble

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The incoming administration is planning extraordinary steps to protect its most prized commodity, Joe Biden, including requiring daily employee COVID tests and N95 masks at all times, according to new guidance sent to some incoming employees Tuesday.

Why it matters: The president-elect is 78 years old and therefore a high risk for the virus and its worst effects, despite having received the vaccine. While President Trump's team was nonchalant about COVID protocols — leading to several super-spreader episodes — the new rules will apply to all White House aides in "high proximity to principals."

Justice Department drops insider trading inquiry against Sen. Richard Burr

Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) walking through the Senate Subway in the U.S. Capitol in December 2020. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Getty Images

The Department of Justice told Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) on Tuesday that it will not move forward with insider trading charges against him.

Why it matters: The decision, first reported by the New York Times, effectively ends the DOJ's investigation into the senator's stock sell-off that occurred after multiple lawmakers were briefed about the coronavirus' potential economic toll. Burr subsequently stepped down as chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee.