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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.

Oklahoma Supreme Court temporarily blocks abortion restrictions

A pro-choice activist demonstrates outside the U.S. Supreme Court on Oct. 4, 2021. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Oklahoma Supreme Court on Monday temporarily blocked three abortion restrictions set to take effect on Nov. 1.

Why it matters: The laws would place new limits on medication-induced abortions and require doctors who perform abortions to attain board certification in obstetrics and gynecology.

U.S. freezes aid to Sudan over military coup

Protesting the coup in Khartoum. Photo: AFP via Getty

The Biden administration has frozen a $700 million aid package to Sudan after a military coup on Monday threatened to end the country's transition toward democracy.

Driving the news: At least three protesters have been killed and dozens wounded in the chaotic scenes that followed the announcements from Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, the head of Sudan's ruling council, dissolving the government and declaring a state of emergency.