Lightcast Skills helps us tackle two big problems: 1) a rapidly changing labor market where existing data and taxonomies struggle to keep up, and 2) a communication failure where people, education, and work often find themselves misaligned and struggling to make sense out of each other.
Rapidly changing labor market
For years, jobs have been defined by occupation codes (SOC or O*NET). This method has worked well, but the data is quickly out of date and cannot offer insight into many of our economy’s emerging jobs or the quick changes occurring inside of our current job classifications. Furthermore, SOC codes often lack the detail or nuance needed by employers and colleges that want to create up-to-date curriculum.
At the core of the skills gap, we often find a communication breakdown between people (who need to acquire skills), educators and other learning providers (who need to train skills), and businesses (who need hire skills).
Say a college has a great business program, but is struggling to identify the most important, in-demand skills to highlight when they talk to businesses or students about the value and relevance of that program. Across town, a company needs to hire a client relations manager, but isn’t sure they’re including all the right skills in the job advertisement—so they give it their best guess and add all the skills they can think of. At the same time, an alumni of the college’s business program is currently employed as a retail floor manager and is submitting an application for this client relations manager position, yet doesn’t intuitively know which skills to include on their resume.
Each of these is a common problem caused by the miscommunication between people, education, and work. And this miscommunication results in massive labor market inefficiency.
Lightcast’s solution: a common skills language
Introducing Lightcast Skills
Educators need a language that will show value to prospective students and employers
People need employer-friendly language that will communicate their value to businesses, and
Businesses need to know how to clearly express what they’re looking for, so they don’t miss out on hiring valuable talent.
Regions need to understand skill gaps and how to stay competitive.
Skills are the universal language that communicate details of the economy in a deeper and more valuable way.
See our research paper, Using Skills to Strengthen Regions.
Skills describe the value of curriculum, the abilities of jobseekers, and the needs of employers more accurately than job titles. This is because a skill is the common term used by people, education, and employers in a way that a job title simply isn’t. For example, when you say you’re a client relations manager, people nod and say: ‘That’s cool. So what do you actually do?’ To really explain your job, you answer in terms of skills: leadership, problem-solving, project management, etc.