Weekly Research Digest, 11-15-13

A snapshot of recently released research, reports, surveys, and other findings within the postsecondary education field.

2013 Talent Shortage Survey
The Manpower Group, 2013

Nearly 40,000 employers across 42 countries and territories participated in the survey with 35 percent of employers reporting “having difficulty filling jobs due to a lack of available talent. This is the highest shortage since the start of the global recession.” 

  • Almost 1 in 5 employers facing a talent shortage reported that this is having a high impact on their organization’s ability to meet client needs.
  • Employers in the Americas have the most difficulty in filling technician positions.
  • Employers in the Americas also report a lack of candidates with technical competencies such as professional qualifications and skilled trades.

Meeting Students Where They Are: Profiles of Students in Competency-Based Degree Programs
Center for American Progress, November 2013

This report captures the experiences of several Americans from various academic backgrounds – some went directly to college from high schools, others returned after several years in the workforce, and some who returned to pursue graduate studies – who participated in a competency-based program.
The report presents positive qualities of competency-based learning and identifies shared student experiences that are intended to inform policy priorities regarding postsecondary educational offerings.  Several themes emerged from the student profiles including: 

  • The rigor of demonstrating competencies.
  • The transferability of competencies to the workplace.
  • The value of flexible formats to adult returning students.
  • The importance of a degree to advance in a career.
  • The recognition that what they have learned at work also can ‘count’ in a degree program.

Fact Sheet: The State of Latinas in the United States
Center for American Progress, November 2013

The fact sheet provides statistics about various aspects of the life of Latinas in the United States, including health, education, entrepreneurship, economic security, and political leadership. 

Key findings:

  • College graduate rates for Latinos have increased faster than any other group, although they lag behind white women.
  • Latinas represented 16 percent of the female population in 2012, but held only 7.4 percent of the degrees earned by women. 
  • Women make up 24 percent of the STEM workforce; Latinas make up only three percent.
  • Latina women represented about half (49 percent) of all Latinos who matriculated into medical school in 2004 and between 1980 and 2004, the number of Latino medical school graduates per year rose from 93 to 485.



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800k graduates

PSCUs open doors to many of the 9.1 million unemployed and 90 million undereducated Americans by providing a skills-based education. To remain competitive over the next decade, we must identify between 8 and 23 million new workers with postsecondary skills.PSCUs are a necessary part of that solution, having produced over 800,000 degrees last year alone.