Demand-Driven Education: Merging Work and Learning to Develop the Human Skills that Matter

As the world of work continues to shift, the education system must adapt to the needs of learners and employers.  To understand what reforms may be needed to prepare learners for the future of work, Pearsons and Jobs for the Future conducted an in-depth review of the field, interviewing more than 20 education and wokforce experts. This report from Pearsons and Jobs for the Future concludes that the United States is experiencing a new wave of postsecondary education reform called "demand driven education" in which programs focus on ensuring graduates are job-ready and have access to life-long careers. The report examines promising practices for supporting a demand driven education reform and outlines steps individuals, education systems and industry can take to align their efforts with the future of skills. The report recommends that to prepare learners for the future of work, the education system must:

  • Develop and measure specific skills that will be most in-demand, especially interpersonal skills and complex thinking;
  • Utilize dynamic and work-based pedagogy to grow learners' competencies, while also preparing educators to embrace new forms of teaching and learning;
  • Respond to the needs of the labor markets to ensure continous alignment;
  • Create flexible and adpative pathways to allow learners to rapidly convert learning to earning; and
  • Support changes that make the entire education landscape function better, enabling traditional and alternative providers to participate in creating the future of education alongside industry.