labour

Skills, not job titles, are the new metric for the labour market

This article is part of the Annual Meeting of the New Champions

The rise of tech is currently transforming the labour market, leading to the automation of some jobs and tasks on the one hand and the emergence of new kinds on the other. Proactively preparing for this new reality requires an in-depth, granular understanding of these changes and their impact on jobs and employment. LinkedIn data is able to provide additional insight on this by taking a skills-based approach to labour-market analysis.

Skills are the new currency in the labour market. Skills indicate demand and supply at a more nuanced level than occupations, whose required expertise and skills are changing increasingly quickly, and degrees, which are often already outdated by the time they are obtained. The current pace of change requires following the direction of a skills-based, rather than degree-based labour market, which is a much more dynamic variable. Using skills as a variable of analysis provides a powerful tool in helping policymakers prepare for the future while building resilience in the present day.

Based on these shifts, LinkedIn has developed the Skills Genome — a new metric, which allows us to harness that analytical power to gain a more granular understanding of labour market trends and developments. Using skills information provided by LinkedIn’s Economic Graph, a digital representation of the global economy based on data generated from 630 million members with more than 35,000 skills globally, the metric allows us to define and analyse the unique skills profile of various segments of the labour market. We can use it to identify those skills that are more prevalent in one segment compared to others. These segments can include geography (e.g. a city), an industry, a job type (e.g. data scientists), or a population (e.g. women).

Findings like these are increasingly valuable as our society prepares for the future of work. Policymakers may want to use these skills profiles to determine future career paths for people in occupations declining in popularity. Education and training providers will be able to align curricula to the emerging skills trends. And as diversity becomes a more critical objective, skills profiles of members of different backgrounds can inform efforts to close gaps and reduce barriers.

Read the World Economic Forum’s new Insight Report, Data Science in the New Economy, here.

By Jian Lu

Development, Employment

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