Cover of The Great Skills Gap by Edited by Jason Wingard and Christine Farrugia
The Great Skills Gap
Optimizing Talent for the Future of Work
Edited by Jason Wingard and Christine Farrugia


June 2021
224 pages.

Hardcover ISBN: 9781503613539



An extraordinary confluence of forces is transforming both the world of work and the ways we educate current and future employees to contribute productively to the workplace. Automation and digital technologies are profoundly transforming how business is done at every level.

The Great Skills Gap opens with the premise that the exploding scope and pace of technological innovation in the digital age is fast transforming the fundamental nature of work. Due to these developments, and their rapid pace, the skills and preparation that employers need from their talent pool are shifting. The accelerated pace of evolution and disruption in the competitive business landscape demands that workers not only be technically proficient, but also exceptionally agile in their capacity to think and act creatively and quickly learn new skills.

Demographic forces and a more diverse employee populate are also impacting the workplace, compelling higher education to respond. The increased longevity of human beings means longer careers, creating a sustained need for continual "reskilling" so that workers remain productive. Given these trends, higher education has a vital role to play in ably preparing learners to meet the immediate requirements of the workplace, as well as the uncertain demands of the future. This work explores how these transformative forces are—or should be—driving innovations in how colleges and universities prepare students for their careers. Focused on the impact of this confluence of forces at the nexus of work and higher education, the book's contributors—an illustrious group of leading educators, prominent employers, and other thought leaders—answer several profound questions about how business and higher education can best collaborate in support of the twenty-first century workforce.

About the authors

Jason Wingard is Dean Emeritus & Professor of Human Capital Management at Columbia University School of Professional Studies. He is the author of Learning to Succeed: Reinventing Corporate Education in a World of Unrelenting Change (AMACOM, 2015), and Learning for Life: How Continuous Education Will Keep Us Competitive in the Global Knowledge Economy (AMACOM, 2016), co-authored with Michelle Lapointe.

Christine Farrugia is Director of Research Initiatives at Columbia University School of Professional Studies.