As you begin to research how to start your career, the term skills gap will probably come up a few times. However, in most cases, it's loosely defined. Yet, as a teenager planning for the future, understanding the skills gap may very well be essential to finding a well-paying and secure job. Here are the three most important things you need to know about the skills gap to help you get ahead.
1. What is it?
As they search for new employees, employers are increasingly finding that most of their candidates lack the skills necessary. In short, there is a “gap” between the skills employers want to see in their employees and the skills that potential employees can offer. In recent years, the rapid development of new technology has accelerated this phenomenon by challenging job seekers to stay up to date and use the latest technologies in their field.
2. Why does it pose a problem?
On a large scale, the skills gap has incredibly adverse effects on the economy. Put simply, if companies cannot adequately fill their vacancies, they will be less successful. At the same time, if candidates cannot get hired, unemployment rates will remain high. Together, these two factors can be devastating. Experts suggest that the skills gap could cost the United States over 1.2 trillion dollars in the next ten years.
3. What can I do to avoid being a part of it?
To avoid being trapped in the gap, you will have to pay close attention to the development of both your soft and hard skills. In terms of soft skills, you will need to ensure, through project-based learning or other group work, that you are able to effectively collaborate and tackle challenges with creativity and emotional intelligence. On the other hand, you will need to ensure that you stay up to date with the hard skills necessary in the modern workplace. To get ahead, you may want to start learning about topics such as Blockchain, Cloud computing, video production, or UX design.