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Is It Time to Throw Away Our Resumes?
October 21, 2021 • 1:00 pm PDT
We are failing Americans without college degrees. Research shows that up to 30 million workers without four-year degrees are drastically underpaid, and have the skills to earn 70 percent more than what they’re currently making. What accounts for this failure of the labor market? One problem is that traditional resumes don’t show or verify the full range of a worker’s skills—including those gained in the military and volunteer work, not to mention family businesses and caretaking. But there’s a promising digital fix that could help: learning and employment records. LERs are digital profiles that allow individuals to document their knowledge and skills, no matter how they were acquired—and have the potential to transform hiring while fueling innovation. What is an LER, and how can it be used to record everything you’ve ever learned? How can this technology be designed and implemented to create more jobs with good wages? And what will it take to design and implement LERs that make the labor market fairer to all workers instead of reinforcing existing social, educational, and digital divides?
Workcred senior director of research Isabel Cardenas-Navia, co-author of a new essay on LERs, and Issues in Science and Technology editor-in-chief Lisa Margonelli visit Zócalo to talk about reconstructing credentialing around a system that recognizes—and even encourages—non-traditional learning and diverse career paths.
Image credit: Illustration by Hännah Foote. From left to right: Isabel Cardenas-Navia and Lisa Margonelli.