The half-life of skills & how it can affect your enterprise

If you have been in the workforce even a few years, you may have noticed that people graduating with the same degree as you already have skills you did not learn. The pace of change in skills, regardless of the line of work, is so rapid today that workers must constantly retrain and upskill to make sure they stay at the top of their game.

The “half-life of skills,” which measures how long skills are relevant in the workforce, is shorter than ever. An oft cited figure from the 2011 book A Culture of Learning, placed it at five years, but more recent research suggests that it has already gone down. Since the World Economic Forum wrote a report on this topic three years ago, an estimated 35 percent of all skills needed for jobs across industries have changed. At the time that the report was published, at least 25 % of workers reported that their skills were mismatched to the demands of their current jobs.

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