Institutional Affiliation: Opportunity@Work
NBER Working Papers and Publications
|March 2020||Searching for STARs: Work Experience as a Job Market Signal for Workers without Bachelor's Degrees|
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The demand for a skilled workforce is increasing even faster than the supply of workers with college degrees – the result: rising wage inequality by education levels, and firms facing a skills gap. While it is often assumed that increasing the number of college graduates is required to fill this gap, this paper explores the extent to which workers without BA college degrees can help fill this gap. To find workers without BA degrees who are potentially skilled through alternative routes (STARs), we use data on the skill requirements of jobs to compute the “skill distance” between a worker’s current occupation and higher wage occupations with similar skill requirements in their local labor market. Based on our calculations, of the 16 million non-college educated workers with skills for high-...