Report: Shifting Skills, Moving Targets, and Remaking the Workforce | Burning Glass Institute, Emsi, & BCG

Workforce Trends

Much has been written about how the skills required to perform various lines of work continue to change at an alarming pace. To better measure how new skills are emerging, others are disappearing, and which skills are shifting in importance, this new 44-page research study analyzed ~15 million online job advertisements posted between 2016 and 2021. The authors looked at the skills employers requested in job postings each year and compared those skills with those requested for the same occupation in 2016. Using a Skill Disruption Index (based on the emergence of new skills and the change in the importance of skills), the report shows the skill disruption score for 680 occupations (see pages 34-38). The index uses a scoring of 0 to 100, with 0 being the least amount of disruption and 100 being the greatest). For example, a Data Engineer has a skill disruption score of 100, whereas an Attorney has a score of 50. A few other statistics from the report include: 1) 37% of the top 20 skills requested for the average US job have changed since 2016. However, in the most disrupted jobs, 76% of the top 20 requested skills have changed since 2016. 2) One in five skills (22%) requested for the average US job is an entirely new requirement in that occupation. 3) Nearly three-quarters of jobs changed more from 2019 through 2021 than in the previous three-year period. Practitioners can use the various insights from this report to stay informed on how skills are changing while determining the workforce and talent planning implications for their organizations.

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