WSJ acknowledges Northeastern’s bootcamp as industry-aligned

At conferences, in meetings, and from news outlets across the country, the challenge of the ‘skills gap’ is trumpeted as a major and growing problem for the US labor force. According to EMSI – a CareerBuilder company – the skills gap is the “perceived mismatch between the needs of employers for skilled talent and the skills possessed by the available workforce.”

Evidence certainly supports the existence of a skills gap in the US market. Firstly, the number of available job openings in the US is sitting at 5.5 million – near record highs. Similarly, with the growth of high-skill jobs in the technology space and the outsourcing of manufacturing jobs to Asia, the structure of the workforce is increasingly favoring the highly-skilled. Indeed, the top 7 tech jobs in the US have starting median base salaries well in excess of $100,000 dollars.

US Manufacturing Employment 1990 - 2015 Northeastern University

So how are universities and educational providers addressing this big and growing gap? A recent Wall Street Journal article identified how universities are turning to companies like Burning Glass and resources such as Linkedin to identify trends in hiring. Northeastern University has a seven-person team which combines population forecasts, labor market data and real-time data on job openings to inform university initiatives and policy. Specifically, the Level bootcamp was mentioned in the Wall Street Journal as an innovative program that was launched out of this intentional approach to creating the experiential education Northeastern is known for.

Level is at the forefront of a new generation of higher educational offerings designed to prepare students with the skills and experience to thrive in the workforce. The Level curriculum is highly industry-aligned and was designed with input from Northeastern University’s employer partners. Students combine this industry-aligned curriculum with a three-week capstone project where they develop industry experience through working with data, solving real problems, alongside Level’s partner companies.

While the skills gap will persist in the years to come (the number of job openings including the phrase ‘data analytics’ has increased a staggering 372% since 2011) Level is proud to be one of the organizations working to close that gap one student at a time.