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Logo for The majority of Americans lack a college degree. Why do so many employers require one? Article

July 20, 2021

Degree discrimination is not illegal, but it is a damaging bias that’s blinding companies to talent they need and reinforcing existing economic inequalities.

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Logo for Workers Are Gaining Leverage Over Employers Right Before Our Eyes Article

June 5, 2021

The relationship between American businesses and their employees is undergoing a profound shift: For the first time in a generation, workers are gaining the upper hand.

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Logo for The college degree barrier to work Article

April 27, 2021

There are millions of Americans who have the skills to get higher-level, higher-paying jobs but aren’t considered for those roles because they don’t have college degrees.

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Logo for Up to 30 Million in U.S. Have the Skills to Earn 70% More, Researchers Say Article

December 3, 2020

The findings point to the potential of upward mobility for people without a college degree.

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Logo for There Are 6 Million Black Workers Missing From Your Talent Pool Article

October 6, 2020

By shifting from degree requirements to skills based hiring, employers can make their jobs more accessible to the 68% of Black workers who do not have degrees.

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Logo for We shouldn’t chase economic recovery; we should chase economic redesign Article

July 9, 2020

America needs to think differently about the value of jobs during the coronavirus recovery, writes Karan Chopra.

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Logo for The Disparate Racial Impact of Requiring a College Degree Article

June 28, 2020

Among U.S. workers over 25, only 26% of blacks, and 40% of whites, have a bachelor’s or higher.

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Logo for How Coronavirus Is Reshaping The Job Search Now — And For The Future Article

“We’ve seen in past downturns that what many employers have done is double down on college degrees and pedigrees,” says the founder of a nonprofit that helps build job skills.

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Logo for New Podcast Explores Big Ideas to Help All Americans Access Meaningful Careers Article

Mar 04, 2020

Strada Education Network, today, announced the launch of Lessons Earned, a 20-minute interview-style podcast co-hosted by longtime education journalist Ben Wildavsky and his Strada Education Network colleagues. The first six episodes of Season One are available for streaming beginning today.

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Logo for You should stop worrying about robots taking your job Article

January 20, 2020

The widespread fears of a robot uprising are not only wrong – they are blocking us from better working conditions

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Logo for 5 big ideas about the future of hiring and workforce development Article

November 12, 2019

Byron Auguste, CEO and cofounder of Opportunity@Work, a nonprofit social enterprise expanding access to career opportunities, was the keynote speaker. Auguste said the disconnect in the workforce is an opportunity gap — not a skills gap.

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Logo for The US labor market is broken ... but an Opportunity Marketplace could save it Article

August 14, 2019

No market is more broken than the labor market, or with such dire consequences. In particular, 100 million-plus adults without four-year college degrees are deeply disadvantaged, screened out of millions of good jobs. Right now, workers without degrees might as well be in a different country to those with a B.A.

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Logo for Why unskilled labor perpetuates stereotypes about gender, education Article

July 28, 2019

“The idea that there’s some uni-dimensional merit that can be determined by how selective the school you go to is not only a bad idea,” said Byron Auguste, former Deputy Director of the National Economic Council, “it’s an untrue idea and it’s a dangerous idea.”

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Helping Anyone Who Can Do the Job to Get the Job: A Conversation with Byron Auguste

July 3, 2019

Today’s hiring practices are biased against people who do not have a college degree, says Opportunity@Work’s Byron Auguste. “We should not and cannot tell black people or women or older people that they can’t apply for a job. But employers can – and do – say that if you don’t have a bachelor’s degree, we don’t care about your skills. We don’t care what you can contribute. We won’t hire you.”

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What Happens After America Graduates From High School?

June 26, 2019

We often say today’s economic shifts are “unprecedented.” But there is a precedent – the American high school movement. A century ago, we adapted and built the strongest middle class the world had ever seen. Now we can create a lifelong learning system to rebuild our middle class for the age of AI.

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Tech Jobs Lead to the Middle Class. Just Not for the Masses.

May 19, 2019

Mastering code and applying it in business, some experts say, holds the promise of becoming the modern path to the middle class for people without four-year college degrees. And nonprofit programs like those used by Ms. Ball are considered central to getting people there.

“Tech jobs can be seen as the new manufacturing jobs,” said Byron Auguste, chief executive of Opportunity@Work, a nonprofit group that focuses on work-force issues.

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Why the College Degree Is a Signal – and Why That Should Worry You

March 19, 2019

Enterprise would certainly resist that notion of sorting by signal, as would others. But this isn’t crazy talk. The same week the admissions scandal broke, Byron Auguste, an economist and the founder of Opportunity@Work, published an article in Forbes that questioned the signal of the degree. “Far too many employers use a college pedigree as a crutch — a simplistic shortcut when they lack an efficient way to narrow down their applicant pool,” he wrote.

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Failing By Degrees: Why College Grads Need Non-College Grads To Succeed

March 14, 2019

Despite earning better wages than those without degrees, college grads have increasing economic anxiety. Perhaps their concerns are a reflection of career insecurity rising from the bottom of our economy up. Maybe the success of those with college degrees is more tied to those without than we think.

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Low Wage, Not Low Skill: Why Devaluing Our Workers Matters

February 7, 2019

A growing cynicism around the future of work tells us that workers in so-called low-skill jobs intrinsically lack the intelligence, ambition, and ability to master the skills needed for 21st century work. However, low wages do not mean low skill—and we devalue these workers at our own peril.

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Future of work: Don’t blame the tools, fix the rules

September 5, 2018

What really distinguished the environment in 1970 were the more effective policies and practices for navigating economic and technological changes. Put differently, it was more the rules of the game that created better pathways to the middle class — often making technology an empowering tool in the hands of workers like my father. This was not because of luck. It was because of deliberate choices, including long-term investments, by our government, industry, and citizenry.

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Skills And Tomorrow's Jobs Report: The Usual Suspects

July 5, 2018

Jobs Day tomorrow will once again evoke a never-ending debate around school, STEM, and salary. None of them explains the underlying patterns of dysfunction in the U.S. labor market. Here’s what you need to know about the skills gap and how you can solve it.

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Data Sheet—How to Share Benefits of the Digital Future With More People

June 27, 2018

Byron Auguste of Opportunity@Work has documented the number of jobs that require technical or advanced degrees that can be done by non-academic credentialed people—if only they get the opportunity. 

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Why Corporate Recruiters Shouldn’t Be So Obsessed With Prestigious College Degrees

June 26, 2019

One reason that businesses struggle to find capable workers is because they have increased their hiring from top-level universities, said Byron Auguste, CEO of the workforce training nonprofit Opportunity@Work. The problem is that these schools haven’t increased the number of students enrolled to match the demand, he explained.

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A B.A. Isn’t the Only Way

June 4, 2018

Employers ought to do more as well. They rely too much on automated hiring tools that exacerbate the bias against workers who lack four-year degrees. To address this, 1,300 companies have partnered with Opportunity@Work, a nonprofit based in Washington, D.C., to create a platform for training and certifying non-traditional candidates for available IT jobs.

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Don’t Fall For Employers’ Whining About A ‘Skills Gap’

May 17, 2018

There are about 6.5 million job openings in the U.S., a record high. The number of people looking for work without success is falling as well, and this combination means that the economy now has close to one active job seeker for every open job. The unemployment rate is below 4 percent — another indication that workers who are actively looking for jobs can find them.

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Why Companies Should Hire for Potential Over Pedigree: Q&A with Byron Auguste

April 24, 2018

Auguste is CEO and co-founder of Opportunity@Work, a non-profit organization expanding access to technology career opportunities for overlooked and underrepresented job seekers. Auguste spoke in San Francisco at the inaugural Workday Opportunity Onramps, a workforce development conference with a mission to connect driven individuals from diverse backgrounds with unfilled jobs.

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The New Casualties of Automation

December 21, 2017

Automation isn’t inherently a boon for those with means. As Byron Auguste—the CEO and co-founder of Opportunity@Work, an organization that connects people who lack credentials to jobs—said on a Brookings Institution panel earlier this month, it doesn’t “naturally empower the top of the economic pyramid.” Nor, he argued, is automation like gravity—a force of nature that can’t be stopped

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How Innovative Hiring Practices Can Help Solve The Tech Industry’s Diversity Problem

August 21, 2017

The guiding creed behind skills-based hiring is “if you can do the job, you should get the job.” Whether you learned web design by maintaining your church’s website, or you learned to code in the army reserve, or you graduated with a degree in computer science from a top-tier four-year college, equal skills should mean equal opportunity. And what’s exciting is that following this approach is win-win. It broadens access to our economy and promotes social justice.  And, at the same time, companies that tap into this pool of applicants who took less-traditional paths to build their skills find that they have uncovered a significant competitive advantage, especially in markets where the cost of the most sought-after tech hires is constantly escalating.

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