Why You Need to Learn a New Skill Right Now
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Why You Need to Learn a New Skill Right Now

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While it’s clear that going to college is the key to success in the American economy, it’s also become increasingly obvious that learning can’t stop once you’ve got that diploma.

In today’s workplace, the best jobs go to workers with cutting-edge skills sets, and those with more education, training and experience have a distinct advantage, according to a new report from Pew Research Center.

More than a third of working adults, including 27 percent of those with bachelor’s degrees, say that they don’t have the education and training needed to get ahead at work. They’re probably right. Over the past 35 years, the number of jobs requiring above average education, training and experience increased nearly 70 percent to 83 million, according to Pew.

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The study finds that many workers are actively pursing additional training. Among those surveyed, 45 percent said they had taken a class in the past year or gotten extra training to expand their skill set. About half of those who got training did so at the request of their employer, but many did so in order to earn more money, get a new job or get a promotion. Those who have the most education already are the most likely to agree that they need more.

Those working in STEM-related fields, among the most high-paying and sought-after jobs in today’s economy, were the most likely to report that they’d need ongoing training and skills development, with two-thirds of people working in computer technology saying this was essential. By comparison, 46 percent of those who work in retail or wholesale trade said the same thing.