Our response to COVID19

The QA Commons is mindful of the dramatic and transformational impact COVID-19 is having on all institutions of higher education. As an organization, we are adapting our services to support preparing graduates for the workplace that is now changing more precipitously than ever.


AI and Employability Skills

EEQs Matter More than Ever with the Rise of AI

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is already beginning to significantly impact the economy. Not only are digital competencies rising to the top of employer demands (and corresponding job posts), but employability skills are rising with them. The need to train workers in rote tasks is quickly diminishing. Taking their place is the need to communicate, think critically, solve problems, learn, and adapt! QA Commons is uniquely poised to help educators ensure their students are prepared for AI’s disruptive potential to the economy and job market.

An August 2023 report by McKinsey states that less than a year after generative AI tools debuted, AI has risen from a topic relegated to tech employees to a focus of company leaders. The report cites personal use of generative AI by C-suite executives, gen AI on board agendas, and planned investments in overall AI. No doubt, there are risks and uncertainties. But we know this… Change is here. And workforce effects are expected to be consequential.

Coursera’s Job Skills 2023 report presents the year’s fastest-growing digital and human (employability) skills. A notable finding is that while the top in-demand digital skills change dramatically from year to year, human skills are more steady and represent an “evergreen” need. To explore this further, we asked the AI chatbox ChatGPT, “Are human skills replaceable by AI?” Its response (retrieved August 29, 2023) was:

“While AI is advancing rapidly and can perform many tasks with increasing accuracy, there are certain human skills that are challenging to replicate entirely with AI. These skills are often referred to as “soft skills” or “human skills,” and they encompass a range of attributes and abilities that are deeply rooted in human cognition and emotion. Some of these skills include:

  1. Creativity
  2. Emotional Intelligence
  3. Empathy
  4. Complex Problem-Solving
  5. Critical Thinking
  6. Ethical Decision-Making
  7. Adaptability & Learning
  8. Collaboration & Communication
  9. Leadership

We are struck by how similar these qualities are to QA Commons’ eight Essential Employability Qualities (EEQs). Since 2019, QA Commons has been working closely with colleges, universities, and other training providers to help students and instructors understand employability skills and embed them into curriculum (or highlight where they exist already).

Today, in addition to professional development, evaluation, and consulting services, QA Commons provides employability skills badges. These skills badges micro-credentials that help learners and workers better recognize and articulate their employability skills, make them more attractive to prospective employers, and improve their ability to be effective in their jobs.

We welcome the opportunity to work with educators and employers as technological advances and AI continue to bring employability skills to the forefront of the workplace. 


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