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Career Pathways: What We Know So Far and Options for Closing Gaps in Knowledge

The Challenge

Career pathways strategies offer articulated education and training steps between occupations in an industry sector, combined with support services, to enable individuals to enter and exit at various levels and to advance over time to higher skills, recognized credentials, and better jobs with higher pay. The rapid rise of career pathways strategies in the U.S., including an emphasis on them in the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, creates a need for more evidence on this approach.

Although substantial research is in progress, more is needed to enhance the field’s knowledge about career pathways strategies, how best to configure them, and their long-term effects.

The Approach

To inform future research on career pathways approaches, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Chief Evaluation Office awarded Abt Global the Career Pathways Design Study to understand the state of the field and develop evaluation design options. Abt scanned career pathways studies and initiatives implemented as of February 2017 and consulted with 44 experts, then created a menu of evaluation design options to answer key research questions.

The Results

The project produced a summary brief and four reports:

Related Resources: