Closing the Employability Gap: Predictive Psychology as a Bridge to the Future

In an ever-changing world, the gap between the skills that students acquire in higher education and those demanded by the labour market has become a chasm that threatens to swallow the aspirations of millions of young people.
This mismatch not only represents a challenge for educational institutions and students, but also reflects an urgent call to action for society as a whole, as its impact on the economy, social development and the climate of coexistence has alarming impacts, especially when we consider the technological and automation revolution we are currently experiencing in the world of work.
A couple of weeks ago I was talking to the directors of a university with a presence in a large part of Europe and the panorama is not at all different from the concerns seen in Latin America.
Students have large skills gaps and this has a strong impact on their employability. And we talk about students because we still have them in sight in the classroom, but in the world of work something similar is happening, so the size of the gap is really huge.


The Reality of the Employability Gap

Several global studies have highlighted the magnitude of this challenge. For example, a study by Korn Ferry (2022) indicates that 85% of business leaders expect that, in the future, soft skills will eclipse technical skills in importance. Similarly, the McKinsey Global Institute projects a significant increase in demand for cognitive and socio-emotional skills. The World Economic Forum, for its part, identifies skills such as critical thinking and creativity among the most in-demand competencies by 2025.
The direct consequence of this gap is youth unemployment, underemployment and a significant loss of productivity. The global youth unemployment rate, according to the ILO, reaches an alarming 13.6% in 2023, leaving millions of young people in a precarious situation, with little or no access to job opportunities that align with their skills and studies, and we must remember that these numbers do not consider the NINIS, those young people who neither study nor work, who have also grown in numbers over the last decade.


The Key may be in the Minds of these Young People

Against this background, predictive psychology emerges as a high-impact possibility, as it allows us to find a new approach, with good results and a high rate of statistical reliability, that we can use to make crucial decisions in this area.
This discipline, which combines the development of psychometric models with machine learning, seeks to deeply understand each individual in order to design personalised interventions that enhance their competencies. Through simple assessments, but with powerful interpretive analytics, it is possible to identify both strengths and areas for improvement in key skills such as critical thinking and communication, thus designing tailor-made training programmes that prepare students not only to enter the labour market, but to excel in it.
In addition, predictive psychology offers tailored career guidance, helping students to choose careers that not only match their skills and interests, but are also in tune with market demands and their own future performance potential. This not only improves employability rates, but also increases job satisfaction, contributing to a more dynamic and resilient economy.

The Need to Act Now

The implementation of predictive psychology in the educational system is not a luxury, but an urgent necessity. It requires a joint effort between universities, governments and businesses to develop programmes that integrate this discipline into the educational curriculum. Only then can we ensure that today’s young people are equipped with the necessary tools to face the challenges of tomorrow.
The employability gap is a complex problem that requires innovative and proactive solutions. Predictive psychology presents itself as one such solution, offering a unique approach that goes beyond the mere acquisition of technical skills. It is about understanding each individual at a deeper level, facilitating the development of competencies that are not only valuable today, but also remain relevant in the future.
In a changing world, the gap between the skills students acquire in higher education and those demanded by the labour market has become a chasm that threatens to swallow the aspirations of millions of young people.
This mismatch not only represents a challenge for educational institutions and students, but also reflects an urgent call to action for society as a whole, as its impact on the economy, social development and the climate of coexistence has alarming impacts, especially when we consider the technological and automation revolution we are currently experiencing in the world of work.
A couple of weeks ago I was talking to the directors of a university with a presence in a large part of Europe and the panorama is not at all different from the concerns seen in Latin America.
Students have large skills gaps and this has a strong impact on their employability. And we talk about students because we still have them in sight in the classroom, but in the world of work something similar is happening, so the size of the gap is really huge.

The Reality of the Employability Gap

Several global studies have highlighted the magnitude of this challenge. For example, a study by Korn Ferry (2022) indicates that 85% of business leaders expect that, in the future, soft skills will eclipse technical skills in importance. Similarly, the McKinsey Global Institute projects a significant increase in demand for cognitive and socio-emotional skills. The World Economic Forum, for its part, identifies skills such as critical thinking and creativity among the most in-demand competencies by 2025.
The direct consequence of this gap is youth unemployment, underemployment and a significant loss of productivity. The global youth unemployment rate, according to the ILO, reaches an alarming 13.6% in 2023, leaving millions of young people in a precarious situation, with little or no access to job opportunities that align with their skills and studies, and we must remember that these numbers do not consider the NINIS, those young people who neither study nor work, who have also grown in numbers over the last decade.


The Key may be in the Minds of these Young People

Against this background, predictive psychology emerges as a high-impact possibility, as it allows us to find a new approach, with good results and a high rate of statistical reliability, that we can use to make crucial decisions in this area.
This discipline, which combines the development of psychometric models with machine learning, seeks to deeply understand each individual in order to design personalised interventions that enhance their competencies. Through simple assessments, but with powerful interpretive analytics, it is possible to identify both strengths and areas for improvement in key skills such as critical thinking and communication, thus designing tailor-made training programmes that prepare students not only to enter the labour market, but to excel in it.
In addition, predictive psychology offers tailored career guidance, helping students to choose careers that not only match their skills and interests, but are also in tune with market demands and their own future performance potential. This not only improves employability rates, but also increases job satisfaction, contributing to a more dynamic and resilient economy.

The Need to Act Now

The implementation of predictive psychology in the educational system is not a luxury, but an urgent necessity. It requires a joint effort between universities, governments and businesses to develop programmes that integrate this discipline into the educational curriculum. Only then can we ensure that today’s young people are equipped with the necessary tools to face the challenges of tomorrow.
The employability gap is a complex problem that requires innovative and proactive solutions. Predictive psychology presents itself as one such solution, offering a unique approach that goes beyond the mere acquisition of technical skills. It is about understanding each individual at a deeper level, facilitating the development of competencies that are not only valuable today, but also remain relevant in the future.
This is not a thing of the future, in fact, universities have been using these predictive psychology developments since 2020 and since 2015 some pioneers in management and people management have already started to incorporate the first prototypes.
Today, more than 2 million profiling tests are performed each year worldwide, but this still represents a small number compared to the global challenge we are experiencing.
If you would like to know more about this or how to bring it to your institution, I am soon to publish a book specifically on how to implement it successfully within higher education and I will be happy to share with you the fundamentals of the model that is improving quality and opening up new opportunities for new technicians and professionals.

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