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Does it Pay Off to Learn a New Skill? Revealing the Economic Benefits of Cross-Skilling

Author: Stephany, F.
Published in:
Year: 2020
Type: Working paper

This work examines the economic benefits of learning a new skill from a different domain: cross-skilling. To assess this, a network of skills from the job profiles of 4,810 online freelancers is constructed. Based on this skill network, relationships between 3,525 different skills are revealed and marginal effects of learning a new skill can be calculated via workers' wages. The results indicate that the added economic value of learning a new skill strongly depends on the already existing skill bundle but that acquiring a skill from a different domain is often beneficial. Likewise, the data illustrate how to reveal valuable skills required for new and opaque technology domains, such as Artificial Intelligence. As technological and social transformation is reshuffling jobs' task profiles at a fast pace, the findings of this study help to clarify skill sets required for mastering new technologies and designing individual training pathways. This can help to increase employability and reduce labour market shortages.

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Connected HIIG researchers

Fabian Stephany, Dr.

Assoziierter Forscher: Innovation, Entrepreneurship & Gesellschaft


  • Open Access