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People frequently talk about education as an investment, and at this year’s ASU-GSV summit, we’ll be talking about ways advances in data science allow students and workers to truly act as investors in their own careers.

In business, it’s called arbitrage: buying and selling something simultaneously to take advantage of different prices in stocks or commodities. Now big data technology has advanced to the point where workers can arbitrage specific skills, or packages of skills, to improve their pay and opportunities in the job market. Using real-time labor data, you can determine what individual skills can do for your paycheck, and act accordingly.

For example, a receptionist who wants to get ahead could learn event planning, project management, and budgeting, and potentially qualify for a job as an event planner. Event planners have an average annual salary of $38,187, which is $6,661 more than receptionists—and it doesn’t cost that much to learn those skills. Hence, there’s a good return on investment.

The concept can work even with relatively simple skills. Presentation skills can provide a salary premium of from 7% to 11%, depending on the job.

 Salary premium for presentation skills, ASU-GSV Summit 2018: Learning is Arbitrage, ROI on Skills

At ASU-GSV this week, Burning Glass Technologies will be examining this idea from different angles:

  • At 4 p.m. today, CEO Matt Sigelman will lead a panel discussion of what this idea means for working learners. How can they identify skills with a good return on investment, and where can they get the training they need?
  • At 11 p.m. Tuesday, another panel will discuss how this trend affects employers as they build a talent supply pipeline, make decisions on training programs, and develop human capital management strategies. Chief Commercial Officer Dan Silverberg will moderate.
  • Sigelman will also examine how learning arbitrage can work in his Thought Leader presentation at 2 p.m. Tuesday.

You can find out more about our presence at ASU-GSV on our events page. Please stop by Booth 204 to find out more.

To automatically receive notifications of future blogs, research, and labor market content, sign up at https://burning-glass.com/new-research-content-list-signup/. We’ll also be covering the ASU-GSV Summit on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook.

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