RAND Art + Data is a collaboration with artists to create thought-provoking new ways to visualize RAND research. For the second quarter, the group collaborated with Marcos Key to reevaluate how we think about workforce development and the employment system.
Through this reimagination, the designers created a visualization that presents the employment system as approachable, easy to change, and more uncomplicated to navigate because, as we all know, right now, it’s none of those things.
In the last 40 years new industries have emerged, from machine learning to streaming video, that have created countless new jobs that nobody of legal age to currently work in them could have planned for. Despite our constant innovation, the U.S. approach to education and workforce development still runs on a 20th-century model.
For the second quarter of Art + Data, RAND Corporation collaborated with Brooklyn-based designers Morcos Key to reimagine how we think—and should think—about workforce development and the employment system. The visualization, “A 21st-Century Workforce Development System,” pulls key findings from RAND’s research to envision workforce development that accounts for the skills and balance needed to thrive today—and the non-linear path we take to our destinations.
“In creating the visualization for the newly proposed system for workforce development, we wanted to make entertaining and accessible what is otherwise an abstract concept,” said Morcos Key. “The open spiral is a metaphor for this journey that unfold throughout one’s life, with goals such as Learning, Working, Adapting and Thriving. We used simplified illustrations to represent top level concepts like the Education System or the Economy on a highly interconnected system with multiple access points.”
The visualization constructs the ideal workforce preparation pipeline, creating new possibilities that move the United States to a system that accounts for workers’ needs for lifelong learning, disruptive changes in technology, and the ever-evolving nature of work.