Higher education’s role in preparing students for work has increasingly become a concern among policymakers, employers, and the public at large. Yet the concept of labor market alignment for higher education is not clearly understood and the lack of a common framework and language has created obstacles in reaching the goal of preparing students the necessary skills for the job market.

What does it mean to align what colleges are doing with the needs of the labor market? And what are the implications for higher education?

This study, conducted by the Rutgers Education & Employment Research Center (EERC), advances the ongoing research on labor market alignment by reviewing multiple areas of scholarly literature and by proposing a working definition, key concepts, and guiding principles for the field.