Exploring the Work-Based Learning Frontier: How Companies are Utilizing, Building, and Valuing Programs to Connect Work and Learning

NORC is partnering with the Business-Higher Education Forum (BHEF) and Northeastern University on a research project to better understand how organizations are approaching work-based learning (WBL) experiences in terms of talent identification—recruiting, training, and connecting work and learning.

This project is focusing on employers’ perspective on the definitions, use, value, and design principles currently utilized in WBL experiences, as well helping to understand and scope out what the future of WBL might look like, why and how different experiences are deployed, and what the returns are for employers. This work will serve to provide recommendations on how academic institutions and businesses get beyond definitional terms to really deepen the connections, value, and return on investment (ROI) related to WBL.

During spring 2018, NORC researchers interviewed chief human resources officers and others in a similar role. These interviews shaped the development of the Employer Work-Based Learning Survey, which is currently in the field and being completed by human resource professionals in a variety of industries around the country. The research will lead to a playbook publication (fall 2018) that guides executives in their thinking, use, and development of programs that tie education, skills, and jobs.