Working Stronger and Smarter: A Handbook on Theory and Techniques for Developing Employability Skills for Technicians

SRI author:


Yarnall, L., & Remold, J. (2019). Working stronger and smarter: A handbook on theory and techniques for developing employability skills for technicians. SRI International.


This exploratory study scanned past reports from both education and workplace studies, and conducted a set of in-depth interviews with technician workforce experts over 18 months. In total, we reviewed 273 articles and conducted interviews with 40 educators, employers, and recent graduates from technician programs. To examine how skill expectations and instruction aligned or differed across technician fields, both the scan and interviews focused on two contrasting fields—information technology and advanced manufacturing, and the related fields of computer science and engineering. This study aimed to answer questions about what drives the demand for employability skills, which skills are most important for technicians, what learning principles and instructional practices support their development, and what approaches to employability skills development can support improved diversity in technician fields.

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