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The Rise of the Digital Labour Market: Characteristics and Implications for the Study of Education, Opportunity and Work is part of a series of working papers published by an international team of researchers from the Digital Futures of Work organisation.

The study of education and work has typically focused on the role of the credential in shaping individual opportunities in the competition of jobs. Despite its pivotal role in understanding the link between education and work how the labour market operates in an increasingly digital context has remained under-researched.

This article explains why the digital labour market is in urgent need of study, not only because of a decline in the perceived value of credentials, but also because rapid digital innovation is transforming how labour markets are structured and shape the competition for jobs.

Digital tools give job seekers new ways of describing themselves and employers additional quantifiable data on candidates, in real-time and at low cost. The authors identify three dimensions of digital labour markets that distinguish them from earlier ‘analogue’ models, called ICE:

  1. Information
  2. Control
  3. Engagement

The paper then explains how changes in these dimensions contribute to a restructuring of the recruitment process, and outline some of the implications for current accounts of the education-work relationship and social inequalities.



Skills intelligence publication details

Target audience
Digital skills in education.
Digital technology / specialisation
Digital skill level
Geographic scope - Country
Industry - field of education and training
Education science
Geographical sphere
International initiative
Publication type
Scientific paper
Working document