Linking learning to employment An answer to the global search for education quality and relevance?

By Eric Johnson, Peter Joyce

Current approaches to secondary school are producing high numbers of dropouts and low numbers of students well prepared for college and careers. Given global demand for better education quality and relevance, a reform movement in the US that blends rigorous academic learning and applied technical study may be of interest to other countries. Yet the transport of a successful approach from one country to another must be carefully considered and implemented, with attention paid to local political economy and education system variables. This policy brief discusses the successful US approach—called Linked Learning—and RTI International's approach to adapting it for other country contexts.


Johnson, E., & Joyce, P. (2015). Linking learning to employment: An answer to the global search for education quality and relevance? (RTI Press Publication No. PB-0008-1509). Research Triangle Park, NC: RTI Press.

© 2019 RTI International. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.


Eric JohnsonEric Johnson, PhD, is a senior research economist in the Workforce and Economic Opportunity Division at RTI International. He currently co-directs RTI’s Center for Global Youth Employment, with a focus on youth employment research and development. Dr. Johnson is an accomplished development professional with 15 years of experience bridging the worlds of academia, policy, and practice. He previously worked for the US Agency for International Development (USAID) where he served in Ghana and Vietnam, and was the agency’s lead for Higher Education and Workforce Development, while acting as deputy director of USAID’s Office of Education. Dr. Johnson received his PhD from Columbia University in education and political science.

Peter JoycePeter Joyce, EdD, is a senior researcher within RTI’s International Development Group and serves as the general manager of the new Global Center on Youth Employment, a virtual endeavor that fosters innovative approaches to addressing the issue of global youth employment. Dr. Joyce applies 30 years of experience in both the public and private sectors to finding evidence-based solutions to the future employment of youth in an evolving global labor market. His work focuses on researching, evaluating, and building innovative practices that link education and training to employment. Dr. Joyce’s specific areas of expertise include education and workforce development, vocational and technical training, strategic planning and project management, evaluative research and policy analysis, technical assistance and coaching, resource and tool development, state and community collaboration, career mapping and pathways, certifications and credentialing, and industry-based technical training and work-based learning. Dr. Joyce holds a EdD from Harvard University in education policy.

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