NEW YORK, Nov. 28, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- U.S. educational institutions and the business world must collaborate to develop more effective job-specific career pathways, a new McGraw-Hill Research Foundation white paper says. The result of an increased collaboration will be more hires, greater opportunities for advancement, and a pathway to prosperity for students who do not pursue traditional college degrees. " Portable, Stackable Credentials: A New Education Model for Industry-Specific Career Pathways," written by James T. Austin, Gail O. Mellow, Mitch Rosin, and Marlene Seltzer, details how secondary and post-secondary educational institutions and business can meet the challenges of a 21 st century global jobs market that demands increasing numbers of employees with mid- and high-level technical skills. The authors show how this could be accomplished by designing a system of portable, stackable credentials embedded in transparent, more easily navigable career pathways. These credentials would provide employers with a reliable method for hiring and maintaining a skilled workforce and give workers a clear pathway for building a sustainable career with the opportunity for advancement. (A credential refers to a variety of different work qualifications—including diplomas, certificates, certification, degrees, and licenses.) The policy paper outlines how other nations, including Germany and Canada, have been successful in creating skilled workers with similar measures. "There is a common goal here and mutual needs among business and education," say the authors, "but there is also a lack of understanding and communication between these heretofore separate worlds. Current silos between U.S. secondary and post-secondary education systems (including separate funding systems) further add to the challenges of developing a career and technical education system that can meet the needs of 21st century employers and educators, as well as the students and workers."