Academic leaders, employers, and economists are constantly debating whether or not there's a "skills gap." But all the talk doesn't necessarily help students who enroll in college aspiring to rewarding careers, employees who want more education to get ahead, or institutions trying to keep up with the future of work. As hiring becomes more skills-based, alternative credentials gain traction, and more jobs go digital, how can the degree remain a reliable signal on the labor market? This Chronicle report goes beyond the definitions of the skills gap and the accompanying blame game to explore the forces driving change and the challenges ahead. The goal isn't to turn every institution of higher education into a job-training center, but there's no shame in adding relevance. College leaders can prepare career-ready graduates — in both liberal-arts and more-specialized programs - without dismantling their educational models or compromising their principles.