Human capital is often studied in the context of how investments in early childhood development, education, and healthcare translate into a more productive workforce. But human capital is ultimately the potential within each individual.
Its development continues long after formal education ends, as people acquire new skills in the workplace and gain capabilities that they carry with them for the remainder of their careers. This is a critical dynamic, since human capital accounts for two-thirds of the average individual’s wealth. New research from the McKinsey Global Institute finds that half of that value—and often far more for people with less education—is linked to work experience.