Are we doing the best for our students?

What are the critical skills for employability?

For these workers the general preparation for work was basic knowledge:

What were the important employability skills for these people?
  • Technical skills
  • Scientific skill
  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Arithmetic

What are the crucial skills needed in this workplace? Applied skills…

A very different set of skills is needed.
Where's the boss?

Global literacy | Digital Literacy

Culturally sensitive | Languages

Creativity | Innovation

Flexibility | Agility | Nimbleness

People skills | Team members


The report: Are they really ready to Work? Employers’ Perspectives on the Basic Knowledge and Applied Skills of New Entrants to the 21st Century US Workforce (2006)

These are the most important skills cited by employers:

  • Professionalism/Work Ethic
  • Oral and written communication
  • Teamwork and collaboration
  • Critical thinking/problem solving

Employers were asked:

Of the High School students that you recently hired, what were their deficiencies?

Written Communication 81%
Leadership 73%
Work Ethic 70%
Critical Thinking & Problem Solving 70%
Self-Direction 58%

What applied skills and basic knowledge are most important for those you will hire with a four year diploma?

Oral Communication 95.4%
Collaboration 94.4%
Professional/Work Ethic 93.8%
Written Communication 93.1%
Critical Thinking & Problem Solving 93.1%

Now we are in a both/and world… “75% of employers say K-12 schools should be responsible for the necessary basic knowledge and applied skills.”

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