Top 10 Soft Skills for Career Success

Tuesday, September 15, 2015 -- Shawna Klaehn

Do your learners have the skills they need to land the jobs they want? Even if your learners have outstanding academic records, employers looking to hire recent college grads are in search of more than a high GPA and test scores. Instead, they want to make sure that a candidate will fit into the role and organization as a whole. Can candidates work effectively on a team? Do they have strong communication skills? Can they problem solve? Are they going to adapt well with the workload? These are the questions that potential employers will ask about your learners—not what their last test score was.

"Soft skills" are workforce readiness skills that are interpersonal in nature, which include personal qualities, characteristics, and attitudes. And according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) Job Outlook 2015 survey of 260 U.S. employers, soft skills are becoming the attributes that employers are looking for in candidates’ resumes.

Below are the top 10 skills and attributes that employers who took the survey said are most important when looking for candidates:

  1. Leadership and ability to work on a team
  2. Written communication skills
  3. Problem-solving skills
  4. Strong work ethic
  5. Analytical/quantitative skills
  6. Technical skills
  7. Verbal communication skills
  8. Initiative
  9. Computer skills
  10. Flexibility/adaptability

At Edmentum, we recognize how essential these soft skills are to learner success, and we have worked hard to make sure that they are integrated in our programs. Within all of our Plato Courseware Career Technical Education (CTE) courses, we have included specific introductory-level material to help students learn important generalized skills and understand why they are critical to success in college and their careers. Exercises that make use of these skills are incorporated throughout the CTE curriculum and are aligned to state standards.

We also recently released the Essential Career Skills course within our CTE library, which focuses on skills that are widely applicable across disciplines for college and career success. The course was designed with the specific purpose of providing students with concrete instruction in the nonacademic skills they will be expected to demonstrate and practice throughout their CTE program and in their careers, such as leadership, collaboration, and time management.

Interested in learning more about how Edmentum’s CTE solutions can prepare your learners with the skills that employers want? Check out our new Career Technical Education White Paper—How are you addressing the growing need? You can also take a look at our CTE libraries for secondary and Higher Ed learners!

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