These four points are especially compelling for those of us who are parents and wondering what general--unobtrusive--guidance we might be able to convey to our children about their trajectories in life....
• A combination of basic knowledge and applied skills are perceived to be critical or new entrants’ success in the 21st century U.S. workforce, but when basic knowledge and applied skills rankings are combined for each educational level, the top four “most important” are almost always applied.
• Professionalism/work ethic, teamwork/collaboration and oral communications are rated as the three “most important” applied skills needed by entrants into today’s workforce.
• Knowledge of foreign languages will “increase in importance” in the next five years, more than any other basic skill, according to more than 60 percent of the employer respondents.
• Making appropriate choices concerning health and wellness is the number one emerging content area for future graduates entering the U.S. workforce as reported by three-quarters of the employer respondents.
• Creativity/innovation is projected to “increase in importance” for future workforce entrants, according to more than 70 percent of employer respondents. Currently, however, more than half of employer respondents report new workforce entrants with a high school diploma to be “deficient” in this skill set, and relatively few consider two-year and four-year-college-educated entrants to be “excellent.”