ERIC Number: EJ1023734
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Soft Skills for the Workplace
Kyllonen, Patrick C.
Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning, v45 n6 p16-23 2013
In the latter part of the 20th century, behavioral scientists and society generally adopted a cultural belief that cognitive ability was the most significant determinant of educational and workforce outcomes. This led to efforts to raise students' test scores, the promotion of teachers who were successful in doing so, and heavy if not exclusive reliance on test scores for admissions and employment screening. Behavioral science research in psychology and economics, however, suggests that non-cognitive factors--soft skills such as motivation, work ethic, teamwork, organization, cultural awareness, and effective communication--play a role that is as important or even more important in determining success in school and in the workplace. In this article, the author contends that the 21st century is becoming the era in which recognizing the importance of soft skills, the role education plays in developing those skills, and the way they evolve throughout the life cycle begins to emerge. In light of this new-found recognition, he believes that society is developing new education, training, and intervention methods and new assessments.
Descriptors: Higher Education, Colleges, College Role, Teamwork, Motivation, Cultural Awareness, Communication Skills, Work Ethic, Cognitive Ability, Intervention, Workplace Learning, Educational Assessment, Evaluation Methods, Employment Interviews, Occupational Tests
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Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Journal Articles
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A