America Succeeds UpdatesEducation Policy and Advocacy

Let’s Create a Durable Education, Together

Durable Skills are a combination of how you use what you know and your character skills. These skills can be seen through communication, critical thinking, collaboration, resilience, self-awareness, and leadership, etc., and are essential to preparing learners for future success. They are required in every industry, across all geographies, regardless of educational level. So why aren’t they prioritized in education?

History has shown the primary purpose of education has been to maximize academic achievement. In these present times, we need to make sure students are armed with skills to solve everyday problems. We believe that, in the modern-day, the primary purpose of our schools should be to ensure students can think critically and creatively, collaborate effectively with others, apply skills and knowledge to solving real problems, and find meaningful, fulfilling ways to contribute to the world and their community.

The next working class of America, today’s students, deserve an education that teaches them just that – and allows them to be successful in the workforce. 

In this past year, with the pandemic, we’ve lived through unprecedented times. And it’s become more apparent that we need to equip the next generation with the skills to be successful as we climb toward economic recovery. By preparing students for the workforce through durable “soft” skills, instead of primarily focusing on technical skills, we have an opportunity to help a broader and more inclusive group of learners and workers advance in their career path for the benefit of them and their future employers.

This month, America Succeeds is excited to release the initial findings of our Durable Skills research. In partnership with Emsi, we categorized 100 of the most in-demand Durable Skills into 10 major themes or competencies then analyzed demand for those competencies across more than 82 million job postings from the past two years. Key findings include:

  • The top five Durable Skills are requested nearly four (3.8) times more than the top five hard skills
  • Over 29 million postings (36 percent) request at least three Durable Skills
  • Leadership and Communication competencies are in the highest demand, requested by 50+ percent of postings
  • Geographic regions differ from one another and from national averages in their demand for specific competencies

We launched this unique research initiative to start a national conversation around Durable Skills so that schools understand the importance of educating for them and corporate leaders recognize the urgent need to partner with the education system to solve their workforce challenges.

Additional supporters of the Durable Skills initiative include SHRM, The Manufacturing Institute, Business Agility Institute, and Americans for the Arts, among others. Learn more about the research and supporting this work on our website.

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