In an era when technical skills are evolving at an unprecedented pace, there is an important set of durable ‘soft skills’ that last a lifetime.

In an era when technical skills are evolving at an unprecedented pace, there is an important set of durable ‘soft skills’ that last a lifetime. Durable Skills include a combination of how you use what you know – skills like critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and creativity – as well as character skills like fortitude, growth mindset, and leadership.

Analysis of 80 million job postings from 2020-2021 reveals that 7 of the 10 most-requested skills are Durable Skills. And, the top 5 Durable Skills were requested in job postings 4.7 times more often than the top 5 hard skills. In short, Durable Skills are in demand for jobs across the workforce, regardless of educational attainment level, industry sector, or geography.

Durable Skills Logo Wheel

America Succeeds believes better integrating Durable Skills into education pathways will help ensure a broader group of learners ultimately find success in their careers and communities.

Durable Skills Initiative Support

The Challenge

7 Million Unfilled Jobs

America’s skills gap has been widely discussed – and the challenge has worsened with the COVID-19 pandemic. More than 7 million jobs in the U.S. remain unfilled with record levels of unemployment.

74% of Employers Agree

In a 2020 survey by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, 74% of hiring managers agree there is a skills gap in the labor market and 48% say candidates lack the skills to fill open jobs.

$1.2 Trillion in GDP

A persistent skills gap will cost the U.S. an estimated $1.2 trillion in GDP over the next decade. We must better prepare graduates with the skills needed for future success by aligning education pathways to workforce demands.

Durable Skills Research (2020 – 2021)

Durable Skills Stats 2022 (1)
DS Occupations 2022

Employers, parents, educators, and state leaders are aligned in their desire to provide students a solid foundation for the future. Business leaders across industries are aligned around the skills demanded in every career. It is our belief that by working together, we can ensure that students and communities become more resilient in the rapidly evolving world of work.

“When we think about Durable Skills, we think about skills that have this elasticity that will empower students to not only create opportunities for their career but help them move up the ladder, and help them become part of the C-suite as well. So we think this is such an important vehicle for change, ensuring that students have the right skills in order to enter the workforce and be truly prepared.”

Ahva Sadeghi

Co-Founder & CEO, Symba

“The men and women who manufacture in the United States are called upon to produce an amazing variety of products, especially as we continue to serve on the front lines of the COVID-19 response. From the supplies that make our lives easier and safer to the medicines, vaccines, and treatments that make our lives healthier, manufacturing employees create the world of today and tomorrow. It is the durable skills of these employees, the creativity and teamwork, that makes innovation possible and brings these new and vital products to life.”

Carolyn Lee

Executive Director, The Manufacturing Institute