Changes in work are transforming the kinds of knowledge and attitudes needed for workplace success, shifting the focus from technical competencies to "soft" skills (such as responsibility and willingness to learn on the job), and "generic" skills (such as problem solving, communication, and ability to work in teams). Through a literature review and two data analyses, this report explores and defines various skills as they relate to success after high school. Stasz and Brewer conclude that academic measures alone are very unlikely to capture the multifaceted skills individuals must take to the labor market or to postsecondary education. This analysis will especially interest curriculum developers, policymakers, employers, researchers, and others concerned with the educational implications of changes in work.
MDS-1193 / July 1999
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