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Career Ready Students: What Employers Really Want

Most educators are committed to helping prepare students for career success. Schools devote considerable effort to ensure that academic standards meet this need.

But what do employers really look for when hiring?

A new Wall Street Journal study analyzed 2.3 million LinkedIn profiles in search of an answer. The results of the study may offer new perspectives into how we define “career ready.” These findings provide important considerations for the development of programs to address this important mission.

According the Wall Street Journal, employers are increasingly looking for workers with strong soft skills. Communication skills topped the list of soft skills in demand by employers. This was followed by organization, teamwork, punctuality, critical thinking, social skills, creativity, interpersonal communication, adaptability and having a friendly personality.

While we sometimes refer to these competencies as “soft skills,” employers consider them to be absolutely critical for hiring and career success. Schools that recognize career readiness as an important element of their educational mission would do well to commit resources to developing these skills in addition to necessary foundations in academic content.

Creative Learning Systems SmartLabs provide project-based STEM and media arts programs that develop critical workplace skills like those highlighted in the Wall Street Journal article.

Learn more about how SmartLabs address these critical workplace skills.

Career Ready Students: What Employers Really Want

Matt Dickstein

Matthew Dickstein, CEO of Creative Learning Systems, has been a successful entrepreneur in the field of education for over 25 years. Prior to joining CLS in 2004, he played key management roles in building National Technological University, a pioneer in the field of higher education distance learning, and ELS Language Centers, the largest teacher of intensive English language programs in the U.S. Matthew received a B.S. in business from the University of Colorado and holds an M.B.A from Harvard Business School.

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