Special Report
College & Workforce Readiness

What Skills Do Students Need to be Future-Ready? 11 Reader Responses

By The Editors — September 26, 2017 2 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Education Week turned to social media to ask readers to respond to this question: What skills should we teach students to prepare them for the jobs of the future?

Read some of the responses we received, from educators, business professionals, and others, below:


“I find that instilling the importance of caring and dedication/work ethic is one of my most important tasks as an educator. I have told my students that finding something to care about is one of the most important things they can do as a person in this world. Though I teach English, I get so much joy out of seeing my students pursue their interests with hunger and passion whether it be in my class or another.”
Stephanie Aiello, High School English Teacher, New Jersey | Shared via LinkedIn


“Today’s students are heading into a very different workforce than in the past. Team work, Communication/Listening skills, Problem solving (thinking outside the box), Work ethic.”
Ronald Bruno, Warehouseman Training Inc., Missouri | Shared via LinkedIn


“Soft skills, employability skills, social and emotional learning, emotional intelligence.... whatever you want to call them.”
Art Janowiak III, The Conover Company, Wisconsin | Shared via LinkedIn


“Implicit here is assumption that the purpose of #education is primarily to prepare [students] for jobs. Is there a wider social purpose to consider? Schools prepare [students] for active informed citizenship, build social cohesion, enhance health/well-being. A danger in a narrow economic focus.”
Mr. Vince, secondary educator, Australia | Shared via Twitter


“Teach skills that transcend time and industries (leadership, collaboration, communication, strategy, technology, conflict resolution).”
Marie Gould Harper, American Public University System, Washington | Shared via LinkedIn


“Grit! And coding.”
Daena Reynolds, Global History Teacher, New York | Shared via LinkedIn


“They need to learn:
How to speak in public settings
How to challenge ideas
How to make and defeat arguments
How to LISTEN”
William A. Smelko, Procopio, Cory, Hargreaves & Savitch LLP, California | Shared via LinkedIn


“Work ethic. Problem-solving. Thinking on your feet. Share the credit when appropriate. Accountability.”
Maria Fieth | Shared via Twitter


“Being able to understand and problem solve using critical thinking. #artseducation and #sports inherently teaches this.”
Matthew G. Stover, teacher, Florida | Shared via Twitter


“They need to learn how to keep up with information over a long period of time by having to do longstanding projects.”
Josee` Gail Vaughn | Shared via Twitter


“Every student needs to learn critical thinking and communication skills. These skills will be valuable to them, no matter what career they choose. Students can learn those skills by joining their school’s debate team. Every school should have a debate team!”
Josee` Gail Vaughn | Shared via LinkedIn

Want to chime in? Share your thoughts in the comments below, or on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn with the hashtag #SkillsForFutureJobs.

Related Tags:

A version of this article appeared in the September 27, 2017 edition of Education Week


School & District Management K-12 Essentials Forum Get a Strong Start to the New School Year
Get insights and actions from Education Week journalists and expert guests on how to start the new school year on strong footing.
Reading & Literacy Webinar A Roadmap to Multisensory Early Literacy Instruction: Accelerate Growth for All Students 
How can you develop key literacy skills with a diverse range of learners? Explore best practices and tips to meet the needs of all students. 
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
College & Workforce Readiness Webinar
Supporting 21st Century Skills with a Whole-Child Focus
What skills do students need to succeed in the 21st century? Explore the latest strategies to best prepare students for college, career, and life.
Content provided by Panorama Education

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

College & Workforce Readiness 'I Didn't Really Learn Anything': Graduates Face College After Pandemic Disruptions
Recent graduates are heading to college after spending much of their high school careers dealing with pandemic upheaval.
5 min read
Angel Hope works on a math problem, part of an intense six-week summer bridge program for students of color and first-generation students at the University of Wisconsin, in Madison, Wis., July 27, 2022. Hundreds of thousands of recent graduates are heading to college this fall after spending more than half their high school careers dealing with the upheaval of a pandemic. Hope says he didn't feel ready for college after online classes in high school caused him to fall behind but says the bridge classes made him feel more confident.
Angel Hope works on a math problem as part of an intense six-week summer bridge program for students of color and first-generation students at the University of Wisconsin, in Madison, Wis., July 27.
Carrie Antlfinger/AP
College & Workforce Readiness Opinion How to Make College More Affordable? Try the Charter School Model
A new organization is exploring how to make space for new colleges to emerge that also challenge the status quo.
6 min read
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty
College & Workforce Readiness In Their Own Words Stories of Tenacity: 3 First-Generation College-Bound Students Keep Their Dreams on Track
The pandemic upended college plans for more than a million young people, but not these seniors.
6 min read
Araceli Alarcon and Nathanael Severn, seniors at San Luis Obispo High School, pictured in downtown San Luis Obispo, Calif., on June 7, 2022.
Araceli Alarcon and Nathanael Severn, seniors at San Luis Obispo High School, in San Luis Obispo, Calif., will be the first in their families to attend college. While the pandemic complicated their plans, both teenagers persisted in their path to start college this fall.
Morgan Lieberman for Education Week
College & Workforce Readiness What the Research Says 5 Ways to Make Online Credit Recovery Work Better for Struggling Students
Seven out of 10 districts use online programs for credit recovery.
5 min read
Image of person's hands using a laptop and writing in a notebook