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

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.

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


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