Our ever-growing technological world is rapidly changing the nature of work and the skills required to be successful. Workforce success is becoming less dependent on having content knowledge and more dependent on essential career readiness skills including critical thinking, problem solving and effective written communication.

Almost a third of the world’s workforce — more than a billion jobs — is likely to be transformed by technology in the coming decade, according to estimates by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), an internationally focused nonprofit that works “to build better policies for better lives.”

“While it will be imperative for people to increasingly work with technology going forward, it’s a misconception that everyone will need to develop high-tech or scientific skills,” Saadia Zahidi, managing director at the World Economic Forum, wrote in reaction to OECD’s data.

A U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics news release published in August 2021 reported that people born in the years 1957 to 1964 held an average of 12.4 jobs from age 18 to age 54. In order to successfully traverse their careers, today’s students will need transferrable, essential skills to optimize success as they will likely have as many, if not more jobs as previous generations.

Employers agree that these essential career readiness skills are crucial for success. According to employer research by the Association of American Colleges and Universities, while the top-ranked outcomes vary from year-to-year, critical thinking and analysis, problem solving, teamwork, and communication through writing and speaking have consistently been ranked by employers as the most important skills over time.

As assessment leaders for almost 20 years, the Council for Aid to Education (CAE)’s mission is to ensure students are as well prepared as they can be for higher education and the workforce. Unfortunately our research shows many students are not proficient in the skills employers demand most.

Read the full article about the future of work by Doris Zahner, Ph.D at Getting Smart .