Project Lead The Way Releases New Research Around Skills Graduates Need Most for Labor Market Success

By on February 26, 2019

From PLTW:  New research shows the secret to entering the workforce, staying ahead of automation, and even earning a promotion: the mastery of transportable skills that span industries and roles throughout a career.

Project Lead The Way (PLTW), a national nonprofit organization that provides computer science, engineering, and biomedical science curriculum to millions of PreK-12 students, and Burning Glass Technologies (BGT), national labor market analytics firm, today issued a new study of workforce and labor market data to determine demand for transportable skills including problem solving, critical and creative thinking, collaboration, communication, and ethical reasoning and mindset. Their findings: today’s tumultuous labor market demands that students attain both often-discussed technical and lesser-emphasized transportable skills to succeed as professionals.

The report, titled, “The Power of Transportable Skills: Assessing the Demand and Value of the Skills of the Future,” reinforces the need for better tools to measure and understand the value of transportable skills among PreK-12 students so they can understand their own strengths and weaknesses. For example:

  • Transportable skills are the most requested skills in the entire market. The top four skills requested by employers are all transportable skills, and all five of those studied are among the top 0.2 percent of all skills tracked by Burning Glass.
  • Transportable skills protect workers from automation. Nearly three quarters (74 percent) of occupations at low risk of automation request transportable skills in a majority of openings, as compared to 48 percent of occupations at high risk of automation and 57 percent of occupations at moderate risk of automation.
  • Transportable skills are key to career entry and advancement.
    1. Three quarters (75 percent) of advanced job openings (10+ years of experience) require at least one transportable skill.
    2. 68 percent of openings for managerial jobs request at least one transportable skill, as compared to 49 percent of non-managerial openings.
  • Employers want workers who pair transportable and technical skills. Within STEM-related occupations, the share of jobs requesting these skills is considerably higher (68 percent) than in non-STEM careers (49 percent). Across specific roles, 91 percent of STEM occupations request transportable skills in a majority of openings, as compared to 55 percent of non-STEM occupations.

This research demonstrates the importance of providing students with insights about their transportable skills and abilities so they can hone and communicate them in the future.

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