Career readiness describes a graduate’s potential for success in the workplace. It involves a set of skills and capabilities that will help employees manage their needs, take control, and reach goals in their personal and professional lives.
Here are five top career readiness skills employers look for in the modern workplace—and some tips on how to build these abilities in your classroom.
1. Communication and collaboration
Interpersonal skills are crucial for success in the workplace. Among other benefits, strong communication and collaboration capabilities will allow employees to:
- Communicate their wants and needs in the workplace,
- Get along well with workmates,
- Mitigate conflicts and disagreements,
- Enjoy higher job satisfaction,
- Innovate and share ideas,
- Improve client relationships,
- Solve problems efficiently.
Educators can improve communication and collaboration skills in the classroom by reinforcing active listening, delivering group assignments and projects, and asking open-ended questions.
Employers value applicants with strong leadership skills because they show the potential to grow and advance within a company. It describes a person’s ability to positively guide individuals, teams, and organisations to drive success.
‘Leadership’ is more like a category of individuals skills and abilities, including:
- Time management
Some simple ways to build leadership skills in your classroom include encouraging students to take on more responsibilities, demonstrating your leadership skills, and running conflict resolution exercises.
3. Work ethic
Work ethic describes a person’s drive and dedication to their work. A person with a strong work ethic likely has a moral belief in the importance of their work and an innate desire to work hard.
Some character traits that indicate a positive work ethic include cooperation, dependability, initiative, focus, and responsibility—all values sure to impress future employers.
The best way to improve your students’ work ethic is to help them find meaning and value in their work. Experiential learning is a smart option here, focusing on personally meaningful and time-relevant discourse.
4. Critical thinking
Critical thinking involves a person’s ability to analyse facts, observations, and evidence, forming informed judgments. It is an essential skill in the workplace because it:
- Enhances problem-solving ability
- Encourages creativity
- Stimulates curiosity and innovation
- Refines research skills
- Improves decision-making
One powerful way to build critical thinking skills in your students is to run regular class discussions and encourage active engagement. Rather than delivering instructions, use driving questions and motivate students to provide insightful answers.
5. Learning agility
Learning agility is a set of skills allowing an individual to learn something new and apply that knowledge to different situations. A worker with high learning agility is willing to tackle challenges and embrace unfamiliar situations.
For example, an agile employee is likely to adapt well to procedure changes or new software introductions in the workplace, while a non-agile employee may fall behind and require extra encouragement.
You can build learning agility in your students by encouraging them to ask questions, voice their opinions, and make suggestions, such as through student-led projects and inquiry sessions.
The above abilities aren’t the be-all and end-all of career readiness skills, but they will provide a solid foundation to prepare your students for success in their future professional lives.