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The Value of Soft Skills in the Labor Market - The job market is way ahead of the ivory tower in emphasizing soft skills.

February 12, 2018View for printing

We are not witnessing an end to the importance of cognitive skills -- rather, strong cognitive skills are increasingly a necessary -- but not a sufficient -- condition for obtaining a good, high-paying job. You also need to have social skills.

Economists are increasingly focused on the importance of so-called "soft skills" for labor market success. The evidence is overwhelming that these skills -- also called "non-cognitive skills" -- are important drivers of success in school and in adult life.1 Yet the very term soft skills reveals our lack of understanding of what these skills are, how to measure them, and whether and how they can be developed. And the term "non-cognitive" is simply used to mean "not predicted by IQ or achievement tests."

David J. Deming

(Many thanks to University of Montana President Seth Bodnar for bringing the article above to our attention.)

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