Skills Students Need to Succeed

Published On: February 25th, 2016·By ·

What are the skills students need to succeed?

Have you ever wondered what the skills are that students need to succeed in today's job market? What about tomorrow's market? I found the answer on social media. I watch social media closely and it's my job to share some of the hot topics on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and other outlets that teachers, principals, students, and parents are contributing.

The World Economic Forum posted an interesting tweet I think all teachers should take a look at. Their tweet included a chart of the top 10 skills employers look at in recent graduates and predict what those skills will change to by 2020, five years after the initial list was made. The poll was taken using UK graduates participating in extra-curricular social entrepreneurship. This might not reflect the exact same trends if you live elsewhere, but it's safe to assume they'd be close to the same. An article attached in the tweet gave more details about the poll. You can read that article here. You can see both charts below.

skills students need to succeed

There are many interesting things I discovered from this list. First off, creativity is predicted to matter a lot more to businesses than it does now. There also seems to be a trend in valuing emotional intelligence more as it placed sixth in the 2020 list and didn't even place in 2015.  Also interestting to note is that judgement and decision making rank on positions higher in 2020 than they did in 2015. There's a strong desire for employees that work well with others in 2015 with second, third, fifth, seventh, and ninth place all pertaining to it. While that trend hasn't vanished in the 2020 predictions, it has lesser importance.

It's worth taking a look at this list when considering what skills you want to teach your students. I would take this list with a grain of salt though. Only 150 students were asked, which is a very small number. In addition, they didn't ask the companies themselves, but what students perceived their employers during their entrepreneurship would want. Despite that, it still looks like a solid list of traits any employer would want in an employee.

Did anything in this list surprise you? What do you think is missing? Does this list align with current trends?

Tori Pakizer is the Social Media Editor at She writes regularly about the use of educational technology in K-12 classrooms, and specializes in how teachers use Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and other social media. You can follow Tori and SimpleK12 on Twitter @SimpleK12. If you have ideas for using social media in schools, please send your information or tip to

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