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Employability Skills

What are employability skills and why do they matter? 

Successful careers are built on solid personal and interpersonal skills. Defining, measuring, and building these skills— even naming them— can be challenging. In an effort to leverage and connect the efforts of policy makers, educators, and employers, the U.S. Department of Education compiled the Employability Skills Framework and developed related tools, media and resources.

Explore the Framework | Employability Skills Checklist

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The Employability Skills Framework is comprised of nine key skills, organized in three broad categories: Applied Knowledge, Effective Relationships, and Workplace Skills.Applied KnowledgeEffective RelationshipsWorkplace Skills

Applied knowledge is the thoughtful integration of academic knowledge and technical skills, put to practical use in the workplace.
Applied knowledge falls into two main areas:
Applied Academic Skills
Applied academic skills enable employees to put skills based on academic disciplines and learning— such as reading, writing, mathematical strategies and procedures, and scientific principles and procedures— to practical use in the workplace.
Critical Thinking Skills
Critical thinking skills enable employees to analyze, reason, solve problems, plan, organize, and make sound decisions in their work.
Developing effective relationships in the workplace requires a combination of interpersonal skills and personal qualities.
Interpersonal Skills
Interpersonal skills include the ability to collaborate as a member of a team or work independently, as appropriate; communicate effectively; maintain a positive attitude; and contribute to the overarching goals of the workplace.
Personal Qualities
Personal qualities that contribute to effective relationships include responsibility, self-discipline, flexibility, integrity, and initiative. Other essential qualities are a sense of professionalism and self-worth; willingness to learn; and acceptance of responsibility for one's own personal growth.
Workplace skills are the abilities employees need to successfully accomplish work tasks. Workplace skills include:
Resource Management
Resource management skills enable employees to successfully perform work tasks by managing time and other resources.
Information Use
Information use skills enable employees to successfully perform work tasks by understanding, evaluating, and using a variety of information.
Communication Skills
Communication skills enable employees to successfully perform work tasks by communicating effectively with others in multiple formats.
Systems Thinking
Systems thinking skills enable employees to successfully perform work tasks by understanding relationships among the components of a system.
Technology Use
Technology use skills enable employees to successfully perform work tasks by applying information technology appropriately and effectively.
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