What are Employability Skills?

Watch & Listen: Why Do Employability Skills Matter?
Brian Southwell, The Measure of Everyday Life, WNCU
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Stephen DeWitt, Association for Career and Technical Education
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National Dialogue on Career Pathways, U.S. Department of Labor
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Employability skills are general skills that are necessary for success in the labor market at all employment levels and in all sectors.

These skills, which may be taught through the education and workforce development systems, fall into three broad categories:

1 Applied Knowledge—the thoughtful integration of academic knowledge and technical skills, put to practical use in the workplace.

2 Effective Relationships—the interpersonal skills and personal qualities that enable individuals to interact effectively with clients, coworkers, and supervisors.

3 Workplace Skills—the analytical and organizational skills and understandings that employees need to successfully perform work tasks.

In tandem with academic and technical skills, employability skills are critical to college and career readiness. For more information on these other two components of college and career readiness, see the Common Core State Standards and the Career Clusters.