Essential Skills

The list of skills below was developed by local educators and employers and are considered essential for future success in college and career. Regardless of your students' career choices, these skills apply to nearly every work setting. Download as a Word file.

Communication

Comprehends verbal, written, and visual information and instructions; listens effectively; observes non-verbal communication; articulates and presents ideas and information clearly and effectively both verbally and in written form; and uses technology appropriately for communication.

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Creativity and Innovation

Demonstrates originality and inventiveness in work; communicates new ideas to others; uses technology; and integrates knowledge across different disciplines.

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Collaboration and Teamwork

Builds effective collaborative working relationships with colleagues and customers; is able to work with diverse teams, contributing appropriately to the team effort; negotiates and manages conflict; learns from and works collaboratively with individuals representing diverse cultures, ethnicities, ages, gender, religions, lifestyles, and viewpoints; and uses technology to support collaboration.

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Initiative and Self-Management

Takes initiative and is able to work independently as needed; looks for the means to solve problems; actively seeks out new knowledge and skills; monitors his/her own learning needs; prioritizes tasks; persists in bringing tasks and projects to completion; manages time effectively; learns from his/her mistakes; and seeks information about related career options and postsecondary training.

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Workplace Context and Culture

Understands the workplace?s culture, etiquette, and practices; demonstrates professionalism; is punctual; takes responsibility; demonstrates integrity and ethical behavior; acts responsibly with others in mind; knows how to navigate the organization; understands how to build, utilize, and maintain a professional network of relationships and understands the role such a network plays in personal and professional success; understands health and safety risks in the workplace; uses technology related to the industry; and understands the role of employers and employees in communicating about risks, reducing risks, and creating a safe work environment.

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Critical Thinking and Problem Solving

Demonstrates the following critical-thinking and problem-solving skills: exercises sound reasoning and analytical thinking; uses quantitative reasoning, makes judgments and explains perspectives based on evidence and previous findings; uses technology to find and process information; uses knowledge, facts, and data to solve problems; and applies system thinking.

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