Chamber study examines value of durable skills

A new Indiana Chamber study examines the most important durable skills that workers have. (stock photo courtesy: Fauxels)

The Indiana Chamber of Commerce has released the results of a study that examines the importance of durable skills for job seekers, and what Hoosier employers are looking for. The new report reveals 75% of hiring personnel is demanding at least one durable skill, or what are sometimes referred to as soft skills, like leadership and collaboration.

The skills are those that workers can use in any work setting.

The new report examined 1.6 million Hoosier job postings in the past two years and found that 1.2 million sought workers with durable skills and more than half requested two or more durable skills on the resume.

“Technical skills are ever changing with economic and technological trends, but durable skills never change,” said Indiana Chamber President and CEO Kevin Brinegar. “Once durable skills are learned, they can be applied in a variety of situations and careers. This study emphasizes the importance of integrating these durable skills into education so students can be prepared for a successful work life.”

In producing this study, Idaho-based labor market analytics firm Lightcast analyzed recent job postings to see how often the following competencies were listed: character, collaboration, communication, creativity, critical thinking, fortitude, growth mindset, leadership, metacognition, and mindfulness.

After studying over 29,000 companies across Indiana, the “High Demand for Durable Skills” report found that communication, leadership, and metacognition are the top three durable skills. Metacognition is the awareness of one’s learning and thought process.

The report said Hoosier employers are also looking for workers with critical thinking skills, collaboration and character.

“Six of the 10 most requested skills by Indiana employers were durable skills. It is our belief that by working together with educators and business leaders, we ensure that students and communities can become more resilient in the rapidly evolving world of work,” said Anna Brown, economist and vice president of education consulting at Lightcast.

The chamber said a common misconception among job seekers is that hard skills–such as writing, math, operating a machine and other learned skillsets–are what stand out the most to employers.

“This study is quite compelling because it focuses on the benefits of cultivating these skills and traits from a very early age. Whether that’s fostering creativity or your thought process, learning the importance of good character or working well with others,” said Brinegar. “These findings are something educators, policymakers and business leaders should pay attention to and ask themselves: ‘Are we really preparing students for the future?’”

The Indiana Chamber said it will use the report to further its goal of creating the workforce Hoosier employers need and for setting students up for success in school, work and life. Click here to access the report.

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