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The Power of Transportable Skills

Assessing the Demand and Value of the Skills of the Future
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All workers will need to adapt and learn new skills over their careers, but some skills stand the test of time. Because workers can use these skills to navigate transitions across virtually any industry, these “transportable skills” learned in K-12 programs have lifelong value.

In a new report, “The Power of Transportable Skills: Assessing the Demand and Value of the Skills of the Future,” Project Lead The Way (PLTW) and Burning Glass Technologies examined workforce demand for five such skills taught to millions of students each year in PLTW PreK-12 programs: collaboration, problem-solving, critical and creative thinking, communication, and ethical reasoning and mindset. The research found:

  • Demand for transportable skills outpaces that for all other skills. Transportable skills are the four most-required skills in the entire labor market, with the fifth skill in greater demand than 99.8% of all skills tracked.
  • Industries and career areas across the economy prize these skills. Eighty-five percent of all industries across the economic spectrum seek out at least one of these skills.
  • Transportable skills are valued at every stage of a career. Fifty-seven percent of entry-level openings request at least one of these skills, while 68% of managerial openings request at least one transportable skill.
  • Transportable skills serve as a hedge against automation. Seventy-four percent of occupations at low risk of automation request these skills in a majority of openings, whereas jobs with a high risk of automation request transportable skills in just 48% of occupations.
  • When combined with technical skills and other transportable skills, demand for transportable skills climbs. Ninety-one percent of STEM occupations request these five skills in a majority of openings, compared to 55% of non-STEM occupations.

 

Sample Career Areas Requesting Transportable Skills in at Least 65% of Openings

Career Area Share of Openings Calling for Transportable Skills
Marketing and Public Relations79%
Human Resources72%
Planning and Analysis71%
Finance70%
Information Technology68%
Science and Research67%
Design, Media, and Writing67%
Clerical and Administrative66%
Engineering65%
Customer and Client Support65%

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The Power of Transportable Skills: Assessing the Demand and Value of the Skills of the Future

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