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How Employability Skills Develop

In interviews, we asked how employability skills normally develop and also asked focused questions about what the employers and educators do to help support employability skills growth. Our findings fall into three major categories.

Employability skills develop throughout the lifetime

In our research, we identified four stages of employability skills development.

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Learning principles are relevant to employability skills development

Many of the approaches to teaching employability skills in use by educators and employers we interviewed aligned with learning principles developed in the field of learning sciences.

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Considerations for groups underrepresented in STEM technical fields.

There are two key concerns for groups underrepresented in STEM technical fields:

  • Unequal access to opportunities to practice employability skills during the K-12 years
  • Some individuals will need especially strong communication and interpersonal/teamwork skills to prepare for being the only member of their group when they reach the workforce.