Skills You Won’t See on a Test

Talk to any employer, and you will hear the same concerns: graduating students have mastered their hard skills – skills that can be taught through technical topics and academic subject areas. However, the same students are greatly lacking skills they need to interact successfully with co-workers and customers.

It seems hard to believe that we have so many “qualified” young people who are deficient in the fundamental soft skills needed to acquire a job.

What exactly are soft skills? These are skills that do not depend on testable knowledge. They focus on attributes such as social interactions, life management, and employability skills. The job market of today looks a lot different than it did 20 years ago, or even five. Industries of the future rely on robotics and artificial intelligence to perform many routine jobs of our past.

And still, today’s economy depends on services that cannot be performed by a machine. As our students head out to perform jobs that have not yet been invented, we can ensure they aren’t replaced with machines by preparing them with soft skills. Yes, academics and technical skills are important for students to get ahead. However, soft skills are required for students to stay ahead.

I wanted to share some interesting data recently reported by LinkedIn regarding soft skills and the industries that rely heavily on them.

Top Soft Skills

Does anything on this list surprise you? These are all skills we use in our daily lives!

In the following chart, industries that commonly have employees with strong soft skills are listed, but this is by no means a comprehensive list of fields in which they are needed.

Soft Skills by Industry

As educators, we want to make sure students have all the tools they need to be successful in college and careers. For students to stand out on college applications and resumes, their soft skills must shine through on their applications.


Data Reveals The Most In-Demand Soft Skills Among Candidates

Post by Heather Reingold, Former FLVS Career & Technical Education Curriculum Manager

5 comments on “Skills You Won’t See on a Test

  1. Christine

    Great information. Will there be another article to follow up on how students can start to tone these skills, or maybe dates set for discussion based/hands on activity days? I would be very interested in learning ways to work with my child to help him gain knowledge or improve on these much needed skills. Thank you

    1. FLVS

      Our student activities and events are a great way to hone in on those communication skills! Visit to learn more about ways your child can get involved. In December, we also celebrate Computer Science Education Week – so stay tuned for future contests and details about this year’s Hour of Code event! If you aren’t subscribed to our blog, you can sign up for email updates here:

      We also recommend this article for some resources we shared last year with tips and suggestions to put these skills into action:


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