June 3, 2021

Highlighting the importance of soft skills for high school students

Prioritizing social-emotional learning includes setting students up for future success by equipping them with the soft skills needed to navigate a complicated world. Developing and enhancing soft skills remains an essential component to effective SEL, an evidence-based assertion backed by research.

Soft skills in demand by employers

After a deep dive into the hiring trends of the last year, LinkedIn identified the five most in-demand soft skills:

  • Creativity
  • Persuasion
  • Collaboration
  • Adaptability
  • Emotional intelligence

All of them focus on looking after social well-being and learning how to interact and empathize with others. CASEL, recognized as the most trusted source for evidence-based SEL, integrates soft skill development into each of its five core competencies: self-awareness, self-management, relationship skills, responsible decision-making, and social awareness.

Soft skills, or interpersonal and communication skills, are not so ‘soft,’ particularly when they are in high demand in today’s workplace– with a short supply. Dartmouth University President even calls them “power skills,” an emphasis on their high value. A study from Harvard University found that a whopping 85% of job success comes from having well-developed soft skills. Refining softs skills is essential to effective leadership and success in any position. But how can students, particularly high school students, develop them?

Developing soft skills in high school

To successfully transition from high school to college and/or the workplace, high school students need to learn how to manage their time, hit deadlines, deal with setbacks, and collaborate with classmates. It all starts with social-emotional learning in adolescence. A study by Duke University found that not only do soft skills learned in childhood and teenage years increase a young adult’s performance in school, life, and career, but that it is also crucial to consistently incorporate those skills throughout their education. By integrating these elements into classrooms, teachers and staff can help prepare students for life after graduation.


About The Social Institute

The Social Institute partners with schools nationwide to empower students, parents, and educators to navigate social-emotional health, social media, and technology positively through comprehensive, gamified lessons that meet students on their level as well. We have partnered with forward-thinking institutions across the nation, including Ravenscroft School, Gaston Day School, Bryn Mawr, Gilman School, Woodward Academy, U.S. Olympic athletes, Duke Men’s Basketball, ESPN, and others. For more information, contact us.