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The Importance of Soft Skills in Education

Career success depends on so much more than students’ subject-matter knowledge and expertise

While academic learning is the foundation of education, a great school experience goes far beyond science fair projects and senior papers. More and more, educators are recognizing the importance of student’s less quantifiable skills such as collaboration, self-discipline, and conflict resolution.

These skills may be less easy to measure, but they are essential to a student’s overall growth and development. Read on to discover why test scores and good grades might not present the whole picture of your child’s education.

The importance of soft skills

A report by Bloomberg reveals that while academic institutions focus on equipping students with the knowledge and hard skills for their future careers, businesses report that new hires are not prepared for success. The reason? Recent graduates lack the “soft” skills necessary for individuals to perform at a high level in the workplace.

While hard skills are distinct and easy to measure (such as math and science), soft skills are less quantifiable. They include a variety of intra-personal and self-leadership skills such as collaboration, teamwork, time-management, and more. These “softer” skills enable an individual to adapt and succeed in the workplace.

Study after study reveals the importance employers place on soft skills. Educators and parents must work together to ensure that each child’s school experience fosters the social and personal skills that will ensure success when he or she enters the workforce.


First and foremost, Recent graduates must be able to work collaboratively with their new colleagues. This includes operating efficiently in groups, following the lead of others, leading when called upon, accepting and giving constructive feedback, and generally working together as a team with their office peers.

Students who can only be successful working in solitude may be in for a rude awakening when they begin working. If they cannot succeed in collaboration, they will find it incredibly challenging to succeed in most careers.


Communication skills are also very important for students to develop while in school. Employers expect new hires to interact well with clients and coworkers, ask questions, listen carefully, and carry on respectful and productive conversations.

Many students today are equipped with innate electronic communication skills and excel at email, instant messaging, social media, and texting. But employers need and expect them to communicate well via telephone, video conferencing, and face to face. Students must enter the workforce comfortable with all these communication channels and the etiquette that goes along with them.


Every job, no matter the field, has its unique set of challenges and setbacks. Students who are unprepared to think creatively and solve problems may find they struggle when faced with tasks that require critical thinking.

Often, the learning process is straightforward and predictable — memorize the formula, solve the equation, or pass the test and you succeed. In life, however, rote memorization is not enough to be successful. Parents and educators must work together to help students grow and pursue opportunities for experiential learning.

American Heritage Schools is a leader in private education, academic excellence, and innovation. With two 40 acre campuses, one in Broward County and the other in Palm Beach County, Florida, we serve 4,600 students grades Pre-K 3 through 12. American Heritage Schools was recently named the #1 Private School for academic success with the highest number of National Merit Scholars of all private schools in the nation. For over 55 years, our mission of knowledge, integrity, and compassion through developing the full potential of each child to be an active, intelligent, creative, and contributing member of society. Contact an admissions director for more information or sign up for a campus tour.