Closing the skills gap: Why creativity is essential to students’ workplace success

by Tacy Trowbridge

posted on 07-27-2016

The compensation data provider PayScale recently published its 2016 Workforce-Skills Preparedness Report, and the findings were eye-opening for schools and educators.

The report details the responses of almost 64,000 hiring managers across a wide range of industries who were asked about the “skills gap”—the disconnect between the skills students have when they graduate from college and the skills companies need. Here are a few of the stats that stood out for us:

Similar findings are appearing everywhere. Here’s just a sample:

Dan Schwabel of Millennial Branding, which partnered with PayScale on their survey, summed things up this way: “Graduates need strong communication and problem-solving skills if they want to interview well and succeed in the workplace.”

Closing the gap with creativity

So how can educational institutions help students close the skills gap? It’s clear to us that they need to go beyond teaching traditional skills and make fostering creativity and developing digital skills a priority in the classroom.

Many of the skills current grads lack are associated with creativity, from critical thinking to communication to collaboration. But when schools teach students how to create digital content, they help them develop these in-demand skills.

Here are just a few examples:

In an education documentary, Tony Wagner of Harvard’s Innovation Lab was quoted as saying: “Employers say over and over ‘I will teach them (graduates) the content. What I can’t teach is how to think, how to communicate, how to collaborate, how to initiate.’”

But our schools and educators can certainly teach these things. And Adobe can help.

For an in-depth look at what forward-thinking educators are doing to close the skills gap, visit the Adobe Education Exchange.

Topics: Education

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