The High Demand for Durable Skills | Emsi, Burning Glass, and America Succeeds

Workforce Trends

The shelf-life of skills continues to decline, presenting challenges to firms as they prioritize upskilling and reskilling efforts. And given the speed at which skills change, there has been renewed interest in what this research report calls durable skills: a combination of how you use what you know—skills like critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and creativity—as well as character skills like fortitude, growth mindset, and leadership. Unlike skills that change as technology evolves, durable skills have more staying power and are foundational to most workers’ success. Durable skills are akin to what Josh Bersin refers to as power skills.  Based on an analysis of 82 million job postings from the past two years, this 36-page research report by Emsi, Burning Glass, and America Succeeds shares insights on the demand for durable skills across industries, occupations, and U.S. geographies. Among the various findings is 1) 7 of 10 of the most requested skills in job postings are durable skills, with leadership and communication-based skills in the highest demand. 2) Employers seek durable skills nearly four times more frequently than the top five technical or hard skills. 3) Jobs at the greatest risk of automation in the near term have lower demand for durable skills. Page 11 shows the model of 100 durable skills categorized by ten major themes and page 12 includes the durable skills in most demand. Organizations can use this report as a reference for their workforce planning, talent acquisition, and employee development efforts.

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