Overview

Employability Skills, part of the STEM 2.0 framework, are an essential skill set for 21st century employees. This focus on Employability Skills builds off the previous work of STEMconnector®’s Innovation Task Force – STEM 2.0 – An Imperative For Our Future Workforce – a publication that introduced the importance of STEM 2.0 skills in today’s competitive, global workforce. This paper focuses on which Employability Skills are most important for STEM careers through an academic review, and the findings from expert interviews and roundtable discussions. The goal was also to identify key areas for improvement to lessen the gap between employer needs and student skills. Through research, two observations were made related to the current education system: 1) career-focused experiential learning is a vehicle to impart Employability Skills and 2) measurement & assessment of Employability Skills remains a gap. Career-focused experiential learning (CFEL), in particular, is a powerful mechanism to impart Employability Skills. Some exemplary CFEL programs exist today and should be looked at more closely as potential models. However, a void exists in published research to find what CFEL programs work best. There is similar void in assessment and measurement of CFEL programs. Further research is needed to validate the importance of CFEL as critical in the Employability Skills framework. The authors encourage educators and organizations that teach these skills to continue to prioritize Employability Skills and the use of CFEL.

Employability Skills
Employability Skills, part of the STEM 2.0 framework, are an essential skill set for 21st century employees.