5 Facts about Soft Skills

What are Soft Skills? Soft skills are personal attributes that enable someone to interact effectively and harmoniously with other people. Recent studies have found that employers think personality skills are just as important, if not more important, than hard skills.

46% of managers said young workers would do well to hone their communication skills and 56% said recent grads do not pay attention to detail.

 

 

 

 

 

 

44% of managers reported a lack of leadership qualities.

 

 

 

 

 

 

36% reported lower-than-needed interpersonal and teamwork skills.

 

 

 

 

 

 

60% of managers claim the new graduates they see taking jobs within their organizations do not have the critical thinking and problem-solving skills they feel are necessary for the job.

 

 

 

 

 

 

57% of manager say they look for a candidate who is organized and can manage multiple projects.

 

 

 

 

 

 

To learn more about soft skills and how to implement an employability program in your Career and Technical Education classroom check out this webinar:

On the Road with Realityworks: Career Exploration Teaching Tips from the 2015 GACTE Conference

By Denise Bodart, Realityworks RealCare Product Manager

I recently traveled to Atlanta to attend the 2015 Georgia Association for Career & Technical Education Career Tech Expo on behalf of Realityworks. We always learn a great deal when we visit with our RealCare® Program customers who stop by our booth, and this conference was no different.

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One recurring theme that we have heard before surfaced at this year’s GACTE trade show. As Family and Consumer Science (FACS) instructors are ensuring that their programs focus on college- and career-readiness, traditional parenting courses are being discontinued as irrelevant.  More FACS instructors are asking for ways to use RealCare Baby and our other RealCare Program products as resources for teaching transferable career skills. Here is what we told those teachers; feel free to use these tips if you are facing this challenge in your own program:

  • Use our free career exploration curriculum, which we created specifically for the RealCare Program. The 5-lesson Using the RealCare Program for Career Exploration uses each of our RealCare experiential learning tools, like RealCare Baby, to jumpstart career exploration in related occupations. Career pathways such as Education & Training, Human Services and Healthcare are included in these ready-to-use lesson plans.
  • Build greater value into your course content by teaching employability or soft skills. A free 6-lesson curriculum can be found here. These lessons can be used in any CTE course and give students active practice on time management, leadership, teamwork, critical thinking, problem solving, communication and interview skills. Many of these soft skills are included in state and national CTE standards.
  • Consider using your courses to lead to an industry-recognized certification. Turn your parenting classes into childhood development and early childhood career skills courses as part of a CDA (Child Development Associate) or similar certification.
  • Work with your local community college to see if a dual credit course or program can be created.
  • Rework your course title and syllabus to highlight the college and career readiness skills that are already being taught.
  • Use the alignment and crosswalk documents found here to clearly identify the Common Career Technical Core Standards that are being taught in the RealCare Program lessons that you are teaching.
  • Participate in cross-curricular planning with other core academic and CTE instructors. Identify areas of common interest and teach interdisciplinary units with common themes. For example, as you use RealCare Baby to teach childcare career skills, your Entrepreneurship instructor could use the start-up of a daycare as a class project.

We hope these ideas help you jumpstart your own creative juices! To view a webinar on using the RealCare Program for career exploration, click here.

Are you using the RealCare Program to teach transferrable career skills in your classroom? If so, we’d love to hear what you’re doing. Share your ideas in the comments below!

Take Your Career Readiness Lessons to the Next Level

By Denise Bodart, Realityworks RealCare Product Manager

Small business owners and entrepreneurs have a significant impact on the U.S. economy. Consider these statistics:

  • According to Entrepreneur Magazine, there are between 25 million and 27 million small businesses in the U.S., and they account for 60 to 80 percent of all U.S. jobs
  • According to Forbes, employer-based businesses make up more than 75% of all businesses currently operating in the U.S. Also, more than half of the aforementioned businesses are operated out of people’s homes.

What does this mean for Career & Technical Education (CTE) professionals? It means that chances are pretty favorable that some of your students will go on to start their own businesses – and you can help them be prepared.

CTE professionals nationwide know how important it is to ensure that students graduate with the broad range of skills needed to succeed in 21st Century careers. Here at Realityworks, we’re doing our part to help CTE educators teach transferable career skills in welding, childcare, business, healthcare and more. When students use the experiential learning tools that make up our RealCareer® Welding Solutions or RealCare® Total Parenting Experience product lines in the classroom, they are learning job skills that can be used in future occupations.

You can take your career readiness lessons to the next level by teaching your students entrepreneurship skills in tandem with hands-on, transferable career skills. Tools like our RealCareer® Business Education Simulations gives students hands-on experience starting a business and making business management decisions. They put students in control of their learning, teaching them critical marketing, finance and management decision-making skills. This set of 3 business simulations is a valuable addition to any CTE course; the skills taught in the Entrepreneurship, Business Management and Business Finance simulations are useful when starting and managing any type of business venture.

Learn more about our Business Education Simulations by watching this SlideShare presentation.

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Help Your Students Explore Infant-Related Careers with this Free Lesson

By Denise Bodart, RealCare Product Manager

We all know how important it is to prepare students for college and career; our increasingly competitive global economy demands it. One way to help ensure your students are college-and career-ready is to provide them with opportunities to explore career pathways relates to your program – and we can help. Our free Using the RealCare Program for Career Exploration curriculum contains five hands-on career exploration lessons, one of which uses RealCare® Baby as a springboard for discussion of infant-related careers.

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Our free “Exploration of Careers Related to Infants in Education and Human Services” lesson uses RealCare Baby as a springboard into the discussion of infant-related careers.

If you already use RealCare Baby in your program, you know how powerful it is for participants to experience living the life of a teen parent. While participants quickly come to realize that being a parent is a full-time job, you can also use the simulation experience as a springboard for discussion of careers that involve working with infants.

The Exploration of Careers Related to Infants in Education and Human Services lesson includes career cluster definitions; opportunities to identify, research and explore career opportunities; presentation options and more. We recommend concluding this lesson with a career panel discussion, which you can coordinate by inviting local childcare professionals, human services professionals, social workers, adoption coordinators or program associates to share their professional experiences and the impact they have on the life of an infant.

Download this free lesson or the entire curriculum by clicking here, then let us know how you plan to use it in the comments!