The importance of Non-Cognitive Skills (Soft Skills)

Recently there has been a great amount of research looking into the importance of non-cognitive skills in the ability of employees to acquire and retain work.  The research has largely come out of the University of Chicago school of economics.  The findings in much of this new research supports the efforts of much of our activities at Youth Connect, especially that subject we call Soft Skills.

… life-cycle skill formation is dynamic in nature. Skill begets skill; motivation begets motivation. Motivation cross-fosters skill, and skill cross-fosters motivation. If a child is not motivated to learn and engage early on in life, the more likely it is that when the child becomes an adult, he or she will fail in social and economic life. The longer society waits to intervene in the life cycle of a disadvantaged child, the more costly it is to remediate disadvantage. – James J. Heckman 25 August 2008

I’ve attached some of the most recent studies and findings on the relation of non-cognitive skills to success in employment.

Noncognitive skills, school achievements and educational dropout

How do Shocks to Non-Cognitive Skills Effect Test Scores?

The Importance of Noncognitive Skills: Lessons from the GED Testing Program