Career and Vocational Skills

Definition: All students develop employment and occupational skills, including paid work experience, through direct instruction and/or added support as necessary.

Employability skills are general skills necessary for success in the workplace at all levels and in all types of jobs. These skills go by different names — soft skills, workforce readiness skills, career readiness skills — but they all refer to the same set of core skills employers want.

Career & technical education

Work-based learning

Employability and soft skills

  • Habits of Work: an Employment Soft Skills Curriculum was developed in New Hampshire. See especially the Keeping A Job units.
  • WorkReady NH is is a practical, tuition-free program to meet the needs of job seekers and career builders by providing training in specific skills that employers are looking for in their current and future employees. Available online to anyone age 16 and up through the Community College System of NH.
  • Skills to Pay the Bills — Mastering Soft Skills for Workplace Success is a curriculum developed by the Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP). It focuses on teaching workforce readiness skills to youth ages 14 to 21 in both in-school and out-of-school environments. The program is modular, with hands-on activities that focus on six skill areas: communication, enthusiasm and attitude, teamwork, networking, problem solving and critical thinking, and professionalism.
  • Getting Started: Executive Function Skills at Work (PDF, 8 pages, 2016) is a step-by-step guide to tools and strategies for executive function skills used in the work place such as time management, motivation, and focus and attention. From the Center on Technology and Disability.
  • Soft skill articles, lists and graphics
  • Examples of rubrics and and evaluation forms for evaluating soft skills. Level of detail varies a lot:
    • Employability and Soft Skills Manual (PDF, 29 pages, 2018) from the Pennsylvania Academic and Career/Technical Training Alliance (PACCT).  It identifies 27 key competencies under five domains as a minimum set of skills to be attained by every student in preparation for successful employment.
    • Soft Skills Assessment Rubric and Tools from Feather River College in California. Includes supervisor and student sections (PDF, 5 pages)
  • The Employability Skills Framework is an interactive site to explore and support teaching nine key skills, organized in three broad categories: applied knowledge, effective relationships, and workplace skills. It was developed as part of the Support for States Employability Standards in CTE and Adult Education project, an initiative of the U.S. Department of Education. There’s a professional learning module to introduce the framework and show how to integrate employability skills into lesson plans.

Job-seeking skills

Updated 9/8/20