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Identifying the Most Important 21st Century Workforce Competencies: An Analysis of the Occupational Information Network (O*NET) KSA

Burrus, Jeremy; Jackson, Teresa; Xi, Nuo; Steinberg, Jonathan
Publication Year:
Report Number:
ETS Research Report
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
Occupational Information Network (O*NET), Workforce Readiness, Student Learning, Learning Outcomes, Noncognitive Skills, Job Skills, Job Competencies, Knowledge Skills and Abilities (KSA)


Components were then ranked in importance using the mean component scores over all occupations. A comparison of this ranking with previous 21st century competencies frameworks suggested that 5 competencies stand out as important for most occupations: problem solving (e.g., complex problem solving), fluid intelligence (e.g., category flexibility), teamwork (e.g., cooperation), achievement/innovation (e.g., persistence), and communication skills (e.g., oral expression). Consistent with this conclusion, a correlation of component scores with wages found that 4 of these 5 competencies were strongly related to wages, with the exception being teamwork.

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