About the Human Skills Matrix | MIT J-WEL

About the Human Skills Matrix

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The digital economy will require firms and individuals to change more rapidly than ever before in history to keep up with changing demands of business and technology. This is a workforce and public policy priority, but also the responsibility of higher education and employers. The Human Skills Matrix quantifies the critical skills and attributes that individuals will need in the rapidly changing workplace of the future. While digital skills and expertise will continue to play a big role in a variety of occupations and industries, it is the non-technical skills and attributes, which will be immune from machine replacement for the longest and will equip humans to thrive.

Through a rigorous and exhaustive process, J-WEL Workforce Learning has developed a best-of-breed model for understanding the soft skills that will be key to workplace success in a world of increasing automation. By examining 41 existing frameworks from across multiple sectors—including human resources firms, educational institutions, education-corporate research partnerships, and labor organizations—MIT researchers were able to identify the most sought-after skills across all. This list was then reviewed and ranked by a panel of experts drawn from the human resources, post-secondary education, workforce and public policy, and research fields. The resulting 24 top skills have been further organized into a matrix of categories focused on 1) how we think, 2) how we manage ourselves, 3) how we interact, and 4) how we lead.

The Human Skills Matrix is being released by J-WEL Workforce Learning under a Creative Commons CC-By 4.0 license to encourage others to build on this framework. It is available for universities to use in developing curriculum, for companies in developing skills training, and for researches in structuring research projects. As a demonstration of the opportunities afforded by the HSX, J-WEL Workforce Learning has prototyped a workshop designed to address and improve these skills in students and employees, available on the HSX Products and News page. J-WEL Workforce Learning sees the Human Skills Matrix as a tool for fostering convergence among the many ways to define, train, and assess the social and higher-order thinking skills that are essential to success in the dynamic organizations of today and tomorrow.