Our Methodology | MIT J-WEL

Our Methodology

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The MIT J-WEL Human Skills Matrix (HSX) resulted from more than a year of research.  We surveyed the literature, examining work already conducted in the domain. We interviewed MIT faculty, employers, and other thought leaders about the skills needed to adapt to future jobs.  We then analyzed 41 frameworks and reports published by multiple entities—HR firms, corporations, educational organizations and institutions, research partnerships between educational institutions and corporations, labor organizations, social media surveys, and government organizations. We examined the commonalities between the various sources and found overlap as well as divergence. Our analysis of the literature, interviews, and other frameworks produced a list of 44 items across four categories of skills.



To refine and validate our list, we conducted an online Q-sort, a qualitative research methodology that statistically analyzes participants’ ranking of skills. Thirty individuals— experts from human resources, post-secondary education, workforce, public policy, and research—participated in this phase of the research. Taken together, our findings led to the development of the 2 x 2 Human Skills Matrix containing 24 skills focused on four seminal areas 1) thinking, 2) managing ourselves, 3) interacting, and 4) leading.