Essential Soft Skills for Success in the Twenty-First Century Workforce as Perceived by Alabama Business/Marketing Educators
Type of DegreeDissertation
Curriculum and Teaching
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This study was designed to determine (a) the extent to which Alabama business/marketing educators perceive the importance of specific soft skills for success in the twenty-first century workforce and the integration of soft skills into the business/marketing education curriculum; (b) whether or not differences occur between Alabama business/marketing educators perceived importance of soft skills for success in the twenty-first century workforce and the following demographics: number of years teaching, highest degree held, class of professional educator certificate, grade level taught, location of school, type of school; and (c) if there a relationship between concepts and techniques identified as important by Alabama business/marketing educators and the extent to which these concepts and techniques are integrated into the business/marketing education curriculum. A survey was developed and distributed to Alabama business/marketing educators. Each educator was asked to assess the importance of specific soft skills, how these skills affect success in the workforce, and how often specific soft skills are integrated into the business/marketing education curriculum. Twenty-nine percent (29%) of the sample (n=530) of business/marketing educators returned usable surveys for analysis. Each of the eleven skills yielded a mean score (M = 4.95), the scale contained the following choices: (6) = Extremely Important and (1) = Not Important; indicating that Alabama business/marketing educators perceived all eleven skills to be very important. Most of the participants (77.9%) expressed that they integrate general communication into the classroom on a daily basis. Many participants (66.4%) integrate time management/organization into the classroom on a daily basis, while 62.4% integrate oral communication and 52.3% integrate written communication on a daily basis. A significant difference was found between the perceived importance of how specific soft skills affect success in the workforce and the location of school (city, county). Overall, Alabama business/marketing educators have endorsed soft skills at a very high frequency; however, there is a low correlation between the perceived importance of soft skills and the integration of soft skills into courses. Nevertheless, many of the correlations did reach statistical significance. This indicates that the skills, concepts, and activities that did reach statistical significance are being integrated into the classroom to some extent.