Workforce Development: STEM skills & Social Intelligence are key. . .

. . . or so says “Creative Class” guru Richard Florida at the Atlantic Cities blogsite:

“If you look at what people are doing in manufacturing today, they are running robots, designing tools, programming computers,” Judith Crocker, director of education at the Manufacturing Advocacy & Growth Network, or MAGNET, a manufacturing promoter in Cleveland, recently told a reporter from the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

This is true across the board, in every kind of job. When my colleagues and I parsed the data on the hundreds and hundreds of jobs that make up the U.S. economy, we identified key skills that matter to wages.

The first is well-known – “analytical or cognitive skill,” of the sort most people associate with knowledge work. While it is certainly the case that doctors, computer scientists, and software engineers earn more money based on their cognitive skills, analytical skill has an even bigger effect on wages for both blue-collar and service workers.

But the skill with the biggest effect on wages is the “social intelligence skill.” Much more than being friendly or outgoing, it includes the ability to help develop people, to organize them around goals, to recruit and lead teams and mobilize the right people for a project  – the cornerstones of leadership and effective management that add to organizational productivity.

Even more than with analytical skill, social intelligence increases the wages of knowledge workers but of blue-collar and service workers as well.

You can read more on this interesting take on workforce here.  But remember, not everyone is convinced of Mr. Florida’s abilities as an economic prognosticator.

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