skip to Main Content
Education, Evidence & Employment

Education, Evidence & Employment

Last week, I spoke at the AHRI Instructor’s Workshop in Baltimore.  It was terrific to catch up with old friends and make new ones.  The winter weather did not hinder the conference’s energy and enthusiasm.


Teaching a soft skills class in Baltimore

My topic focused on how to teach Soft Skills in the Classroom.  The audience was comprised of college and trade school instructors who share a passion for their student’s success.  Thankfully, this topic almost always results in lively and thought-provoking discussion.

Today’s instructors bear the challenge of inspiring younger workers to consider how their attitude, tardiness and dress attire affects their chances for future employment. 

Recent research indicates that 18 to 34 year olds do not understand the importance of soft skills and its impact on their employment success.  This research, conducted by Bryant & Stratton College and Wakefield Research, reported that only 16% of the 18- to 34-year-olds surveyed see soft skills as necessary for career advancement.  

Soft Skills

Based on the research

To the contrary, 93% of U.S, employers say soft skills are “weighed more heavily” when vetting job candidates — much more so than a candidate’s college academic credentials.  These soft skills include communication, teamwork, attitude and problem solving.   Clearly, a gap exists between employer priorities and a student’s attitude.

The U.S. Department of Labor predicts that the market for HVACR technicians and installers will grow 34 percent through 2020.  This growth exceeds all other occupations.

So with so much upside potential, why are companies struggling to find competent workers?  

The answer may lie in a cultural divide among the generations in the workforce today.  Based on what I hear from instructors from coast-to-coast, another factor may be humility, of the lack thereof.


Answering an instructor’s question

The American Freshman Survey, conducted by the Cooperative Institutional Research Program (CIRP) has been asking college students to rate them selves compared to their peers since 1966 (more than 9 million students have taken the survey over the last 47 years).

The CIRP reported that, “Young people’s unprecedented level of self-infatuation indicates that they’re more likely to call themselves gifted in abilities, but objective test scores actually show that their abilities are far less than their 1960s counterparts.”

When I shared the above report finding in Baltimore, an instructor asked me about the solution.  

My answer was to lead by example.  “Let students see your ethics, fairness and tough love.  Our younger workforce needs mentors and someone to look up to.  Be an anchor in their life.”

The answer was the best I could do off the top of my head.

This is a busy travel month, and I will share more stories from conferences at which I will speak.

Questions about our curriculum? Click here.

Steve Coscia

The road from professional musician to thirty-year customer service veteran to best-selling author and speaker is not a typical career path, but Steve Coscia may have started a new trend.

Coscia is one of the most widely published and quoted authorities in the customer service industry. He has published more than 200 articles, four books and a series of training DVDs. His college curriculum is taught at institutions of higher learning throughout the United States and Canada.

This Post Has 4 Comments
  1. Steve,
    Excellent! You are so correct. The younger generation does learn from our example. Children learn most of their attitudes and many skill sets from their parents. As they move into the next stage in life, instructors and co-workers play a vital role in helping them become the leaders they should become.
    Hudson, Ink

  2. Great article Steve. Couldn’t agree more on the subject which is evidenced by what I observe in our classrooms. Thanks again for all you do and by the way, I can’t believe it’s been a year since you visited our campus here at El Camino College. Take care .

  3. […] At a conference in Baltimore, Steve Coscia engaged an audience of mostly college instructors about the future of the workforce. He shared an interesting research study from Bryant & Stratton College and and Wakefield Research focused on soft skills in the workforce. These soft skills include communication, teamwork, attitude and problem solving. Steve recently shared some of the studies findings on his blog. We wanted to share this important information which will have an on-going impact on the future of our workforce. Click here to read Steve’s post: Education, Evidence and Employment. […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Back To Top