Skills and Competencies Needed to Succeed in Today's Workplace

Because the world of work is changing, the U.S. Departments of Labor and Education formed the Secretary's Commission on Achieving Necessary Skills (SCANS) to study the kinds of competencies and skills that workers must have to succeed in today's workplace. The results of the study were published in a document entitled What Work Requires of Schools: A SCANS Report for America 2000. A summary of the findings are provided in the tables below.

Table 1: SCANS' Five Competencies

Resources: Identifies, organizes, plans, and allocates resources

Interpersonal: Works with others

Information: Acquires and evaluates information

Systems: Understands complex interrelationships

Technology: Works with a variety of technologies


Table 2: A Three-Part Foundation of SCANS Skills and Personal Qualities

Basic Skills: Reads, writes, performs arithmetic and mathematical operations, listens, and speaks

Thinking Skills: Thinks creatively, makes decisions, solves problems, visualizes, knows how to learn, and reasons

Personal Qualities: Responsibility, self-esteem, sociability, self-management, integrity, and honesty


Tables excerpted from What Work Requires of Schools: A SCANS Report for America 2000, U.S. Department of Labor, June 1991, pp. xvii-xviii.

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