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Reviewed by Nandita Keshavan for Readers' Favorite
Wanted: Eight Critical Skills You Need To Succeed is a compelling book which describes eight critical skills which the author argues should be universally grasped in preparing for a successful career. In this book, Charles Jett explains his journey from the corporate world to the high school world, where his aim became to promote good understanding and experience of critical skills needed in the work place.
Jett identified these skills after having done extensive research of job specifications to determine the top 8 skills needed in the world of work. After this, it became clear to him that the standardised testing approach to education was by no means adequate in preparing young people for their careers, since they were not encouraged to develop critical skills. Jett makes a strong case throughout the book for the need to promote these skills, arguing that they should be gained by experience.
Jett cites many examples in which the skills can be encouraged, such as via job shadowing, mentoring programs, internships, service based learning, apprenticeships and problem based learning. Ultimately he suggests that there need not be a single universal method or program to mediate this change, but that individual schools should create their own opportunities for students to acquire these skills.
I wholeheartedly agree with the fear of what Jett describes as the rising tide of mediocrity in education, and think that true education is not complete without first hand experience of the skills needed to succeed in a career. The job market is competitive and changes frequently, so schools and students should aim to encourage talent, not only in the aptitude for content based learning, but also regarding communication, production, information, analysis, interpersonal, technology, time management and continuous education.