The Case for Human Skills in 2023 and Beyond

Communication. Resilience. Collaboration. Companies call them soft skills, but really, they’re powerful human skills that will help you deliver better results at work and propel your life forward. These skills make work more productive and strengthen relationships, not to mention are critical to hiring in an increasingly virtual world. Even the most technical jobs—from engineering to information technology—require business knowledge and human skills. 

According to a report from Google, social-emotional skills, including communication, problem-solving, and critical thinking, top the list of the seven most important skills they look for in new hires. While this was true before the pandemic, COVID put an even finer point on our collective need to value and develop skills that allow people to work together and think in ways that lead to innovation and creativity.

It may feel counterintuitive as we move further away from in-person work and learning, but these human skills are key to thriving in a virtual-first world. Researchers from Ladders found that high-paying remote job opportunities more than doubled during the first year of the pandemic and predict that 25% of all professional jobs in North America will be remote by the end of 2022. Strong human skills will be needed to ensure success in these virtual and hybrid workspaces. Even if you’re not on the hunt for a new career, leveling up your human skills can help you grow in your current role.

It’s Time To Stop Talking About Human Skills, and Start Learning Them

edX and our partners are creating 10 new courses and programs in essential human skill areas that people need to navigate an increasingly complex world, both professionally and personally. This new initiative, Essential Human Skills for the Virtual Age, demonstrates edX and our partner's commitment to advancing educational opportunities to meet learners' needs.

These new courses include personal resilience, being an authentic human in the workplace, listening skills, conflict management, digital teamwork, and more. Explore this new library of learning coming soon.

Explore Human Skills Courses