Maths, Social Skills & Success
A study published in the Review of Economics and Statistics finds that employees who are perceived as capable and socially adept have greater success in the workplace. They tested maths and social skills today and compared them with scores from the 1980s and measured them against success. The researchers note these skills may not be innate but are possibly learned. Future research might explore how these skills may be taught to others. Economist Dr Catherine Weinberger explains:
“In 1980, there was no additional benefit to having both [social and maths]skills; today there is. Even so, both those who are pretty good at math but not very social and those with below-average book smarts who are really good with people are doing fine. At the same time, students who are neither socially nor academically engaged in school are doing even worse than we realised. I think the next questions to ask are whether people are naturally this way and there’s nothing you can do about it, or if they can be educated differently to give them stronger and more balanced bundles of skills as they go into the labour market.
“Just making students sit down and learn math and try to get their test scores up isn’t enough. Giving up recess to focus on math skills might not be the best investment in our future workforce.”