A recent report by Gallup.com shows that there is a strong correlation between having, what they call, 21st century skills and reaping success.
Gallup, a research company most famous for its polls during election season, collaborated with Microsoft and Pearson Learning to produce an index measuring collaboration, knowledge construction, skilled communication, global awareness, self-regulation, real-world problem-solving and technology used in learning, or, in other words, real world skills.
The study sampled just over 1,000 young adults, ages 18-35 who are either in school or have a job, in late April and found that real-world problem-solving showed the strongest link to high work quality.
For the purposes of the study, individuals who had high work quality were distinguished as those who identified themselves as those who were more successful relative to others their age, had success at their current job, had a voice in decision-making in the workplace, and were valued members of their workplace.
Overall, 17% of the adults surveyed who'd said they'd obtained "high" amounts of real world skills from schooling were found to have "high" quality work as opposed to 8% for those who'd obtained a "medium" amount of real world skills.
And while the standards that the Gallup/Microsoft/Pearson poll used to measure real world skills and high quality work may seem arbitrary or, at worst, random, there is a significant portion of the poll that is undoubtedly straightforward.
When asked whether they'd used what they learned about in school to solve real world problems, only 29% of those surveyed say they had.
Furthermore, this damning statistic provides the foundation on which Gallup's conclusion stands.
"Developing 21st century skills in the last year of school positively correlates with future work success, but too few students have the opportunity to develop these important skills," said Jenna Levy and Preety Sidhu, the two who collaborated to product the report. "The majority of respondents (59%) report that they "strongly agree" or "agree" that they developed most of the skills they use in their current job outside of school."
Such figures have prompted the likes of author Robert Greene and Billionaire Tony Hsieh to deem schooling as unimpressive in providing real-world readiness for students.