employer skills high school students

Top 10 Skills Employers Want and How to Develop Them in High School

Here are top 10 skills employers want and how to develop them in high school! Moorelands Kids wants young people to succeed in the workforce.


Critical thinking involves making informed decisions in various situations. Employers are commonly looking for these skills, so to develop them in high school, you should:

  • Ask open-ended questions
  • Compare your learning to real-life problems and use comparisons for problem-solving
  • Question theories and schools of thought – think about context and ask yourself why someone might think something.
  • Question bias


Creative problem-solving determines unique solutions. Employers want these skills, particularly because it enhances the quality of the company and environment.

To develop creative problem-solving skills employers want in high school, you need to…

  • Identify the issue
  • Brainstorm alternate solutions
  • Find the origin and history
  • Ask a lot of questions


Employers want teamwork skills from young people, especially as companies collaborate more and more!

critical thinking at the table
Potential participants share their thoughts.

To develop creative problem-solving skills employers want in high school you need to…

  • Communicate! Discuss projects, as well as responsibilities, roles and expectations with your peers
  • Learn to balance assignments and personal life
  • Continue working on your critical thinking and creative problem solving skills in a group setting


Analytical thinking involves breaking down complex information, which helps solve problems.

To develop analytical thinking skills employers want in high school you need to…

  • Observe everything! For example, classroom discussions to people walking
  • Reflect on your day to learn how to improve for the future
  • Finally, ask for feedback. For instance, peers in a group project or teacher on an assignment


Employers want to see that you can manage emotions. As noted by Daniel Goleman, to develop the emotional intelligence skills employers want in high school, you need to…

  • Be self-aware! Know your behaviours, patterns, triggers and strengths/limitations
  • Regulate your emotions – think before you act
  • Find the motivation to achieve your goals
  • Be empathic, aiming to understand others


Adaptability means you change with the conditions and ultimately, unexpected situations.

To develop your adaptability skills that employers want in high school, you need to…

  • Be open to new resources and techniques that are different from your previous experiences.
  • Do not give up on school work when it’s hard! Ask for help and advice when faced with tough assignments. Persistence and deternmination will bring you through and help you adapt to new school challenges
  • Look at change as another opportunity to grow and learn! Investigate the change and take time to figure out how you have to act or think differently to overcome the challenges in front of you.


A skill employers look for in all people is their ability to use technology and adopt new technologies with ease! Over the past year and a half, the world and classroom have transitioned even further online.

To develop your technology skills employers want in high school, you need to…

  • Try out various Office programs when you do your school work. .
  • Research new technology and practice using different tools – look for new tools online that might help with your projects and assignments
  • Learn the algorithims of social media and how to promote yourself online.


Employers look for your ability to interact with others well. This includes verbal and non-verbal communication.

To develop your communication and interpersonal skills employers want in high school, you need to…

  • Engage in collaborative work with others – don’t shy away from group projects, these are great learning opporunities!
  • Self-assess! Reflect on your role in group activities and how you interact with others to learn your strengths and weaknesses in communicating
  • Practise active listening skills when others are talking; question and reflect on what they say rather than waiting for your turn.
  • Ask for feedback from your teachers


Taking initiative means you are proactive, determined to take opportunities that help you (and those around you) grow.

To develop your communication and interpersonal skills in high school, you need to

  • Go above and beyond! Take extra steps with assignments and participation
  • Set small goals for yourself – write them in your agenda and cross them out when you finish!
  • Pay attention to feedback and ask for criticism on school work so you know how you can improve


Learning skills are the habits that motivate you to achieve goals.

To develop your learning skills employers want in high school, you need to…

  • Accept that you are constantly growing (and so is everyone else!)
  • Be open to change and new discoveries. If something new makes you uncomfortable, ask yourself why rather than disregarding it straight away.
  • Discover what distracts you and eliminate it
  • Socialize and communicate with your peers and friends to develop your ability to learn from them

Take the Next Step in Your Leadership Journey!

We hope that you can feel empowered with these top 10 skills employers want and how to develop them in high school! Want to take it even further? Sign up for our VITAL online program for mentored online group sessions and fun activities that help you grow as a leader and gain the skills employers want!

by Angel Persaud

Developing Leadership Skills

Develop more skills for leadership!

See below for top tips on developing skills to be an effective leader!

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