college resources


21st Century Skills Go by Many Names:

Essential skills, applied skills, employability skills, competencies, college/career ready skills, transferable skills, and soft skills.

What They Are:

Knowledge, work habits, and character traits necessary to succeed in this rapidly changing world.

The Good News:

Just like any other subject, 21st Century Skills can be taught, practiced, and incorporated into everyone’s life.



After extensive research and hosting a series of Skills Panels, the New World of Work team developed the list of the “Top 10” Essential 21st Century Skills.


Our team collaborated with the Mozilla Foundation’s 21st Century Skills Initiative to review their comprehensive framework comparing college/career ready competencies from organizations across the country. We then worked with the Foundation for California Community Colleges, W3Workshop, MDRC, and Redstone Research to use this framework to establish learning outcomes for each of the skills in our “Top 10” list. We scaled the language to correlate with the Professional, Postsecondary, and Secondary reading levels.


This Competencies/Attributes/Traits document, included here as a downloadable PDF, forms the basis of all our curriculum and assessments. NWoW Competencies-Attributes-Traits Chart


Our “college” lesson series can be integrated into any 2yr/4yr college course across disciplines, within workshops, with adult learner programs, in re-entry settings, and within workforce development programs. Our Academic and Employer Verified Digital Badges can also be used as assessments with the college lesson content.


The college content consists of two lesson modules per skill for a total of 20 lessons. Each lesson covers two of the four primary attributes, or student learning outcomes, of that skill. Both lessons must be taught to cover all four attributes. Modules also include videos from our “What Not to Do” and Assessment Video series.


Each module includes:


1. Lesson plan PDF for easy use by instructors
2. Word Doc version of the lesson for edits/suggestions. There is also a blank lesson plan template for instructor use.
3. Power Point presentation
4. Supplementary handouts (where applicable)


New World of Work also provides access for all our training attendees to versions of our postsecondary lessons that can be used in Online and Hybrid Learning Management Platforms. If you are interested in gaining access, please fill out our form under the Trainings tab .


Our 21st Century Skills modules have been designed with lesson and video content to help prepare students for the new world of work.

21st Century Skills "What Not to Do" Video Series

The “What Not to Do” videos are incorporated into our curriculum in Lesson 1 of each of our “Top 10” skills. They can also be used in person or through online platforms to generate discussion of the skills among instructors and students.

21st Century Skills Assessment Video Series

The Assessment Videos are incorporated into our curriculum in Lesson 2 of each of our “Top 10” skills. They can also be used in person or through online platforms to generate discussion of the skills among instructors and students.


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21st Century Skills Resources Per Sector

We have partnered with sector leaders who have developed additional resources for learners specific to their industries and fields of study.

Additional Resources