Why developing citizenship
and socioemotional skills
is so important to succeed
in the job market - and life.

The technological revolution experienced by globalized societies has been changing all aspects of people’s daily routine in a dizzying speed. Our smartphones increasingly mediate the way we buy products, pay bills or plan our days. The possibility that home devices “talk to each other” over the internet is already a tangible reality.

The digital world permeates even interpersonal relationships. People who live in different places have the possibility to get to know each other through apps. Friends and family communicate through text, voice and video messages, and use internet slang terms to express themselves.

Education and work are also part of the digital universe. Companies have been using technology to help solve their problems and the effect is a rise of automation and more use of artificial intelligence by industry, commercial and service sectors.

As for the schools, they have a new challenge besides the incorporation of new techniques in the classroom: preparing young people to the future. In these circumstances, diverse skills are being reinforced as essential for a citizenship education for students and their success at

What are

soft skills?

A creative person, that knows how to expose opinions in a clear way, is opened to hear others arguments, usually outstands in the society, right? Also, those who have the capacity to solve problems and reinvent themselves after adversities. Such characteristics are valued not only in the social life aspects but also in the job market. They are denominated soft skills.

This expression is used to gather an individual’s emotional, behavioral and social skills. A few examples of soft skills appreciated in the workplace are empathy, resilience, creativity, communication, flexibility, critical thinking and leadership. These characteristics are difficult to assess in a test since they are directly linked to how we interact with people and deal with what happens in our lives.

They differ from hard skills or technical knowledge. Graduation, specialization or fluency in another language are some examples of such characteristics. They are usually more tangible and easier to prove at a job interview.

Understanding the line between soft and hard skills:

soft   hard

skills skills



Skills of this nature change from experiences and
relationships with other people


Children who begin to develop leadership skills by experiencing a similar behavior of some mentor (whether parents or teachers)



Less malleable, more technical and specific capabilities. They are usually taught in courses and therefore are more easily measured and proven.


A student who takes a test to measure his performance or IQ is evaluating his hard skills.

Nobel Prize in Economics

James Heckman

talks about the benefits

of soft skills for

citizens to become

whatever they intend to be.

A job market


According to a popular saying in the workspace,
people are hired by the curriculum and fired for the behavior.

This means that employees attitudes are very relevant in the work routine. The human resources consulting analysis is quite simple. In companies, it is easier to develop technical skills in professionals who already have behavioral skills. The opposite can be much more challenging, developing these characteristics in those who master the hard skills. One of the reasons is because soft skills are closely attached to individuals citizenship development, which envelope conducts taught since childhood at home, school and through coexistence and experiences. Furthermore, it is very difficult to learn such characteristics through traditional teaching, focused on content transmission and correct answers marking. This is the reason big companies and startups share the same idea that soft skills should be developed even in childhood.

This was one of the most important theme discussed during the 2nd EdTech Conference, held in São Paulo in 2018. Speakers from several educational startups have stressed the relevance of establishing learning moments that go beyond the traditional classroom in order to teach these behavioral skills.

Reasons for employment termination INDEX
>Low performance 34%
>Lack of adhesion to the company culture 26%
>Bad relationship with the team 16%
>Delays and faults 12%
>Low empathy with the superior 10%
>Others 6%

Source: Robert Half, a specialized recruitment company

soft skills
in the classroom

In 2017, a study by Linkedin and Capgemini analyzed the demand for professionals with specific digital skills as well as the vacancies of this kind of position in the job market. One of the outcomes of the research concerns soft skills: 60% of companies interviewed point the lack of soft skills in the professionals.

The job market challenges are constantly increasing, so that will affect the demand for such professionals. According to a 2016 survey from The World Economic Forum about the future of work, 65% of the children in school-age will work with activities and positions that still don’t exist. In this scenario, the need is for people with the ability to communicate well, deal with unexpected situations, being leaders, besides working with empathy and creativity.

We should think about our children development in a broader way. A lot of parents have been encouraged to think that what is gonna make your children succeed is whether how well they do on standardized tests, what they reading and math grades are. And parents need to know that that is not enough. One of the important things that parents could do is help their children deal with failure and setbacks better.”

Paul Tough

journalist and writer of “How children succeed”,
during the International Public Policy Forum
(2014 in Brazil).

What are
the digital

+Talent gaps

  • ºCustomer-centricity
  • ºPassion for learning
  • ºCollaboration.
  • º Ability to make decisions
  • ºOrganizational dexterity
  • ºAbility to deal with ambiguity
  • ºEntrepreneurial mindset
  • ºAbility to make changes


and entrepreneurial

The soft skills are also extremely important in the entrepreneurial universe to achieve innovative solutions that create transformative changes in our society. In addition, entrepreneurial education also helps the other way around, to develop socioemotional skills.

An education focused on this purpose stimulates
citizens to walk through an exciting path:

Assuming a watchful position in everyday life by
being aware of society’s challenges, detecting issues
that affect people’s lives- developing skills such as
empathy and critical thinking;

Figuring out ways to change reality. Entrepreneurial
education aims to provide tools to a technology based,
using concrete actions and strategies to interact with a
problem and give it a solution - that creates an
opportunity to collaboration, leadership, critical thinking,
problem-solving, people management and

Coming up with ideas, turning plans into practice. If it
works out, the company will help to change reality. If it
doesn’t, the lesson learned with the mistake can be
used in another experiment, and that’s when the
opportunity to learn to be resilient and adapt comes up.

Entrepreneurial education
is not only for those who intend to start a business.

It’s also an important way to develop soft skills, what can lead to renovating changes in all kinds of professional paths since it helps to educate independent and self-confident individuals in any situation that involves a problem to be solved.

other tools

and techniques that
make a big difference

There are several strategies adopted by educational institutions in Brazil and all over the world focused on preparing children, teenagers and adults - who are already in the job market - to the present and future challenges.

Most of them are related to entrepreneurial education and aim to transform school experience, introducing multidisciplinary learning that promotes collaboration, encourages student protagonism and creativity. Take a look at some examples.

Learning through projects

The methodology proposes that students find the solution to some challenging problem through the development of a project or product. The idea is to apply knowledge in various areas to accomplish tasks and overcome the challenges during the course of the experience. In addition, students learn how to work in teams, critical thinking and to be the protagonist of changes.

Interdisciplinary teaching

Imagine going to school or college and attending classes that are connected to each other throughout the day? This is the goal of this method which seeks to use the teaching division scheme as a strategy to provide articulated interpretation over a subject. If it is about something related to student’s reality it’s even better because they will be more engaged in solving the problem as well as being able to work in groups.

Learning by doing

Advocated by researcher John Dewey(1859-1952), the strategy seeks to promote teaching through experience. Instead of following a rigid formula, the idea is that students pursue alternative ways to get to the results. Creativity and motivation are encouraged and the student is inspired to research, self- evaluate his performance, dare and test.


Games are used in education in order to arouse interest and engaging the student in solving challenges. Another goal is to engage the students with their training by providing an environment of both fun and learning. Games can also be used in a variety of ways, whether to present new content, create a product, or simulate situations and on several opportunities, this training can stimulate communication, leadership, autonomy, and resilience.

The Brazilian

at school

Ensuring that soft skills gain more space in the school community begins by defining some to guide the work. This pedagogical decision was taken by the Brazilian government in 2018 through the homologation by the Ministry of Education of a new curricular standard denominated Base Nacional Comum Curricular.

The document sets all the contents that must be approached in all the country schools in primary and secondary education. The ones that represent soft skills are highlighted:

Scientific, critical
and creative thinking
Work and
life projects
Self- knowledge,
and self-care
Empathy and
and citizenship

Nevertheless, it is a recent document and still needs to be analyzed by the thousands of Brazilian schools. The main challenges are to ensure that effective public policies are developed to provide this type of experience to students, especially in socially vulnerable communities.

“What is lacking in Brazil, as in the world, is to include these aspects of education in the monitoring system? (...) The goals of education generally incur on access and literacy. (...) It’s in the speech, but not on the goals yet.”

Ricardo Paes de Barros

chief economist at the Ayrton Senna Institute and professor at Insper, in an interview during the International Seminar “Education for Global Citizenship”.

A Key point in

professional education

Those who want to develop soft skills to return to the job market should be aware of the alternatives available. It is important to make sure that the chosen training path is taken seriously since these competencies are difficult to measure.

Good soft skills

Perestroika: self-titled as a Free School of Creative Activities, the institution offers courses, both in person and online to stimulate the students creative potential. The idea is to have this guiding axis during discussions on the most varied topics, such as entrepreneurship, fashion, poker and feminist theory. Its teaching method is structured in learning by experience. The space is present in five Brazilian capitals (Brasília, São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Belo Horizonte e Porto Alegre).

Knowledge Is Power Program (KIPP - Programa Conhecimento é Poder, em tradução livre): é uma rede de ensino dos Estados Unidos que prepara estudantes para a carreira universitária. O espaço é aberto a todos os interessados, especialmente aos jovens que vivem em situação de vulnerabilidade social. Seu método busca desenvolver em cada estudante entusiasmo, autocontrole, otimismo, determinação, gratidão, sociabilidade e curiosidade. Para isso, o ensino não é dividido em disciplinas, mas de maneira transversal. A KIPP também busca adotar uma atitude presente na realidade dos alunos e inseri-los no planejamento da sua evolução. A rede conta com 224 escolas do tipo nos Estados Unidos.

Team Academy: is a training focused on stimulating the entrepreneurial attitude. Its purpose is to teach young professionals to put ideas into practice, fostering learning from experience. The difference is that since the beginning, the students deal with real situations: groups of students create companies and have to propose solutions to clients already inserted in the job market. Team Academy is present in the Netherlands.

No Centro Sebrae de Referência em Educação Empreendedora, temos a
missão de disseminar o empreendedorismo nos projetos educacionais.
Acreditamos que essa é uma forma de preparar alunos e o mercado de
trabalho para as mudanças constantes que vivenciamos.
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