The study, "21st Century Skills and the Workplace: A 2013 Microsoft Partners in Learning and Pearson Foundation Study," conducted by Gallup, confirms the positive connection between the development of the competencies known as 21st century skills – critical thinking, real world problem solving, collaboration and communication skills – and future job success. Importantly, more than half of those surveyed (59%) said that they developed the skills they use at their current job outside of school.
The findings of the study, conducted by Gallup from April 26-30, 2013 among 1,014 individuals aged 18-35 who are either employed or students, also indicates that individuals with college degrees were more likely to have developed 21st century skills than those with a high school diploma. For example, 50% of college graduates have experience working on real-world problem solving projects, compared to 28% of high school graduates. However the youngest individuals in the study (age 18-22) were more likely than those between the ages of 23-35 to have employed 21st century skills—findings that indicate greater development of these skills in the high school years among the younger students.