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International Journal of Education and Practice

May 2016, Volume 4, 5, pp 183-206

Skills that Matter and Will Last a Lifetime

Robert W. Service


James P. Reburn

Robert W. Service 1 ,

James P. Reburn 1 
  1. Samford University, United States 1

Pages: 183-206

DOI: 10.18488/journal.61/2016.4.5/

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Article History:

Received: 11 July, 2016
Revised: 17 September, 2016
Accepted: 15 October, 2016
Published: 24 October, 2016


Much of the academic and popular press is correctly stressing the need for students to obtain STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) degrees to meet shortages as well as for the good of societal advancement.  To those ends, you will find an extension that details attributes that most executives are looking for in new hires.  Detailing the individual contribution needs works well as a foundation to realizing that executive replacement demands people who are technical, but can build and keep relationships as they co-create a new future through humanistic understandings. This manuscript is prescriptive and descriptive through identifying and addressing: 1) what are key issues surrounding reality, and becoming and remaining an “in reality” relational leader? 2) what are emotional intellect concerns and implications for relational leaders? 3) What is communication and how can we improve it in light of the abundance of technology available? 4) What is a people person; and what are prescripts useful in teaching, measuring and enhancing people person skills? It is clear that most fail at higher levels because they pay attention to issues that are not critical to their success.  The chief intent of this article is to help rectify that by guiding readers toward preparing themselves for expanded managerial and leadership roles.

Contribution/ Originality
This study contributes to the existing literature related to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) degrees. Most studies call for more STEM degrees and stress the value of hard math and science skills.  This article specifies soft skills that are required for STEM graduates to become organizational managers and leaders. 


STEM degrees, Soft skills, Management skills.



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This study received no specific financial support.

Competing Interests:

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.


All authors contributed equally to the conception and design of the study.

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