Murray State Theses and Dissertations



The employers in our country are claiming students are graduating high school and college without the soft skills to succeed in this country’s workforce. This study examined what are soft skills and why are they missing from recent graduates. The study took an historical approach to trace how soft skills have been used and ignored in our nation’s educational history to the point where employers are claiming they are missing in today’s job applicants. The study then conducted focus groups with elementary, middle and high school teachers to assess they ideas on why soft skills are missing or if they believe these skills are missing at all. The study also contacted employers in the Western Kentucky area to assess do they agree with their national colleagues on whether soft skills are missing, who is to blame for them missing and what can be done to correct this problem. The results were transcribed and coded to recognize the main themes of these two groups. The results, analysis and recommendations were presented to the client, McCracken County Schools. This researcher will work with this school district to use these results to establish what can be done to improve soft skills in their graduates.

Year manuscript completed


Year degree awarded


Author's Keywords

soft skills, missing, employers, hindering

Degree Awarded

Doctor of Education




College of Education & Human Services

Dissertation Committee Chair

Brian Bourke

Committee Member

Landon Clark

Committee Member

Quin Sutton

Document Type