Do you feel ready to transition from a student to a professional? Are you prepared for the real world? These are head-scratching questions that might overwhelm you and make you feel you aren’t ready to enter the workplace yet! Don’t worry as you’ve got our back. In this article, we help you understand why you need some of the top skills to be ready for your future!
In reality, your education to a large extent may or may not help you in adapting to a fast-paced working environment. You must be wondering then- have I wasted my entire time studying? Not at all! There are certain aspects of one’s personality that need to be developed or improved to make them suitable for a complex and challenging work environment.
Let’s figure out what are those!
Why is there a need for skill development in students?
- According to the World Economic Forum report New Vision for Education: Fostering Social and Emotional Learning Through Technology, there’s a fine gap between the skills people learn and the skills people need to succeed and adapt to the technological advancements in the complex structure of workplace environments.
- Another report by the WEF states that 65% of the school students today will ultimately end up working in job roles that do not exist yet. To be able to cope with the rapidly changing employment statistics, there is an escalating need for 21st-century skills for students.
- WEF states that students need a combination of traditional skills and ‘Social and Emotional Learning’ (SEL) which enables the students to communicate, collaborate, and solve complex problems. These skill combinations help students in implementing and experimenting with day-to-day challenges and tasks.
What are the 21st Century skills for students?
21st Century Skills for students help them prepare for a future that will demand basic core competencies and skills required for the challenges of the fast-paced working environments.
Learning the 21st-century skills not only help students get ready for the future of work but also enable them to learn more effectively and efficiently in their studies. Broadly these life skills for students are divided into four parts: Critical Thinking, Creative Thinking, Communication, and Collaboration.
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Top skills for students
Let’s take a look at each one of these top skills for students and analyze how important these top skills for students are:
Critical thinking is the ability to think clearly and rationally to understand the logical and practical interconnection between ideas and concepts. Critical thinking skills are one of the top skills for students to be able to adapt to complex workplace structures and environments as a professional.
The top skills students need to construct a critical thinking approach involve observation, analysis, interpretation, evaluation, identification, explanation, problem-solving, and decision making.
Take a look at the image below and understand how to build a critical thinking approach:
Creative thinking allows students to expand and discover possibilities in almost every aspect of their lives. It is the ability to look at things differently and find new and creative ways of solving complex problems.
Some of the most common creative thinking abilities are:
- Imagination: Imagining ideas involves thinking of the most bizarre or impossible probabilities, creating newer and finer insights that may not be too obvious
- Questioning: Questioning the conventions or seeking a new way of doing things
- Improvising: Improvising and using better & smarter ways to come up with quick solutions
- Brainstorming: Asking questions, engaging in discussions and providing newer and deeper insights to challenging problems and situations
Take a look at the image below and understand how to foster creative thinking skills:
Having the ability to communicate effectively is one of the most vital life skills for students and individuals alike. Communication skills are not something someone is born with but are developed over a while. These basic life skills may as well take a lifetime to master.
Communication is an act of passing on the information from one person to another. It may be done via vocally, using printed media or written communication channels, visually or non-verbally using hand gestures or body language.
Importance of communication skills:
- Developing effective oral and written communication gives you the ability to communicate your message accurately and clearly, a very crucial life skill which will help you in almost all the aspects of your life, be it professional life to your personal or social life.
- Effective communication skills help students a lot while applying for jobs or looking for promotion or even reaching out to your manager.
- Communication skills are required to speak properly at the same time maintaining good eye contact, listening effectively, presenting your ideas accurately, writing clearly and concisely, and working well in a team or a group. Many of these are important life skills that most managers seek.
Collaboration skills are significant not only in workplaces but also in effectively completing school projects and assignments. Knowing how to cooperate with others and support other viewpoints accepting critical judgments fosters critical skill development for students.
How collaboration skills help in workplaces?
- Workplace collaboration requires skills such as interpersonal skills, effective communication skills, knowledge sharing and strategic thinking.
- Working as a part of team helps achieve greater productivity, critical and valuable insights into crucial projects, healthy relationships between employees and increased level of engagement at work.
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What other Life skills are important for students?
Life skills are referred to as the skills needed to deal effectively with the challenges and situations of life.
Life skills prepare students to thrive and excel in the classrooms and beyond. Apart from the four broad categories of skills needed for students to adapt to the challenges of the workplace, one must understand the importance of life skills for students.
There are a few important life skills that are needed for the students’ holistic growth and development:
- Communication and interpersonal skills
- Decision-making and problem-solving
- Emotional Intelligence
- Assertiveness or self-control
- Resilience and ability to cope with problems
- Personal skills
- Leadership skills
- Entrepreneurial skills
- Numeracy Skills
- Reading and Writing Skills
- Interpersonal and Intra-personal skills
All of these skills are vital in dealing with high competition in schools and colleges as well in rapidly changing working environments. Moreover, complex problem solving, critical thinking, creativity, people management, and emotional intelligence are some of the top skills students need to thrive in the future workplace.
Imagine, over 1/3rd of the skills that are vital to today’s workplaces will no longer be valuable in a few years down the line. Advanced robotics, artificial intelligence, and machine learning, and many more major technological innovations leading the future of work, students would need top skills to be able to deal with the challenges of the diverse working environments.
In this article, we discussed the importance of top skills for students and how skill development could be a crucial part of a student’s holistic development.
Do you know iDX education, an initiative by iDreamCareer, provides an exciting and engaging online portal for school students in learning the top skills required? Take a look at some of the top skills courses and who knows you may end up learning the most in-demand skill early in your career!
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Shruti Verma is a researcher and analyst in the areas of careers, industries, and education. She has completed her Masters in English Literature and is an alumnus of Delhi University and IP University. She interned during her masters at iDreamCareer and later joined iDC full-time as a Content Analyst. She is determined to secure an expert position in content space with the guidance of experienced mentors within the iDC team.