Refers to a group of skillsets that students require to be employable as a trans-generational shift occurs and we become deeply immersed in the digital age. These are the key abilities that everybody has to acquire to succeed in the rapidly evolving 21st century.
While small variations can be found in the descriptions and definitions of 21st-century skills, they basically fall into three categories: learning skills, literacy skills, and life skills.
Some essential 21st-century skills include:
Creativity: It’s the ability to create something using imagination and original ideas. Contemporary workplaces need people with the ability to think outside of the box. One can develop creativity using different techniques such as brainstorming multiple solutions to a particular problem, associating with creative people, etc.
Critical thinking: It’s the ability to rationally and clearly process information, analyze, and develop an original opinion about it. It’s the first step to building a solution-centric approach and problem-solving abilities. It can be refined through questioning assumptions, researching deeper when solving problems, etc.
Collaboration: This is the skill to work with others to achieve a common goal. As the modern workforce comprises individuals with specialized skills and knowledge, one must be able to collaborate with them effectively to work together. One can develop collaboration skills by participating in team-building activities, joining industry groups, among others.
Communication: Effective communication skills enable one to clearly and respectfully convey a message to others. These can be verbal, written, or implied using body language. These can be developed by practicing active listening, managing one’s own emotions, etc.
Information literacy: The world has become saturated with information. Therefore, one needs to be able to interpret facts and figures and verify the credibility of information available online. These can be developed by analyzing the sources of information.
Adaptability: It’s the ability to quickly responding to innovation, industry shifts, changing trends, and so forth. One can develop it by regularly getting out of their comfort zone.
Leadership: Leadership skills refer to the abilities and strengths that one demonstrates while guiding people to accomplish a shared goal. Leadership is a combination of different skills working together. Taking initiatives, handling conflicts, etc., are good ways to develop leadership skills.
Social skills: These are the skills that one uses every day to communicate and interact with others. These include both verbal and non-verbal communication like speech, facial expression, gesture, and body language. Asking open-ended questions, encouraging others to talk about themselves, etc., are effective ways to improve social skills.