Now more than ever, the world is moving at a mind-boggling speed. Even professionals and college students must learn new skills and stay updated on emerging trends to navigate our information and technology-driven world smoothly.
Sometimes, the rate at which new ways of doing things spring up is so fast that you think you can’t catch up. The 21st century, unlike preceding ages, is rife with way more technology, thinkers, and innovators than history has ever seen.
Our world is changing faster today than ever before, thanks to new inventions in the education system and workplace. There’s a high probability that the way we communicate, work, and even cook food today will change in ten to twenty years from now.
But in all, the most important thing is to stay abreast of information, keep tabs on new technology, and adapt to these changes.
Academics and government agencies worldwide have been able to identify and put together a group of skills that anyone would need to survive in the 21st century. Some have categorized these sets of skills as “21st-century skills”.
What Are 21st Century Skills?
These are basically the skills and abilities that any 21st-century person will need to be successful. Essentially, these skills prepare you for the modern society and, most importantly, the workforce.
However, it’s important to note that the ability to learn, unlearn, and relearn ranks higher in importance. The only way you can learn new skills is by developing a mindset and habit of continuous learning. Broadly, these skills are broken down into three categories:
- Learning skills: This relates to the skills we need to absorb and internalize new information. Among others, it includes creativity, communication, and collaboration.
- Literacy skills: These are skills we depend on for learning, using, and processing new technology and inventions. In this category are media literacy, information literacy, and technology literacy.
- Life skills: As the name implies, this includes the skills needed to create a robust experience of life for oneself, both personal and for work. It embodies adaptability, leadership, and social skills.
Further, in this article, we’ve simply highlighted in more detail fifteen 21st century skills that will likely benefit you personally and professionally. Research shows that most people already acquired a good number of these skills. Perhaps, you have to, but there are more that you possibly haven’t heard about — or you know of them but just aren’t aware of how far they can go to make life easier. Okay, let’s dive in!
#1 – Creativity
Today, as always, the ability to think outside the box remains a must-have for everyone. Whether you run a business or work for an organization, you must cultivate the ability to get creative — especially on the go.
#2 – Communication
Everybody, even a toddler, knows the importance of communication. It is the only way we can get information across to other people. It involves learning how to read and write, speak different languages, and use communication tools, such as emails, social media, and the likes.
#3 – Collaboration
Daily, you’ll encounter situations where you’ll have to work with people, some of whom you’ve never interacted with before. In many cases, you’ll be required to build or create together. Learning to collaborate gives you the ability to navigate such relationships with ease.
#4 – Critical Thinking
Recruiters value job candidates that are capable of expressing strong logical reasoning. Critical thinking enables you to logically assess a situation, weigh your options, and make informed decisions.
#5 – Adaptability
As the world keeps changing, it takes an ability to cope with the changes to continue winning and leading a productive life. There will be times when your body or mind will resist change, but the ability to adapt to changes will help you stay in control.
#6 – Leadership Skills
Today, the need for leadership has never been more severe. Leadership begins with oneself, as a true leader is one who is capable of leading themselves first. This applies to all spheres of life.
#7 – Information Literacy
This is the ability to search for information constructively and logically, analyze information, separate fact from fiction, and use the information to pass an understandable message to others.
#8 – Social Skills
Also important is the ability to relate to others. Social skills are required of leaders in politics, corporate organizations, and even among colleagues.
#9 – People Management
This is an off-shoot of leadership skills. Whether you are an elected or appointed leader, the ability to relate with and manage the people you’re leading is vital. People management skills also help you build a better social life.
#10 – Problem Solving Skills
Learning the ability to solve problems not only helps you navigate life, but it also sets you apart among your peers at work and school.
#11 – Productivity
Being productive is a mix of several other skills. Essentially, it has both personal and professional relevance.
#12 – Technology Literacy
As new technology and inventions are made, you can decipher these innovations to solve problems.
#13 – Social Media Skills
Since the advent of social media, it has become imperative to know how to use these platforms. Since millions of people are on social media every day, it makes sense to join in to see what’s going on worldwide.
#14 – Innovativeness
Being innovative is an essential skill in the 21st century. With the repertoire of gadgets and gizmos we have today, creating and reinventing has never been easier. People are tweaking processes and machinery to suit their needs.
#15 – Relational Skills
This is often underestimated, but it is one of the essential skills needed today. Our world is more interconnected than it has been in centuries past. Therefore, the ability to relate with people from different walks of life has never been more important. Relational skills also find profound relevance in the workplace.
The list of skills discussed above is by no means conclusive. The point is, we need to stay abreast of information and skills that would benefit us today as we strive to make meaning of life. But most importantly, always stay open-minded to learning.