Essential 21st Century Skills for Todays Students

Educators and workforce experts alike often warn that our children need improved 21st century skills. Without these skills, they will not be able to successfully participate in the global economy. They won’t be adequately prepared for college and work.

But what, exactly, are 21st century skills? Are we just talking about computer and technology skills? And who decides which skills make the list? It depends on who you ask. But a Hanover Research report, A Crosswalk of 21st Century Skills, sheds some light on the subject. These skills are intended to help students keep up with the lightning-pace of today’s modern markets. Each skill is unique in how it helps students, but they all have one quality in common.

“It is easy to see how these skills could be valuable to a new high school graduate and to employers, as well as how these skills can easily interact with one another,” according to the Hanover Research report. Others, such as the research division of the Kamehameha Schools in Hawaii, draw similar conclusions from the various frameworks on 21st century skills. .

Each 21st Century skill is broken into one of three categories:
  • Learning Skills
  • Literacy Skills
  • Life Skills

Learning skills (the four C’s) teaches students about the mental processes required to adapt and improve upon a modern work environment.

  • Critical thinking: Finding solutions to problems
  • Creativity: Thinking outside the box
  • Collaboration: Working with others
  • Communication: Talking to others

Literacy skills (IMT) focuses on how students can discern facts, publishing outlets, and the technology behind them. There’s a strong focus on determining trustworthy sources and factual information to separate it from the misinformation that floods the Internet.

  • Information literacy: Understanding facts, figures, statistics, and data
  • Media literacy: Understanding the methods and outlets in which information is published
  • Technology literacy: Understanding the machines that make the Information Age possible

Life skills (FLIPS) take a look at intangible elements of a student’s everyday life. These intangibles focus on both personal and professional qualities.

  • Flexibility: Deviating from plans as needed
  • Leadership: Motivating a team to accomplish a goal
  • Initiative : Starting projects, strategies, and plans on one’s own
  • Productivity: Maintaining efficiency in an age of distractions
  • Social skills : Meeting and networking with others for mutual benefit

Remember, qualifications play a major role in this industry. A person with a Master’s degree in Computer Science will get a job sooner and in a much higher position than a person with a Bachelor’s degree. Also, your Practical Knowledge and external certificates will matter. Build up your credentials and make smart choices for yourself. It will be helpful in your journey. To equip yourself with the best-in-class capabilities, you can explore some of the new courses at ETI Institute! .