21st Century Skills and Their Importance

The 21st century is the century of innovation, development, and ideation. Trends in technology, education, and the economy are eventually steering towards automation. This revolutionisation of the world, especially in the realm of workplaces, implies that it has become crucial to prepare younger generations now, and in the near future with the instruments to thrive in the modern dynamic world.

When we talk of preparing the younger groups of people for advancing the global economy towards development, we refer to a certain set of skills to acquaint and train them with. These skills have proved to be of vital significance to an individual’s holistic growth and well-being, both physical and mental, guaranteeing benefits not only to him/her but also to the people that surround him/her. These skills are now popularly referred to as ‘21st Century Skills’, comprising a list of soft skills, learning skills, literacy skills, and life skills. They are a set of 12 skills, learning dispositions and abilities that students of the present generation should possess to acquire success in this Information Age. They can be classified in the following manner:

Learning Skills

Critical thinking: To find unique solutions to modern problems.

Creativity: To think outside the box and engage in innovation that helps in global development.

Collaboration: To learn how to cooperate and work with others with an amiable team spirit.

Communication: To be able to convey your ideas to others and understand and consider others’ perspectives as well.

Literacy Skills

Information literacy: To understand facts, data, statistics, and figures.

Media literacy: To understand that medium, procedure and platforms in which information is published and put out to the world.

Technological literacy: To understand the working of technologies which make the Information Age possible.

Life Skills

Flexibility: To have a wide range of things you’re good at and take/have more than just Plan A.

Leadership: Encouraging your team to accomplish a goal and holding the strings together when things seem to be falling.

Initiative: To start strategies, projects, plannings on your own.

Productivity: To make the best use of your time and maintain efficiency in this age of distractions.

Social skills: To socialise with others for your own happiness and broaden your base of perspective.

The youth today adores technology. However, to prepare for tomorrow’s triumph, they must be able to use technology to develop critical thinking, problem-solving, innovation, communication, etc. Moreover, new education standards are carving out new methods of learning and evaluating an individual’s intellect. In a world of intense competition, acquiring these 12 skills of the 21st century has become more important than ever before.

Ruchika Rashya Bhuyan

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