Society is changing through technology and digitalisation from an industrial to a knowledge and connection-based society. The result is that more labour is being replaced by machines and computers. 21st Century Skills are abilities that cannot be performed by a machine or computer. In order to stay relevant, you need to have these skills.
21st Century Skills
Is an umbrella term for a number of competencies that are important to the current knowledge and connection-based society.
|Critical thinking||The ability to formulate your own, supported vision or opinion.|
|IT-skills||The ability to understand and employ digital technologies and networks.|
|Creativity||The ability to think of original solutions to problems.|
|Communication||The ability to effectively and efficiently receive and transmit messages.|
|Career direction||The ability to purposefully work to maintain your employability.|
|Information literacy||The ability to find and analyse information from a variety of sources.|
|Teamwork||The ability to work and support others to realise a goal.|
It is useful to have this skill. In the current climate of ‘fake news’ it is very important that you are able to assess the validity of another’s opinion and whether you are able to form your own opinions. One way to think critically is to think about the following items on a daily basis:
- Think independently
- Don’t immediately ask others to solve problems for you.
- Don’t judge too quickly
- Research the data yourself first.
- Don’t believe everything you read on (social) media.
- Social media shares information with one goal: the largest amount of readers and/or likes.
- Evaluate objectively
- Try to leave your own opinion behind and evaluate how that feels.
- Imagine yourself into an outsider with a neutral viewpoint. How would this alter the image of the situation?
IT-Skills – The ability to understand and employ digital technologies and networks –
IT is being developed and implemented rapidly. In order to stay employable, it is crucial to stay up to date. You can continue to learn by taking courses or through practicing. However, allow yourself enough time to fully read up on and get comfortable with a new IT tool. IT skills require an initial time investment that will pay for itself a thousand-fold.
Creativity – The ability to think of original solutions to problems –
Creativity is one of the areas in which computers and machines are lacking. Being creative can raise your employability. There are various ways to develop your creativity. Various kinds of courses and workshops can be taken, but there is also a large number of books written on the subject, such as: Whole Lotta Creativity Going On: 60 Fun and Unusual Exercises to Awaken and Strengthen Your Creativity.
Communication – The ability to effectively and efficiently receive and transmit messages. –
Communication is especially vital when working together. In order to communicate effectively the following areas are important:
- What you are communicating (content or message)
- The form used to communicate (f.e. paper, a meeting)
- The frequency and timing
Communication is easily taught and there are numerous courses on the subject. Ask for real-time feedback are find situations that can help you practice your communication skills!
Career direction – The ability to purposefully work to maintain your employability. –
Employees are responsible for their own employability in the current labour market. There is no permanent job security anymore and the social securities are becoming more frugal. Everybody has to take their career into their own hands and steer it in the right direction. Through reflection and feedback, you are provided with insights into your current work environment. What am I able to do, what do I want to do, where do I stand? It is important to take control over the direction of your career. Look at your scores in FRANK. Which themes do you score the lowest in? Talk to your manager or a career adviser that can help you.
Information literacy – The ability to find and analyse information from a variety of sources. –
It is important to keep developing in this area. We are living in an increasingly complex world where a lot of information is directed at us. It will be vital to filter for the right information and being able to distinguish fact from fiction. Are you familiar with the ‘Big Six’ model from Mike Eisenberg en Bob Berkowitz? This model employs a step-by-step approach to formulate a research question, a research strategy, to find information, to interpret this information and to evaluate. Often, in practice, the first and last step are skipped. Where lies your area of development?
Teamwork – The ability to work and support others to realise a goal. –
- Together you know more than on your own
- You can accomplish more things together
- You can complement each other.
- Working together increases your employability on the labour market, as this is highly valued by each employee.