What are the 21st Century Skills and Why do Employers Look for Them?

Every employee has skills and abilities that give them the chance to succeed at work. You will be better able to match your skill set with the career path you want to pursue if you take the time to consider it and consider which skills can be advantageous to the business you are applying to or presently working for.

Your daily tasks on behalf of the company you work for are made easier by your workplace skills. For instance, your abilities can help you develop a strategy, settle a workplace argument, or show tenacity when finishing a task with a short deadline. In other words, you can use your skills to influence a workplace in a variety of ways. The attitude you adopt might put them in the spotlight so that you can wow your employer and increase your chances of getting promoted.

However, our society has been constantly evolving due to changes and developments like digital transformation and technological advancement. With the various skills you gathered in school as fresh graduates or from your experience in the workplace and in training as current employees, what are the necessary skills that you need to possess in order to stay relevant and thrive in the competition? What are the skills that recruiters and HR managers look for in a candidate nowadays?

21st Century Skills

The term “21st-century skills” refers to the information, abilities, and characteristics that are crucial for students to succeed in the modern world, particularly when they transition from high school to college, the workforce, and adult life. These 21st-century skills are 12 abilities that today’s students and professionals need to succeed in their careers. 

The 21st-century skills are divided into three categories which are: Learning Skills, Life Skills, and Literacy Skills. 

  • Learning Skills
      1. Critical Thinking
      2. Creativity
      3. Collaboration
      4. Communication
  • Literacy Skills
      1. Information
      2. Media
      3. Technology
  • Life Skills
      1. Flexibility
      2. Leadership
      3. Initiative
      4. Productivity
      5. Social Skills

While these skills are generally taught in schools and even at home, understanding that these skills are important and taking initiative to develop these skills are keys to developing these skills. To develop these skills, you can focus on one skill at a time so you have enough time to research and practice these skills to succeed. Asking for feedback from teachers, peers, friends, and relatives is also a great step toward acquiring and perfecting these skills. Knowing what you are good at and what you need to develop allows you to improve what is lacking. Lastly, grab different opportunities that enhance your skills. Take initiative in joining organizations then take leadership positions to boost your leadership and management skills. 

Overall, these 21st-century skills are necessary for everyone’s professional and personal development. While you can read lots of articles about 21st-century skills, there are even more new skills that are emerging and claimed to be essential to the changing needs of the industry due to the effects of COVID. Nonetheless, these “new” skills can easily be learned when you have already mastered the 21st-century skills.

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