Employability Skills in the 21st Century

Employability Skills in the 21st Century

Educators and workforce experts alike often warn that students nowadays 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.

More than Computers & Technology

The Research recently analyzed six major educational frameworks designed to improve the development of 21st century skills, including frameworks and critical skills.

While each framework has slightly different list of critical 21st century skills, all agree on four critical areas for development:

  • Collaboration and teamwork
  • Creativity and imagination
  • Critical thinking
  • Problem solving

More than technological expertise, 21st century skills refer to content knowledge, literacies and proficiencies that prepare individuals to meet the challenges and opportunities of today’s world.

Other Critical Skills for Success

The Research analysis also identifies a second tier of important 21st century skills, present in five of the six major frameworks:

  • Flexibility and adaptability
  • Global and cultural awareness
  • Information literacy
  • Leadership

The following skills were present in four of the six frameworks:

  • Civic literacy and citizenship
  • Oral and written communication skills
  • Social responsibility