- What are skills?
- Why are skills important for students?
- What skills are important for students today?
- How can students sharpen their skills?
Today, employers around the globe are looking to hire fresh graduates who possess certain key skills, apart from subject matter knowledge.
For the sake of pursuing great careers, possessing the key skills is a must. It is important to develop these skills right from your school or college days.
Developing these skills right from your earlier years will help you immensely at a later stage, whether it is in pursuing a career or socialising and interacting with people around.
Why Skills Are Important for Students
It is a given fact that today’s job scene may be different from tomorrow. Quoting the Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at the World Economic Forum 2018 “The pace of change has never been this fast, yet it will never be this slow again.”
A few years ago no one knew artificial intelligence or robotics would be a fast growing career option for students.
Therefore, the need to train students with skills to adapt to the future needs has become more important than ever before.
According to an article published in the Success Performance solution, 120 million workers from the 12 worlds largest economies may need to be retrained because of advances in artificial intelligence and intelligent automation.
The same article mentions that more than half the management of companies state that they don’t have the resources needed to close the skill gap.
It is at an intermediate level that students can be taught certain key skills that will allow them to adapt to new and changed circumstances in the future.
According to a highly researched paper – Employers Perception of Key skill written by S Dench, S. Perryman and L Giles for the Institute of Employment Studies, Key skills combine two main features.
They focus on a set of skills which are reported to be of increasing importance to employers. These relate to a person’s ability to operate in a workplace.
Secondly, a distinction must be made between basic skills and key skills. Basic skills are those literary and numeric skills.
The acquisition of basic skills does not necessarily mean that a person will be able to apply them in a practical situation. It is this application which key skills address.
Importance of Skills for Students
Through this article we aim to give you a detailed list of skills for students including the importance of skills for students.
1. Digital Knowledge
Among the various types of skills for students, digital knowledge is very important. Today is the age of digitisation. Digitisation is the process of converting all information into digital mode.
The process of digitisation has become very important as it deals with storage and dissemination of information in any form.
With more emphasis on protecting the environment and the reduction in the usage of paper, digitization is the only way forward. Moreover, digital information is easy to store and easy to transfer.
With the growing dependence on technology, it is evident that students must possess digital or technical knowledge in order to be future ready.
In fact, even schools and colleges today are technology friendly and train students as early as the pre-primary level in computer technology.
One of the important skills for student’s success is the art of communication. Communication can be defined as the exchange of information in such a manner that this information is most effectively understood.
It normally involves a two way path, that is sending and receiving of information. Communication can be of two types Written and oral communication
2.1. Written Communication
Any information that is communicated in writing can be regarded as written communication. Here, written communication can take the form of formal and informal letters, emails or even simple messages.
2.2. Oral Communication
Oral communication can be understood to mean any communication through spoken words. Oral communication can be a conversation, a debate, discussion or even a telephone call.
Being able to communicate effectively is one of the most important skills for students. Having knowledge over a matter or subject is simply not enough. Being able to communicate your knowledge is important.
3. Team work
One of the skills every student must possess is the ability to work in a team. Being able to work in a team ensures grand success at every stage. Every student must put WE before I.
The success of every business or company depends on the coordinated and planned efforts of all departments of the organisation.
Each department must work in collaboration with the other departments in order to achieve profits and success.
For example, a manufacturing company needs the cooperation of various sectors of the organisation.
Without the joint efforts of the finance team, sales and marketing, raw materials procurement team, assembling team, management and staff, the company will not be able to see sales or profits.
At a college or school level, being able to work as a team to complete assignments and projects not only ensures timely submissions but also superior quality subject matter.
A college or school soccer team will never excel if it is not for collaborative efforts of the members of the entire team as a whole. Therefore, teamwork at every level is one of the most important skills for students.
A research article published in the US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health has stated the benefits of group work and how group work has shown to increase students’ achievement, persistence and attitudes.
4. Critical Thinking and Problem Solving Skills
Another important skill for students is critical thinking and problem solving skills. Critical thinking is the ability to analyse and evaluate and finally arrive at a logical solution to a problem. This is one of the most important skills for students’ success.
When a student is able to think critically, he or she is able to absorb different ideas from various areas and finally deduce the most appropriate solution.
Employers are now looking for candidates with high critical thinking power to head various departments within the organisation.
Critical thinking skills are important when it comes to finding quick solutions to unforeseen problems. Whether it is a problem in school or college or at the workplace, critical thinking skills and problem solving skills are required to tackle situations.
5. Creativity and Innovation
Change is constant. Being creative and innovative is an important part of this change. In the age of new technology, ideas become obsolete within a few days.
Therefore it is necessary to train students to be creative and innovative in their thoughts almost every minute.
Possessing the skill of creativity allows students to adapt quickly to the ever changing surroundings.
Innovation is the practical implementation of ideas and thoughts so that they result in a concrete and workable plan.
Students must have creative and innovative skills in order to be up to the mark in today’s competitive world.
The future belongs to those who learn more skills and combine them in creative ways.
6. Time Management Skills
Time management skills are especially required today, because in today’s competitive world, managing the workload can be tough and challenging.
Learning how to efficiently manage completing work in the shortest possible time is working smarter.
7. Stress Management Skills
Stress is a reaction of the body and mind to challenging circumstances and there is no life without challenges and obstacles.
Therefore it is important for students to learn how to manage stress and overcome obstacles with ease.
Another part of stress management is managing emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence can be defined as the ability to comprehend and use one’s own emotions and feelings in order to overcome difficulties.
Being able to adapt and manage your feelings in line with the change in circumstances, obstacles and difficulties is an important skill that all students must possess.
8. Soft Skills
Among the list of skills for students, soft skills hold an important place.
In a workplace soft skills are required to interact with colleagues or the management or staff. In a college or school, soft skills are required to interact with peers, friends, classmates and teachers.
At every stage of your life, soft skills are required. They are also rightfully called core skills. These core skills allow students to interact smoothly with people around them.
How Teachers Can Help Develop Skills for Students?
“The more importance we give to skill development, the more competent will be our youth.”
Hon’ble Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi
The education system today is all inclusive. Importance is given to both the academic performance and the development of skills for students.
Apart from the comprehensive syllabus that includes skill training, teachers can also implement skill training strategies on a more personal level.
Some of the ways in which skills can be developed for students by the teachers are mentioned below:
- Encourage participation in group sports activities
- Use Breakout rooms in online mode of teaching
- Motivate students to participate in debates and discussions in the class
- Assign group project work
- Encourage practical implementation of concepts learnt.
- Stress on the need for gaining knowledge rather than aiming for higher grades.
Education makes you sufficient and skills make you efficient.
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How Students Can Build and Improve Skills?
The key to learning great skills is to pay attention. Students must develop skills by listening and learning from those around.
Participation is also a key to developing and improving skills. Students must make it a point to participate in college and school events and competitions with a view to develop and sharpen their skills.
Students must also remember that the process of learning never ends. Be open to ideas at all times. All top achievers are lifelong learners, looking for new skills and ideas all the time.
One must always keep in mind that to compete globally, one must always have the appropriate skills. Every skill is important in order to achieve greater heights.
Skills are learnt through practice and experience rather than from books. Your skills are the weapon against any difficult situation.
“Talents you have naturally. Skill is only developed by hours and hours and hours of beating your craft.”
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