Pathways to Advancement

What is Skills-Based Learning and Why It’s Important?

Skills-based learning is an educational approach that focuses on developing specific, practical skills and competencies rather than just acquiring theoretical knowledge. It emphasizes hands-on, experiential learning that equips individuals with the abilities they need to perform tasks, solve problems, and excel in real-world situations.

Embracing Skills-Based Learning in the Modern Job Market

As the job market evolves, skills-based learning has become a crucial component for professional success. This guide explores the benefits of incorporating skill-based learning techniques in education and career development , empowering adult learners and non-traditional students to excel in their chosen fields. By focusing on specific, relevant skills and using effective learning strategies, individuals can unlock new opportunities and achieve their career goals .

Delving into the World of Skills-Based Learning

Skills-based learning, often referred to as skill-based or competency-based learning, is an approach that emphasizes the development of specific, practical skills rather than the acquisition of broad, theoretical knowledge. This form of learning is tailored to the individual’s career goals and focuses on the mastery of skills that can be directly applied to real-world situations.

Traditional learning often follows a more linear path, with students acquiring knowledge through lectures and textbooks, then demonstrating their understanding through tests and assignments. In contrast, skills-based learning is more flexible and adaptable, allowing learners to focus on the skills that are most relevant to their career aspirations and personal interests.

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Key Characteristics of Skills-Based Learning

Examples of skill-based learning techniques include hands-on training, simulations, and case studies. These methods encourage active engagement and facilitate the development of practical skills, empowering learners to excel in their chosen fields.  

Here are the main characteristics of skills-based learning:

  • Practical Application : Learning is centered around practical tasks, projects, or activities that simulate real-world scenarios. This approach enables learners to directly apply what they’ve learned.
  • Skill Development : The primary goal is to build specific skills, such as technical skills (e.g., programming, carpentry) or soft skills (e.g., communication, teamwork).
  • Outcome-Oriented : Success is measured by the learner’s ability to demonstrate proficiency in a particular skill or competency, rather than by traditional academic assessments like exams or essays.
  • Problem-Solving : Skills-based learning often involves problem-solving and critical thinking as learners tackle real challenges and learn to adapt and innovate.
  • Hands-On Experience : Learners actively engage with the subject matter through practical exercises, experiments, or real-life tasks, fostering deeper understanding and retention.
  • Personalization : Instruction can be tailored to each learner’s needs, allowing them to focus on the skills most relevant to their goals or career path.
  • Lifelong Learning : Skills-based learning aligns with the idea that learning doesn’t stop after formal education. It encourages individuals to continuously acquire and refine skills throughout their lives.

This approach is particularly valuable in fields where practical expertise and hands-on experience are crucial, such as vocational training , technical education, professional development, and certain areas of higher education. Skills-based learning is often seen as a more practical and career-focused alternative to traditional academic learning, as it equips individuals with the abilities they need to succeed in the workforce and in various life situations.

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Types of Programs and Schools That Focus On Skills-Based Learning

Many higher education programs incorporate skills-based learning to varying degrees, but some are specifically designed to prioritize practical skill development over traditional academic coursework. These programs are often found in fields where hands-on expertise is crucial. Here are several types of higher education programs that emphasize skills-based learning:

Vocational and Technical Colleges: These institutions offer programs that focus on specific trades or technical skills, such as automotive repair, welding , culinary arts, and healthcare. Students gain practical skills and often receive certifications or diplomas.

Apprenticeships: Apprenticeship programs combine on-the-job training with classroom instruction. They are available in fields like construction, electrician work, plumbing, and manufacturing. Apprentices work alongside experienced professionals to develop skills.

Community Colleges: Community colleges frequently offer associate degree programs with a strong emphasis on practical skills. These degrees can lead to careers in fields like nursing , information technology, and automotive technology.

Coding Bootcamps: These short, intensive programs focus on teaching coding and programming skills. Coding Bootcamps are designed to quickly prepare students for careers in software development and related fields.

Certificate and Diploma Programs:  Many colleges and online platforms such as Udacity offer courses that are designed to provide practical, job-ready skills in high-demand areas such as technology and business. These programs typically culminate in a certificate or diploma.

Trade Schools : Trade schools specialize in providing education and training for specific trades or industries. This includes fields like HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning), cosmetology, and construction management.

Nursing and Healthcare Programs: Programs for nurses and healthcare professionals, such as certified nursing assistant (CNA) or medical assistant programs , emphasize practical skills for patient care.

Culinary Schools : Culinary programs teach students cooking techniques and restaurant management skills, preparing them for careers in the culinary arts .

Design and Creative Arts Schools: Schools focusing on design, fashion, and creative arts offer programs that emphasize practical skills like graphic design , fashion design, and interior design.

Trade Apprenticeships in the Building Trades: These apprenticeships provide hands-on training in construction-related fields like carpentry, plumbing , electrical work , and masonry.

Emergency Services Training: Programs for emergency medical technicians (EMTs), paramedics, and firefighters emphasize practical skills for responding to emergencies and saving lives.

Applied Sciences and Engineering Programs: Some universities offer engineering and applied sciences programs with a strong practical component, allowing students to work on real-world projects and gain technical expertise.

Mini-MBA Programs (Non-Degree): Mini-MBA programs are shorter, condensed versions of traditional Master of Business Administration (MBA) programs. They are designed to provide students with a fundamental understanding of key business concepts and management skills in a shorter timeframe. Mini-MBA programs often emphasize practical skills and real-world applications, allowing participants to immediately apply what they learn in their work or business ventures.

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Selecting the Right Skills for Your Skill-Based Learning Journey

Identifying the appropriate skills for your skill-based learning plan requires a thorough assessment of your personal strengths and weaknesses. Reflecting on your abilities and areas for improvement can help you determine which skills are most relevant to your chosen career path.

When selecting skills to develop, consider both hard skills, such as technical abilities, and soft skills, like communication and problem-solving. Transferable skills , those that can be applied across various industries and roles, are particularly valuable in skill-based learning. These versatile skills can provide you with a competitive edge in the job market and enable you to adapt to a changing professional landscape.

Creating a Successful Skills-Based Learning Plan

Developing a skills-based learning plan begins with setting clear and achievable goals for your skill development. By defining the skills you want to acquire and the level of mastery you aim to achieve, you can create a roadmap for your learning journey.

Next, identify the resources available for skill acquisition. Online platforms and courses, workshops and seminars, and books and articles are valuable sources of information and guidance. Explore these resources to find the most suitable learning opportunities for your needs.

Finally, establish a timeline for your skill development and mastery. This timeline will help you stay on track and monitor your progress, ensuring that you are consistently working towards your goals. Remember, skill-based learning is a continuous process, and your plan should be flexible enough to adapt to your evolving needs and aspirations.

Putting Skills-Based Learning Techniques into Practice

Active learning strategies are essential for effective skill development in a skills-based learning plan. Techniques such as project-based learning, problem-based learning, and collaborative learning encourage hands-on experience and real-world application, fostering skill mastery.

Integrating these techniques into existing educational and professional development programs can enhance their effectiveness and relevance to your career goals . By focusing on practical skills, you can maximize the value of your learning experience and accelerate your professional growth.

As you progress, it’s crucial to assess your development and adjust your learning strategies as needed. This ongoing evaluation ensures that you remain on track and continue to refine your skills, preparing you for success in your chosen field.

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Establishing a Supportive Learning Network

Networking plays a significant role in skill development, as it enables you to connect with like-minded individuals, industry professionals, and mentors who can provide valuable insights and guidance. Building a strong network can enhance your learning experience, open doors to new opportunities, and help you stay informed about emerging trends and best practices in your field.

Additionally, establishing partnerships with industry professionals and mentors can offer you personalized advice, support, and encouragement throughout your learning journey. By leveraging these relationships, you can ensure that your skill development remains on track and aligned with your career goals.

Proving Your Skills for Career Growth

Demonstrating your skills for career advancement requires showcasing your accomplishments and expertise to potential employers. One way to do this is by updating your resumes and CVs with relevant skills and achievements. This information should be presented clearly and concisely, highlighting your unique value and capabilities.

Another effective method for displaying your skills is through portfolios and work samples. These materials provide tangible evidence of your expertise, allowing employers to see the direct application of your skills in real-world situations.

Finally, interviews and networking events offer opportunities to articulate your skill mastery and demonstrate your proficiency. By confidently discussing your skills and experiences, you can make a lasting impression on employers and increase your chances of career advancement.

Unlock Your Potential with Skills-Based Learning

As we conclude our exploration of skills-based learning, it’s evident that this approach is crucial for achieving career success in today’s competitive job market. By focusing on specific, relevant skills and implementing effective learning techniques, you can unlock new opportunities and advance in your chosen field. We encourage you to continue developing your skills and embracing lifelong learning as a key to personal growth and professional growth. At Pathways to Advancement, we’re here to support you with expert advice and resources for further skill-based learning opportunities. Discover more at Pathways to Advancement .

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  • Adolescent education and skills

Adolescents need lifelong learning to build better futures for themselves, their families and their communities.

A 17-year-old girl laughs with friends outside their school in Uganda, 2019.

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Adolescents (children aged 10–19) are growing up in a transforming world. Technology, migration, climate change and conflict are reshaping society, forcing people across the globe to adapt to unexpected changes in their lives and work.

To keep up, adolescents  must be able to seize opportunities and confront challenges. They need education and skills to become lifelong learners, to secure productive work, to make informed decisions and to positively engage in their communities.

Yet, over 250 million adolescents were not in school, even before the COVID-19 pandemic. By 2030, it is estimated that another 825 million children will not acquire the basic secondary-level skills – like transferable, digital and job-specific skills – needed to support lifelong learning and employment.

Without access to education opportunities that help develop skills, adolescents face serious challenges thriving in the twenty-first century – with repercussions for generations to come.

What’s more, some 617 million children and adolescents are unable to reach minimum proficiency levels in reading and math – even though two thirds of them are in school. This learning crisis is the greatest global challenge to preparing adolescents for the modern employment market.

Concerted investment and coordination to strengthen education systems is needed so that all adolescents, especially the most marginalized, can acquire skills that help them fulfil their potential.

A group of young people laugh together at a table in art school as they draw and paint in Kazakhstan in 2019.

Skills needed for success in school, life and work

  • Foundational skills : Foundational skills, namely literacy and numeracy, are essential for further learning, productive employment and civic engagement.
  • Digital skills : Digital literacy enables children and young people to use and understand technology, search for and manage information, create and share content, collaborate, communicate, build knowledge, and solve problems safely, critically and ethically.
  • Transferable skills : Also called “life skills,” “twenty-first-century skills,” “soft skills,” or “socio-emotional skills,” these allow young people to become agile learners and global citizens equipped to navigate personal, social, academic and economic challenges. Transferable skills also help young people affected by crisis cope with trauma and build resilience. They include problem-solving, negotiation, managing emotions, empathy and communication.
  • Job-specific skills : Also known as “technical" and "vocational" skills, these are associated with occupations and support the transition of older adolescents into the workforce.

UNICEF’s work to address the global learning and skills crisis

Because skills development takes place at different stages in life, UNICEF programming is anchored in a multiple-pathways approach that helps us meet children where they are. We work closely with governments and partners so that every 5-year-old is ready to learn, every 10-year-old is ready to succeed in school, and every 18-year-old is prepared for life and work – aiming to have all children and young people developing the necessary skills at each phase of life.

In both humanitarian and development contexts, we improve the quality and reach of education and training programmes that develop the skills, knowledge and outlooks children and adolescents need to participate meaningfully in society. This includes mainstreaming skills development in school curricula, while identifying and providing alternative pathways for continued education.

Our Reimagine Education initiative is revolutionizing learning and skills development for children and adolescents in an effort to ensure 3.5 billion children and youth in 190 countries access world-class digital learning solutions by 2030.

In schools and in communities, UNICEF:

  • Supports skills development opportunities through curricular and extracurricular programmes
  • Promotes flexible, alternative and certified learning programmes to prepare adolescents – especially those who have been uprooted by war, violence and poverty – to re-enter school or transition to work
  • Supports community-based opportunities for non-formal skills development
  • Promotes opportunities within systems and communities to facilitate adolescents’ transition from learning to civic engagement

We also work with governments and communities to help dismantle barriers to learning and skills development for the most marginalized – especially girls; migrant, refugee and displaced adolescents; those living in poverty; and those with disabilities. This includes addressing discriminatory norms and inequity in national education plans and budgets by:

  • Supporting gender-equitable and inclusive curricula and teaching practices, including online learning
  • Helping tackle financial obstacles through cash transfers and other social protection measures
  • Providing safe school environments, with access to nutrition and safe water, sanitation and hygiene, including for menstrual hygiene management

What’s more, UNICEF mobilizes financial resources, political support and technical know-how to innovate skills development programmes. In 2018, we spearheaded Generation Unlimited , a global partnership dedicated to connecting all young people to education, training, employment and entrepreneurship.

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'Learning to earning" for displaced youth - Unlocking the power of digital technologies

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Talent on the Move: Listening to children and young people on the move to unlock their potential

Working across sectors in turkey accelerates learning for all adolescents, preparing adolescents in jordan for productive, engaged, and resilient adulthood, engaged and heard unicef guidelines for adolescent participation and civic engagement  .

The Guidelines are intended to support the design of meaningful and equitable Adolescent Participation and Civic Engagement. They provide information on the ‘why’, ‘what’ and ‘how-to’ of adolescent participation and civic engagement. The Guidelines provide sector-specific guidelines for adolescent participation in Education and Skills Development.  

Adolescent Kit for Expression and Innovation  

This is a package of guidance, tools, activities and supplies to support adolescents ages 10-18 with skills development and psychosocial support, especially those who are affected by humanitarian crises. The Kit aims to bring about positive change in adolescents’ lives through arts and innovation. 

The World Development Report, 2018: LEARNING to Realize Education’s Promise

This report explores how to make schools work for learners, and systems work for learning.

Secondary Education Guidance: Multiple and Flexible Pathways

This global guidance on secondary education lays out recommendations for UNICEF’s work at the country level, supporting governments in guaranteeing the right to education of marginalized adolescents.

Towards an Equal Future: Reimagining Girls’ Education through STEM

This document seeks to call attention to the potential of STEM education to transform gender norms in the education system, to improve quality learning opportunities for girls, and to highlight key actions that can accelerate girls’ transition between education and technical expert jobs in STEM industries.

The World Development Report, 2019: The Changing Nature of Work

This report investigates how advances in technology are changing the nature of work, and considers best responses, including investing in human capital, for Governments.

Transitions from School to Work: Technical Note

This paper provides guidance on how UNICEF can work with government and partners to support adolescents to make a smooth transition from school to decent work.

Life Skills and Citizenship Education Initiative, Middle East and North Africa

This initiative seeks to provide diverse stakeholders in the Middle East and North Africa with an evidence-based framework for improving learning for individual, social and economic development.

GirlForce: Skills, Education and Training for Girls now

This brief presents data on persistent gender gaps in labour market outcomes, despite girls’ and women’s gains in education.

Skills for a Changing World

This project from the Center for Universal Education at Brookings and the LEGO Foundation seeks to ensure all children have high-quality learning opportunities that build the skills needed to create productive, healthy societies in the face of global change.

Created by the Great Schools Partnership , the GLOSSARY OF EDUCATION REFORM is a comprehensive online resource that describes widely used school-improvement terms, concepts, and strategies for journalists, parents, and community members. | Learn more »


21st Century Skills

The term 21 st century skills refers to a broad set of knowledge, skills, work habits, and character traits that are believed—by educators, school reformers, college professors, employers, and others—to be critically important to success in today’s world, particularly in collegiate programs and contemporary careers and workplaces. Generally speaking, 21 st century skills can be applied in all academic subject areas, and in all educational, career, and civic settings throughout a student’s life.

It should be noted that the “21 st century skills” concept encompasses a wide-ranging and amorphous body of knowledge and skills that is not easy to define and that has not been officially codified or categorized. While the term is widely used in education, it is not always defined consistently, which can lead to confusion and divergent interpretations. In addition, a number of related terms—including applied skills , cross-curricular skills , cross-disciplinary skills , interdisciplinary skills , transferable skills , transversal skills , noncognitive skills , and soft skills , among others—are also widely used in reference to the general forms of knowledge and skill commonly associated with 21 st  century skills. While these different terms may not be strictly synonymous, and they may have divergent or specialized meanings in certain technical contexts, these diverse sets of skills are being addressed in this one entry for the purposes of practicality and usefulness.

While the specific skills deemed to be “21 st century skills” may be defined, categorized, and determined differently from person to person, place to place, or school to school, the term does reflect a general—if somewhat loose and shifting—consensus. The following list provides a brief illustrative overview of the knowledge, skills, work habits, and character traits commonly associated with 21 st century skills:

  • Critical thinking, problem solving, reasoning, analysis, interpretation, synthesizing information
  • Research skills and practices, interrogative questioning
  • Creativity, artistry, curiosity, imagination, innovation, personal expression
  • Perseverance, self-direction, planning, self-discipline, adaptability, initiative
  • Oral and written communication, public speaking and presenting, listening
  • Leadership, teamwork, collaboration, cooperation, facility in using virtual workspaces
  • Information and communication technology (ICT) literacy, media and internet literacy, data interpretation and analysis, computer programming
  • Civic, ethical, and social-justice literacy
  • Economic and financial literacy, entrepreneurialism
  • Global awareness, multicultural literacy, humanitarianism
  • Scientific literacy and reasoning, the scientific method
  • Environmental and conservation literacy, ecosystems understanding
  • Health and wellness literacy, including nutrition, diet, exercise, and public health and safety

While many individuals and organizations have proposed definitions of 21 st century skills, and most states have adopted learning standards that include or address cross-disciplinary skills, the following are three popular models that can serve to illustrate the concept and its applications in education:

  • Framework for 21 st Century Learning  (The Partnership for 21 st Century Skills)
  • Four Keys to College and Career Readiness  (David T. Conley and the Educational Policy Improvement Center)
  • Seven Survival Skills  (Tony Wagner and the Change Leadership Group at the Harvard Graduate School of Education)

For related discussions, see content knowledge and learning standards .

Generally speaking, the 21 st century skills concept is motivated by the belief that teaching students the most relevant, useful, in-demand, and universally applicable skills should be prioritized in today’s schools, and by the related belief that many schools may not sufficiently prioritize such skills or effectively teach them to students. The basic idea is that students, who will come of age in the 21 st century, need to be taught different skills than those learned by students in the 20 th century, and that the skills they learn should reflect the specific demands that will placed upon them in a complex, competitive, knowledge-based, information-age, technology-driven economy and society.

While 21 st century skills are relevant to all areas of schooling and academic study, and the skills may be taught in a wide variety of in-school and outside-of-school settings, there are a few primary ways in which 21 st century skills intersect with efforts to improve schools:

  • Teachers may be more intentional about teaching cross-disciplinary skills in subject-area courses. For example, in a science course students might be required to learn research methods that can also be applied in other disciplines; articulate technical scientific concepts in verbal, written, and graphic forms; present lab results to a panel of working scientists; or use sophisticated technologies, software programs, and multimedia applications as an extension of an assigned project.
  • States, accrediting organizations, and schools may require 21 st century skills to be taught and assessed in courses. For example, states can adopt learning standards that explicitly describe cross-disciplinary skills, and assessments may be designed or modified to evaluate whether students have acquired and mastered certain skills.
  • Schools and teachers may use educational approaches that inherently encourage or facilitate the acquisition of cross-disciplinary skills. For example, educational strategies such as authentic learning , demonstrations of learning , or  project-based learning tend to be cross-disciplinary in nature, and students—in the process of completing a research project, for example—may have to use a variety of applied skills, multiple technologies, and new ways of analyzing and processing information, while also taking initiative, thinking creatively, planning out the process, and working collaboratively in teams with other students.
  • Schools may allow students to pursue alternative learning pathways in which students earn academic credit and satisfy graduation requirements by completing an internship, apprenticeship, or volunteer experience, for example. In this case, students might acquire a variety of practical, job-related skills and work habits, while also completing academic coursework and meeting the same learning standards required of students in more traditional academic courses.

While there is broad agreement that today’s students need different skills than were perhaps taught to previous generations, and that cross-disciplinary skills such as writing, critical thinking, self-initiative, group collaboration, and technological literacy are essential to success in higher education, modern workplaces, and adult life, there is still a great deal of debate about 21 st century skills—from what skills are most important to how such skills should be taught to their appropriate role in public education. Given that there is no clear consensus on what skills specifically constitute “21 st century skills,” the concept tends to be interpreted and applied in different ways from state to state or school to school, which can lead to ambiguity, confusion, and inconsistency.

Calls for placing a greater emphasis on cross-disciplinary skills in public education are, generally speaking, a response to the perception that most public schools pay insufficient attention to the postsecondary preparation and success of students. In other words, the concept has become a touchstone in a larger debate about what public schools should be teaching and what the purpose of public education should be. For example: Is the purpose of public education to get students to pass a test and earn a high school diploma? Or is the purpose to prepare students for success in higher education and modern careers? The push to prioritize 21 st century skills is typically motivated by the belief that all students should be equipped with the knowledge, skills, work habits, and character traits they will need to pursue continued education and challenging careers after graduation, and that a failure to adequately prepare students effectively denies them opportunities, with potentially significant consequences for our economy, democracy, and society.

A related debate centers on the distinction between “knowledge” and “skills,” and how schools and teachers may interpret—or misinterpret—the concepts. Some educators argue that it’s not possible to teach cross-disciplinary skills separately from knowledge and conceptual understanding—for example, students can’t learn to write well if they don’t have ideas, facts, principles, and philosophies to write about. The basic idea is that “21 st century skills” is an artificial concept that can’t be separated out from subject-area knowledge and instruction. Other educators may argue that cross-disciplinary skills have historically been ignored or under-prioritized in schools, and the push to give more emphasis and attention to these skills is simply a commonsense response to a changing world.

The following list provides a few additional examples of representative arguments that may be made in support of teaching 21 st century skills:

  • In today’s world, information and knowledge are increasing at such an astronomical rate that no one can learn everything about every subject, what may appear true today could be proven to be false tomorrow, and the jobs that students will get after they graduate may not yet exist. For this reason, students need to be taught how to process, parse, and use information, and they need adaptable skills they can apply in all areas of life—just teaching them ideas and facts, without teaching them how to use them in real-life settings, is no longer enough.
  • Schools need to adapt and develop new ways of teaching and learning that reflect a changing world. The purpose of school should be to prepare students for success after graduation, and therefore schools need to prioritize the knowledge and skills that will be in the greatest demand, such as those skills deemed to be most important by college professors and employers. Only teaching students to perform well in school or on a test is no longer sufficient.
  • Given the widespread availability of information today, students no longer need teachers to lecture to them on the causes of the Civil War, for example, because that information is readily available—and often in more engaging formats that a typical classroom lecture. For this reason, educators should use in-school time to teach students how to find, interpret, and use information, rather than using most or all of the time to present information.

The following list provides a few examples of representative arguments that may be made against the concept of 21 st century skills:

  • Public schools and teachers have always taught, and will continue to teach, cross-disciplinary skills—they just never gave it a label. The debate over “content vs. skills” is not new—educators have been talking about and wrestling with these issues for a century—which makes the term “21 st century skills” somewhat misleading and inaccurate.
  • Focusing too much on cross-disciplinary skills could water-down academic courses, and students may not get “the basics.” The more time teachers spend on skill-related instruction, the less time they will have for content-based instruction. And if schools privilege cross-disciplinary skills over content knowledge , students may be denied opportunities because they are insufficiently knowledgeable. Students need a broad knowledge base, which they won’t receive if teachers focus too much on skill-related instruction or “learning how to learn.”
  • Cross-disciplinary skills are extremely difficult to assess reliably and consistently. There are no formal tests for 21 st century skills, so the public won’t know how well schools are doing in teaching these skills.

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Skills-Based Learning – When, Where, How and Why



  • digital badges , lifelong learning , micro-credentials , professional skills , skills , upskilling , workplace skills

Skills-Based Learning - When

Skills-based learning is not the learning formula for tomorrow. It’s the learning formula for today. most skills-based learning is taking place in more informal, lifelong learning environments that come either after, alongside, or in some cases in place of formal education. In this information-rich Credentialate Guide, we explore how education providers are addressing the increasing demand for skills development and verification.

The Essentials: Skills-based learning

  • What is skills-based learning? Skills-based learning is not the learning formula for tomorrow. It’s the learning formula for today. It is the acquisition of industry aligned skills that will prepare us for the jobs of tomorrow.
  • Where does skills-based learning usually occur? There are programs looking to introduce skills-based learning into more formal education environments, however, most skills-based learning is taking place in the lifelong learning environments that come either after, alongside, or in some cases in place of formal education. 
  • What skills-based learning is included in formal education? Educators are seeking to align existing curricula to the skills industry is looking for – such as aligning to industry or job market data and using AI or machine learning to identify which jobs need re-skilling or up-skilling. 
  • What skills-based learning takes place in informal environments? Due to the ever increasing skills gap, many industries have developed their own internal education frameworks complete with micro-badging credentials. Short-form learning – such as short courses, bootcamps, professional certifications and licenses – may be more valuable to employers seeking very specific skills.
  • How is skills-based learning assessed and verified? This is an area currently in flux, with no universaly accepted testing standard or verification framework. Where hard skills are easier to measure, soft skills judged on subjective or individual perception can undercut the credibility of the qualification. 
  • How Credentialate provides a new perspective Credentialate is the world’s first Credential Evidence Platform. It helps you discover and share evidence of workplace skills. Credentialate is the only Credential Evidence Platform that includes personalised qualitative, quantitative and artefact evidence record verified directly from within the digital badge. For institutions, educators can map and manage their skills infrastructure and track skills attainment across the institution and against existing frameworks.

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The Full Story: Skills based learning – when, where how and why

  • What is skills-based learning?
  • Where does skills-based learning usually occur?
  • What skills-based learning is included in formal education?
  • What skills-based learning takes place in informal environments?
  • How is skills-based learning assessed and verified?

How Credentialate provides a new perspective

Skills-based learning is not the learning formula for tomorrow. It’s the learning formula for today. And there are educators actively working on the problem and potential solutions. Before we dive in, we should clarify that we are not talking about the competency based education models (CBE) utilised in a variety of institutions and systems globally. Rather, we are talking about the acquisition of industry aligned skills that will prepare us for the jobs of tomorrow.

The skills-based learning environment

Learning Never Ends Painted on a Rural Highway

This is a complex answer. There are programs looking to introduce skills-based learning into more formal education environments. For example, the UK-based skills builder is a universal framework to teach skills like listening to learners spanning K-12 and even into post-secondary education. This framework is also underpinning work by their partner employer organisations.

They are by no means the only ones. However, most skills-based learning is taking place in the lifelong learning environment. The reasons, simplified, are related to accreditation, funding, and frameworks, all of which we have discussed in our Untangling the Modern Credential Marketplace blog series.

In other words, most skills-based learning is taking place in more informal, lifelong learning environments that come either after, alongside, or in some cases in place of formal education. Where, exactly is this learning taking place?

Getting formal

Formal Education - University Building

In formal education, there are two places where skills-based learning can take place. The first is inside the curriculum and the second is outside the curriculum. Why is this important?

Skills-based education inside the curriculum must align with existing frameworks . In many cases, these frameworks are extremely rigid and come with legacy ideas that are difficult to change. Most are mandated by large agencies, from local, regional, or federal governments to accreditation agencies and others. These constraints can slow innovation and the evolution of curricula.

This doesn’t mean efforts are not being made. EMSI, based in the US, has introduced their Skillabi program. Using technology, educators can take several steps:

  • Skillification  – current curriculum and the skills taught are matched with skills employers are looking for in an apples-to-apples comparison.
  • Market-aligned skills are identified and emphasised.
  • In-demand skills are identified, skills that educators may want to add to their curriculum.
  • The analysis shows where needed skills are taught in other programs and could be cross-applied through curriculum modifications.

In other words, the program attempts to make it possible to align existing curricula to the skills industry is looking for . Essentially educators can “rummage through the pockets” of courses taught elsewhere in their ecosystem, incorporate them into current programs, thus increasing their relevance.

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning in Education

Yet another is Faethm AI , an “AI engine that is trained using billions of workforce data points. Its predictive modeling capability enables forward-looking analytics that indicate which jobs need re-skilling versus up-skilling, and the exact skill pathways to move people to a brighter work future.”

Many other programs are working to use AI, Machine Learning, and other advanced technologies for analysis and improvement, including Vantage Labs , which is doing vital work in the area of AI and Machine Learning (more on that in a moment).

From these initiatives and others, it is clear that both educators and the industry want to see changes. It would be remiss if we did not mention the Internet of Education (IoE). This term was coined in January 2020 at the World Economic Forum meeting. It has quickly become a global movement defined as ”a global ecosystem of trust that enables networks of personalised and effective learning.”

The Learning Foundation has become the steward for this movement, and this article is a must-read overview of the state of play for IoE. The most important takeaway is that efforts are being made to integrate skills-based learning into formal environments .

Credentialate Guide - Micro-Credentials What They Are and Why They're Valuable

Lifelong learning and corporate frameworks

Most work in skills-based learning is taking place outside formal environments. Due to increasing frustration with the ever-present and perhaps over-talked-about skills gap , many industries have developed their own internal education frameworks complete with their own micro-badging credentials .

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This has driven the need for new segments in the post-secondary credential spectrum. HolonIQ has proposed a segmentation of the contemporary post-secondary knowledge and skills acquisition market – from peer-to-peer, short courses and badges through micro and alternative credentials to formal degrees. In so doing, they note that “defining the Global Micro and Alternative Credential Spectrum, beyond government-led qualification frameworks, is not straightforward. Different stakeholders bring very different perspectives, and this segmentation is by no means exhaustive.”

HolonIQ Micro and Alternative Credentials Segmentation

Short courses with digital badges , skill-specific bootcamps, and non-university-based certificates, and even professional certification and licensing are often as valuable or more so than a four-year degree, depending on the job.

Professional Skills Gap in the Workplace Continues to Widen

While tech and cyber-security are often the leaders in this field, this actually creates another challenge. For example, when we look at IBM training , it is important to remember that although IBM credentials are “recognised around the world” that credential may not mean the same thing to Google, Amazon, or even Microsoft. The reason is the lack of a shared and established framework.

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Measure twice, verify once?

The question of a common framework raises even more questions. The first is what we are trying to quantify and verify.

For example, a four-year degree means something. Universities have common syllabi and curricula around specific majors. While they may differ in some specific course areas, they mean something similar due to a common accreditation framework. A four-year degree in nursing, coupled with a Registered Nurse certification means the learner has at least been exposed to a certain type of courses with specified content. In short, there is a level of trust in the marketplace and an understanding of quality.

The only way to verify their “skills” in this area without on-the-job testing is to look at their grades, which is much too general in many cases. While institutions have tried to address this gap with various ratings (works well with others, participates in group projects, etc) the evaluations are often subjective, based on professor perceptions, and lack a standard and verifiable framework .

Digital Life - Digital Wallets Allow for Online Skills Verification

Yet that framework is exactly what is needed. Hard skills are much easier to verify through testing or demonstration. Even in those cases, alternatives must be established for skilled learners who simply don’t “test well.”

Yet it is extremely difficult to quantify and verify soft skills , human skills that are transferable. And what IBM may use to qualify someone may not relate to what Google understands to be the same, or similar qualification.

In other words, now that a learner has these certifications, what do they do with them? Can they be carried in a digital wallet or passport, verified, and in that way used as job currency ? How do we make these credentials meaningful to both the learner and the employer ? In other words, is there a framework that transfers?

There is a great deal of attention being paid to the transparency around micro-credentials . In the US, the non-profit organisation Credential Engine develops and maintains the Credential Transparency Description Language (CTDL), which provides the common language and “rules of the road” for how credentials, credentialing organisations, quality assurance information, and competencies are described both in the Registry and on the Web. This is also an area of focus for us here at Edalex with our Credentialate product. How do we provide a translational layer that exposes the personalised learning and evidence that sits behind and with the micro-credential. Concentric Sky with their Badgr Pro product has developed a learning pathway for customisable, stackable and shareable micro-credentials to direct and enable career aspirations.

Credentialate - Credential Evidence Platform, a badge website, digital badge creator for badges in education

This is all a part of developing a decentralised but verifiable framework in which well-defined skills and the micro-credentials that go with them are transferable, regardless of where the learning took place. What does this look like? The answer, unfortunately, is no one knows yet. Every aspect of micro-credentialing is still a work in progress. But there has been progress.

It seems somewhat ironic to try to end any overview of skills-based learning with a conclusion. Because the conclusion itself is filled with many questions and few answers.

Should even formal education be based on skills-based learning? The answer appears to be a conditional yes. What does industry-aligned mean, really? How can that be accomplished in a formal learning environment? How relevant are four-year degrees, and will they remain so?

Future Direction of Skills-Based Learning - Still Unknown

“We need more connection and discussions between industries and Universities,” Noam Mordechay, VP Business Development at Gloat told the BBC. “On the job learning [must be] part of the curriculum.” Micro-credentialing allows employers to look beyond their typical candidate pools. In many ways, this is where the debate begins to change the conversation entirely.

Despite the push for rapid advancement and deeper conversation, there is still a long way to go. In some areas, non-traditional education is largely taking the place of degrees, including coding and software development. Will these emerging, targeted courses replace university degrees altogether? Research answers quite simply, “Not yet.” Degrees still mean something. Micro-credentials can enhance those degrees, making them more meaningful to employers. In other cases, stacking micro-credentials can be a substitute for the financial and time commitment required to get a four-year degree – and with more significant career outcomes .

Skills-based learning is the answer to bridging the skills gap . The real question is how we pull the where, when, how, and why together into a decentralised yet cohesive and verifiable framework that benefits learners, educators, and employers.

The only certainty in skills-based learning is change, and it’s not just about rapid development, but meaningful advancement as well. What will education look like a decade or even five years from now? No one knows, other than that it is sure to be much different than it is today.

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Credentialate is a secure, configurable platform that assesses and tracks attainment of competencies and issues micro-credentials to students backed by personalised evidence at scale. By automatically extracting data from existing platforms and using an organization’s own assessment rubrics, we can objectively measure awarding criteria and validate its evidence.

By this same method we can automate the assessment, monitoring, promotion and validation of evidence-backed skills. For an institution, we provide the data and insights required to track skills and competencies across courses and entire programs.

Finally, we have decades of collective experience in educational technology and long-standing ties with global educational powerhouses. These solidify our ability to produce credible digital badges .

Credentialate assesses, monitors, promotes and validates learners’ attainment of evidence-backed skills, supporting the transition from learner to earner. It is a secure, configurable platform that assesses and tracks attainment of competencies and issues micro-credentials in a digital badge to students. If you’d like to learn more About Us and how we can work together, contact us or Schedule a Demo and let’s discuss!

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Credentialate is the world’s first Credential Evidence Platform that helps discover and share evidence of workplace skills. Launched In 2019, it was initially developed in close collaboration with leading design partner, UNSW Sydney, in support of a multi-year, cross-faculty community of practice and micro-credential research project. Credentialate has continued to evolve at an accelerated pace, informed in partnership with educators and industry leaders from around the world. Credentialate provides a Skills Core that creates order from chaotic data, provides meaningful insight through framework alignment and equips learners with rich personal industry-aligned evidence of their skills and competencies.

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Top 10 Reasons Why Is Education Important

Updated: February 1, 2024

Published: April 15, 2020


Most of us have grown up being taught the importance of education. But why is education important? Through your frustrating school years, you may have thought that it was a waste of time, or was just something that you needed to do in order to get a job. Truth be told, however, education goes so much beyond just getting a job and making your parents happy. In fact, it’s one of the most powerful tools out there.

What Is Education?

Education means studying in order to obtain a deeper knowledge and understanding of a variety of subjects to be applied to daily life. Education is not limited to just knowledge from books, but can also be obtained through practical experiences outside of the classroom.

Top 10 Reasons: Why Is Education Important?

There are many different understandings and definitions of what education is, but one thing can be universally agreed upon, which is the importance of education — and here’s why.

1. Provides Stability

Education provides stability in life, and it’s something that no one can ever take away from you. By being well-educated and holding a college degree , you increase your chances for better career opportunities and open up new doors for yourself.

2. Provides Financial Security

On top of stability, education also provides financial security, especially in today’s society. A good education tends to lead to a higher paying job, as well as provide you with the skills needed to get there. Educated and well-informed individuals also know how to use money-saving tactics. They are more likely to use coupon websites like EMUCoupon while shopping online to save their hard-earned money.

3. Needed For Equality

In order for the entire world to really become equal, it needs to start with education. If everyone was provided with the same opportunities to education , then there would be less gaps between social classes. Everyone would be able to have an equal chance at higher paying jobs — not just those that are already well-off.

4. Allows For Self-Dependency

The importance of education is evident when it comes to being self-dependent. If we are we educated, then it’s something that belongs to us, and only us, allowing us to rely on no one else other than ourselves. It can allow you to not only be financially independent, but also to make your own choices.

5. Make Your Dreams Come True

If you can dream it, you can achieve it. An education is the most powerful weapon you can possibly have, and with it, you can make all of your dreams come true. There are of course certain exceptions, depending on what you’re aiming for, but generally an education will take you as far as you’re willing to go.

6. A Safer World

Education is something that’s not only needed on a personal level, but also on a global level, as it’s something that keeps our world safe and makes it a more peaceful place. Education tends to teach people the difference between right and wrong, and can help people stay out of risky situations.

7. Confidence

Being self-confident is a major part of being successful in life. And what better way to gain that confidence than with an education? Your level of education is often considered a way to prove your knowledge, and it can give you the confidence to express your opinions and speak your mind.

8. A Part Of Society

In today’s society, having an education is considered a vital part of being accepted by those around you. Having an education is believed to make you a useful part of society, and can make you feel like a contributing member as well.

9. Economic Growth On A National Level

An educated society is crucial for economic growth. We need people to continue to learn and research in order to constantly stay innovative. Countries with higher literacy rates also tend to be in better economic situations. With a more educated population, more employment opportunities are opened.

10. Can Protect You

Education can protect you more than you know, not only on a financial level, but it can help prevent you from being taken advantage of by knowing how to read and write, such as knowing not to sign any bogus documents.

Photo by  Pixabay  from  Pexels

Education is important for children.

Children are the future of our world, making education crucial for them. Their knowledge is what’s going to keep our world alive and flourishing.

At Childhood

During the childhood development stages, the importance of education is stronger than ever. It’s a time for children to learn social and mental skills that will be crucial for their growth and success in the future. Education at childhood also offers a chance for self-discovery and to learn about their unique interests.

The importance of education in our lives goes far beyond what we can read in a textbook. Education also provides childhood with knowledge such as how to produce artwork and make music. Education allows us to analyze what’s in front of us, and even learn from our mistakes.

Goal Building

By learning from a young age, children are given the chance to start building goals for themselves. Education means having the logic to set your mind to something and achieve it.

Importance Of Education In Society

For a modern society, education is of utmost importance. There are so many influences coming from all directions, and education can help us decipher what we should take as true, and what we should take with a grain of salt. Education can mold people into functional members of society with the right kinds of values.


Education is needed for a productive society. Our population only continues to increase, and in turn, so do our needs. We need a strong and efficient workforce of educated people to provide us with the services we need for everyday life.

Why Is Education Important For a Nation?

The importance of education is seen in every aspect of life, and is especially crucial for the growth of a nation.

The Impact Education Has On The World

With education, people can become better citizens, knowing right from wrong, allowing for a better society where laws are followed. An educated nation knows about the importance of voting, doing so with the knowledge not blindly, but also having an understanding of what their party truly stands for. Education can also help people get jobs, which is what a nation thrives on.

Inspiring Quotes On What Education Truly Is

Why is education important, and what is it exactly? While every person has a different understanding of its true meaning, here are some of the most inspiring quotes by some legendary people.

  • “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” — Nelson Mandela
  • “Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.” — Malcolm X
  • “An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.” — Benjamin Franklin
  • “Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself.” — John Dewey

What Are Some Other Reasons Why Education Is Important?

There are endless reasons why education is so important, especially since it also has endless connotations and meanings.

Mind And Body

Our mind and bodies are connected more than we know. With a powerful, well-educated mind, so too are our bodies.

We can not only know how to best take care of ourselves, but we can feel confident and good about ourselves, which will likely have a positive effect on our physical well-being . Education has even been proven to add years to our life . To be exact, each additional year of education was found to add as much as 1.7 years to our lives at the age of 35.

Personal Growth

The importance of education even extends itself to our personal growth. By constantly educating ourselves, asking questions and wanting to know more, we can move forward and achieve things we never imagined before.

Get To Know Yourself

Education can allow us to get to know ourselves better than ever. We can learn things about ourselves, whether it be through books, courses, or even consulting with a professional.

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Worldwide value.

Education is the best way to ensure a positive world value and view. Without a proper education, how else do we know what’s considered appropriate and how to behave?

While world peace may unfortunately seem like a far-fetched concept, with education we can get closer to this goal than we know. Education can teach us about our place in this world, and about our responsibility to humanity.

Teaches Values

Values are taught through education! Education exists far beyond the classroom or an exam. It’s taught at home, through what our parents and peers show us, and although not necessarily written down somewhere, such a teaching method is still a large aspect of what education entails.

Sharpens Your Thinking

Education is needed to think sharply and clearly!

Makes You Informed

Education makes you informed about the world around you, what’s going on and what kind of people are around you. Education can help you be more self-aware about your strengths and weaknesses, showing you were to shift your focus.

Logical Reasoning

When in an argument, if you aren’t well educated and don’t have your facts straight, then you aren’t likely to win. If you get upset about something, then being educated can also help you logically work through the situation and make sense of it, understanding all aspects.

Stay Focused

Education can help you stay focused and on track in the right direction by knowing what the right path is for you.

Allows For Innovation And Creativity

When it comes to being creative, in any way, shape, or form, the mind can only really reach its full potential if it’s been fed with the knowledge it needs to think outside the box.

Develop Life Skills

Education is the foundation of basic life skills and street smarts. While education might sound like a fancy technical term, it’s really everything we learn in life about how to best conduct ourselves from day to day.

Education can be the most freeing and empowering thing in the entire world!

Live Life To The Fullest

Truly living life to the fullest means being well-educated and holding a vast amount of knowledge about the world around us. It also means we continue to learn every day in all kinds of forms, whether it be from the people around us, newspapers, experiences, research, or traditional classes.

Breaks Barriers

Education breaks barriers between people, and allows people from across the globe to be empowered.

University of the People, a tuition-free , online university, is one powerful example of how education is being revolutionized – they offer students of all socio-economic backgrounds an equal chance at education.

Once upon a time, such a thing wouldn’t have been possible, but today such places like UoPeople have proven that these barriers truly can be broken through to receive higher education.

You Become Your Highest You

Education can allow you to become the best, fullest version of yourself, learning about what interests you, what you’re good at, becoming self-aware and conscious about the world around you. It can help you establish your place in this world, and feel complete.

Education In The Modern World

Education today is more important than ever before, and has reached new heights with new understandings of what it truly entails. Ask yourself “Why is education important?” and it will surely not be the same as anyone else’s answer.

While in modern society, holding a college degree is considered to be highly beneficial for a successful career and to be socially accepted, it is not the only means of education. Education is all around us in everything that we do, so use it wisely!

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Skills, success, and why your choice of college matters

Subscribe to the brookings metro update, jonathan rothwell jonathan rothwell nonresident senior fellow - brookings metro @jtrothwell.

July 8, 2015

Amidst growing frustration with the cost of higher education, complaints also abound about its quality. One critique, launched in the book Academically Adrift by two sociologists, finds little evidence that college students score better on measures of critical thinking, writing, and reasoning after attending college. This is something of a paradox, since strong evidence shows that attending college tends to raise earnings power, even for students who start with mediocre preparation .

Our recent study uses a different approach to assess the value of a college education. We find that the particular skills listed by a college’s alumni on their resumes predict how well graduates from those schools perform in terms of earning a living, meeting debt obligations, and working for high-paying or innovative companies. Since jobs requiring more valuable skills typically require at least some college education, this finding suggests many students are gaining valuable skills from college. But the variation in alumni skills across schools is wide, even after considering the aptitude of the students in terms of their pre-admission test scores. This variation implies that what one studies and where have big effects on economic outcomes.

Skills versus degrees

It is widely known that education raises individual earnings, but education—measured in years of study or level of degree—is a very rough measure of learning. Thus, it is not surprising that studies consistently find that skills are an important predictor of economic outcomes. People with higher test scores—another measure of learning—earn higher wages, even with the same level of education. Likewise, graduates with technical degrees earn more, as do workers in occupations requiring more STEM skills . At the international scale, performance on standardized exams has a much stronger statistical relationship with economic outcomes than do years of education, according to a new OECD study .

How we valued skills by college

Using data from the company Burning Glass, we calculated the average salary listed for distinct skills based on 3 million job vacancy ads. To match these skills to colleges, we used data from LinkedIn’s college profile pages, which show the 25 most common skills (e.g., customer service, Microsoft Excel, Python) listed by alumni from each college. For the average college, we observed 1,150 profiles per skill. (A great advantage of using LinkedIn data is the large sample size.) We obtained data for 2,164 colleges representing profiles for 2.5 million U.S. residents who attended college. By comparison, Academically Adrift surveyed 2,300 college graduates .

Alumni with more valuable skills earn higher salaries

Measured at mid-career (meaning at least 10 years of working), salaries tend to be much higher for alumni who list high-value skills on their resumes. Earnings go up by an average of $2,600 for every decile of skill. Our more detailed empirical work shows that skills predict higher earnings even after controlling for math test scores on the ACT and SAT, as well as other student characteristics like family income.

Cal Tech graduates list the highest-value skills (e.g., Matlab, Python, C++, algorithms, and machine learning) and typically earn $126,000 at mid-career. Other four-year schools with high-value skills and high salaries include Harvey Mudd, MIT, the Polytechnic Institute of New York University, and the Air Force Academy.

Earnings data from two-year colleges are not as widely available, and the correlation with alumni skills is weaker, but alumni from those schools also seem to benefit from higher skills training. Top schools include the Pittsburg Institute of Aeronautics, Spartan College of Aeronautics and Technology (Tulsa, Okla.), Coleman University (San Diego), Hondros College (Columbus, Ohio), and SUNY College of Technology at Alfred.

Scatter 1Salary on Skills

Alumni with more valuable skills have higher loan repayment rates

As an alternative to mid-career earnings, we also analyzed how skills predict the ability to make student loan payments immediately after graduation. Here too, more valuable skills translate into labor market success. For example, not a single Harvey Mudd attendee between 2009 and 2011 defaulted on his or her federal loans within three years of leaving. Repayment rates average 95 percent for four-year colleges in the top 10 percent for alumni skills but 87 percent for those in the bottom 10 percent. For two-year colleges, repayment rates are uniformly lower, but colleges offering higher-value skills still have significantly higher repayment rates than those that do not.

Scatter 2Loan Repayment on Skills

Alumni with more valuable skills are more likely to work for top organizations

Another outcome measure is whether alumni work for a desirable company or organization. LinkedIn lists the 25 enterprises that employ the most alumni from each school. To quantify the value of working for a given entity, employers were coded for desirability with data from a 2014 survey of 46,000 U.S. college students in 329 universities , developed by Universum, a corporate marketing intelligence company. A total of 212 employers, including government agencies, made it onto a top 100 list for at least one group of student majors. The most desirable employers across majors were Google, Disney, Apple, Microsoft, the FBI, Nike, NASA, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Peace Corps, and Facebook.

For the top 10 percent of four-year colleges on alumni skills, half of LinkedIn alumni profiles indicate employment at one of the 212 top-rated companies, compared to just one in four for schools in the bottom 10 percent. For two-year schools, nearly two in five alumni (37 percent) of top-tier schools by skill worked for a top company, versus one in five alumni (21 percent) of bottom-tier schools.

For placement at Google specifically, Harvey Mudd has the highest rate—2 percent of all alumni—followed by Stanford, Carnegie Mellon, Caltech, and MIT. Almost all of the colleges with the highest placement rates at Google are in the top 20 percent of alumni skills, including liberal arts colleges like Swarthmore, Pomona, Claremont, McKenna, and Williams.

Scatter 3Share Working for Top Company on Skills

Alumni with more valuable skills are more likely to work for innovative organizations

Workers who contribute to the creation and development of new, valuable products can lift the living standards of people around the world. Companies that patent are more likely to be creating these sorts of advanced industry products, and 843 entities, including universities and government agencies, own at least 40 patents granted by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in 2014 .

Four-colleges that graduate alumni in the top 10 percent by skill are twice as likely to have graduates working at a top patenting organization than are colleges in the bottom 10 percent (3.3 versus 1.6 percent). Likewise, graduates from two-year colleges are about twice as likely to be working for a patenting entity if their school is in the top 10 percent compared to the bottom (1.9 versus 0.9 percent).

Schools with high placement rates at patenting entities include those listed above, as well as less the U.S. Naval Academy, Lawrence Technological University, the Stevens Institute of Technology, Santa Clara University, Brazosport College, Mount Mercy University, University of Texas-Dallas, the Missouri University of Science and Technology, and San Jose State University.

Scatter 4Share of Alumni Working for Patenting Company on Skills

How to judge colleges

Earnings and other economic outcomes should not be equated with social value, and there are plenty of jobs and professions—child care, teaching, social work—that pay modestly but are nevertheless highly valuable to society. Colleges that specialize in this training or instill even moderately valuable skills in the least academically prepared students may be socially important institutions even if their alumni frequently are less affluent.

Nonetheless, earnings clearly matter privately and socially, as does work that supports innovation and highly productive advanced industries. Many colleges offer programs of study in fields that appear to have almost no market value—nor even any social value since the knowledge acquired is never put to use, at least through paid employment. In this sense, how well colleges instill highly valuable skills and prepare students to contribute productively to the economy should be an important consideration when evaluating schools. Colleges that do this for the students least likely to otherwise succeed are offering an even more beneficial service, as we have discussed in our value-added college research .

Correction: A previous version of this post showed graphs which reversed the label on 2- and 4-year colleges. The graphs have been corrected.

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The Importance of Life Skills-Based Education & Why Schools Should Teach Life Skills

what is important skills or education

In an ever-growing technology and data driven world, much of the focus in education has understandably taken a shift toward STEM-based (science, technology, engineering, and math) initiatives that will prepare students for the coursework and careers of the future . But life skills—how well equipped students are to make good decisions and solve problems in their academic and professional careers as well as their personal lives—should also play a critical role in a well-rounded and comprehensive education.

What Is Life Skills-Based Education?

Think of life skills as the building blocks or framework that allow students to apply the knowledge they acquire in school to real world problems and situations. Also referred to as “ soft skills ” in a professional context, the ability to think abstractly and approach problems from multiple angles to find practical solutions, and the skill to communicate clearly and effectively are just as important as technical knowledge in a particular field or academic subject.

According to Macmillan Education , “In a constantly changing environment, having life skills is an essential part of being able to meet the challenges of everyday life. The dramatic changes in global economies over the past five years have been matched with the transformation in technology and these are all impacting on education, the workplace, and our home life.”

But life skills go well beyond choosing a major in college or impressing a potential employer in the future. Life skills provide children with important tools for development, such as independent thinking, how to socialize and make new friends, and how to take action in situations where their parents or teachers may not be around to help or intervene ( dealing with a bully or personal insecurities and fears, for example.) Unlike motor skills and basic intelligence, executive function and decision-making skills are not innate but learned .

Examples of life skills include :

  • Self reflection
  • Critical thinking
  • Problem solving
  • Interpersonal skills

The Benefits of Teaching Life Skills at a Young Age

Building life skills is essentially an exercise in helping children develop sound judgment and good habits for long-term stability, wellness, and success.

How to Promote Life Skills for Young Students

Parents can take an active role in teaching life-skills at home with projects that provide real world examples and lessons in decision making and problem solving. They can be as simple as assigning household chores and budgeting exercises through an allowance, to caring for a pet or volunteering in the community.

Fun and simple-to-organize activities, like game nights (or afternoons) with family and friends with an educational focus that also encourage working in teams, can help to build social and interpersonal skills.

Everyday Survival Skills

In addition to brushing their own teeth and learning how to tie their shoes and get dressed, young children should know what to do in common situations as well as emergencies , such as:

  • How to get to and from home and school
  • Who to call in an emergency (memorize phone numbers)
  • How to safely cross the street
  • What to do if they are bullied or witness bullying
  • How to safely use kitchen appliances and prepare basic meals
  • How to do the laundry

The Importance of Books and Reading

The benefits of reading to young children and fostering a reading habit early in a child’s life are hard to overstate. From building and strengthening vocabulary and language skills to aiding with creative thinking, reading is one of the easiest and best activities available to teach children a range of new skills. Some of the many benefits of reading include:

  • Builds self-regulation (also known as executive function)
  • Teaches empathy
  • Improves concentration
  • Exposes children to diversity and differing perspectives and situations than their own

The acquisition of problem-solving and reasoning abilities is a fluid and ongoing process, and working with children early in their development to lay the framework with examples that they can understand and apply on their own is a good place to start.

If you would like your child’s education to include more life skills, consider enrolling them in a public school at home via online learning . As your child’s Learning Coach you can ensure a well-rounded education that you can supplement with plenty of real world skills!

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what is important skills or education

what is important skills or education

What is a skill? Types of skills and how to develop them

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what is important skills or education

Skill often takes center stage for employers. However, the term often seems to have different meanings or appears to refer to different attributes.  

To find a succinct definition of skill , we need to contrast it with knowledge. Knowledge represents theoretical information and facts, and skills involve using that knowledge to take action in the real world. In other words, skills enable you to perform tasks and solve problems effectively. Employers value specific skill sets that include both technical abilities as well as personal traits that ensure success in the workplace.  

It’s important to understand the various types of skills and know how to develop technical (hard) skills and personal (soft) skills. Here is an in-depth look at different skill types and ways to effectively develop them.  

Skills vs. talents vs. abilities 

In addition to the distinction between skills and knowledge, it’s also essential to understand the difference between skills, talent and ability. 

Talents are innate or naturally developed abilities. You are either born with them or develop them naturally without focused skill development efforts. On the other hand, ability is a broader term. It can refer to skills you develop through training and practice or innate talent that you have or develop naturally.  

Jobs require specific abilities. Employers may not be aware whether these abilities are learned skills or natural talents. If you have a natural aptitude in a certain area, you may be able to develop skills in it more quickly than others. However, most jobs require training to improve performance or help employees prepare for new opportunities. 

Imagine you want to become a professional chef. You have a natural talent for combining flavors to make delicious food. You have developed this talent naturally just by cooking for yourself at home. However, making a few dishes well is not enough to succeed as a professional chef. You need formal training to add skills. These might include food preparation techniques, menu planning skills and the ability to manage other kitchen staff.  

Most careers require some level of skill development to turn natural talent into professional success.  

The two types of skills taxonomy

You can break down skills in different ways. One of the most popular distinctions in the workplace is between hard skills and soft skills. These terms cover both technical skills and personal traits.  

Every career requires both hard and soft skills. It is important to understand how to identify and develop both types of ability.  

Hard skills  

Hard skills are also known as technical skills or job-specific skills. They are teachable, and you can prove your abilities with an exam or demonstration. 

Assessing hard skills is not a subjective process. You can either perform a task successfully, or you cannot. An example of a hard skill would be the ability to use a computer language to create a mobile app.  

In most cases, hard skills require training. For instance, you can have talent in math, but you need to study to learn the techniques and processes necessary to become an accountant.  

Here are five examples of hard skills. 

  • Creating a computer program using a specific language 
  • Operating a computer numerical control machine in a factory 
  • Repairing an automobile in an auto repair garage 
  • Building a mathematical model to make a sales forecast 
  • Estimating the cost of a construction project using measurements and materials prices 

In all these examples, you need to follow a specific set of steps to complete the job. Even for people with specific talents, training is necessary to gain this technical knowledge.  

Soft skills 

Soft skills are personal attributes that you use in the workplace. These abilities are necessary for workplace interactions, and they support the use of hard skills.  

Common soft skills include communication, leadership and relationship building. These abilities are harder to quantify than hard skills, but they’re essential for building partnerships and managing or collaborating with other professionals.  

Here are some examples of soft skills commonly required in the workplace:  

  • Communicating effectively with peers to collaborate on a project 
  • Adapting to new requirements on a project 
  • Delegating tasks to other employees and explaining the requirements for completion 
  • Solving problems with available resources 
  • Building relationships with suppliers to get the best prices  

Though you may learn techniques to support soft skills, you ultimately develop them through experiences in the classroom, the workplace or during other life experiences.  

what is important skills or education

The three types of acquired skills 

There are other ways to categorize skills. Hard and soft skills focus on the nature and application of skills. However, other distinctions are more focused on acquiring skills. As you prepare for a career, you will want to define skills by the way you obtain them.  

Students, those preparing for a career, and employees seeking career advancement can break skills down into personal traits, transferable skills and knowledge-based abilities. With these categories, you can find the best ways to develop or obtain each ability needed for a career.  

Transferable skills 

Transferable skills, also known as universal skills, are abilities you can apply across different job roles and industries. While hard and soft skills are often specific to certain job functions, transferable skills transcend job boundaries.  

Here are five examples of transferable skills:  

  • Communication skills enhance collaboration and problem-solving in any role. 
  • Leadership skills are valuable in various contexts, from leading a small team to making company-wide policies. 
  • Problem-solving skills are valuable in any position, and they can help prepare you for opportunities within a company. 
  • Adaptability allows you to change approaches and incorporate new concepts quickly. This skill is valuable in any industry that experiences changes.  
  • Time management is essential for productivity and is valuable in any position where you have to operate under deadline pressures. 

As you may have noticed, most transferable skills are soft skills.  

Personal traits and attitudes 

Personal traits and attitudes refer to an individual’s inherent characteristics and the way they affect actions and interactions. These traits impact how you approach tasks, challenges and relationships. 

Here are some examples.  

  • Optimism leads to a positive outlook in most circumstances. It can help with resilience in the face of setbacks and give you the ability to inspire others. 
  • Conscientiousness leads to attention to detail, organization and a strong work ethic. It inspires you to take responsibility for completing tasks effectively.  
  • Empathy gives you the heightened ability to understand and connect with others. It allows you to develop positive working relationships with other employees.  
  • Open-mindedness encourages flexibility, creativity and a willingness to consider diverse perspectives. 
  • Resilience reflects one’s capacity to bounce back from setbacks, learn from failures and maintain a positive attitude in the face of adversity. 

Knowledge-based skills 

Knowledge-based skills develop through education, training or experience. These abilities come from your understanding of a particular field or specific techniques for completing tasks.  

Here are examples of knowledge-based skills.  

  • Google Ads requires an understanding of marketing principles, including target audience identification, campaign objectives and budget allocation. 
  • DEIB labor law  requires an understanding of employment laws and regulations related to diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging (DEIB). This includes knowledge of federal, state, and local laws, as well as the ability to interpret and apply these laws to specific situations. 
  • Scrum product ownership requires a thorough understanding of Scrum principles, values and practices. 
  • Search engine optimization (SEO) requires an understanding of how search engines work, how to optimize websites and how to create high-quality content that will attract and engage visitors.  

How to develop skills 

Developing skills is a continuous process necessary for your professional growth. Company managers can facilitate this growth to ensure employees have the skills to excel at work and further their careers.  

Companies can conduct a skills gap analysis to decide what type of programs to offer to employees. 

Here are options for developing skills inside and outside of the workplace:

  • On-the-job training pairs employees with mentors — such as through the SBA’s Mentor-Protégé program — or experienced colleagues who can teach specific skills during regular work operations. This approach allows you to learn skills and apply them immediately in a practical setting.  
  • Formal education can also help develop skills. This could include degree programs, but you can also consider professional development courses, certificate programs and micro-credentials.  
  • Continuous feedback and assessment allow employees to acknowledge their strengths and identify areas where skill improvement is needed. Regular performance reviews can help focus professional development efforts and assess the effectiveness of these efforts.  
  • Self-directed learning helps employees with independent skills development. The company can provide access to resources, such as online courses or educational materials. These allow employees to choose the skills they want to learn and the ability to pursue professional growth without cost barriers.  
  • Upskilling initiatives can help employees grow professionally. These initiatives may include cross-training, exposure to new tools and technologies and opportunities to attend conferences or workshops related to trends or techniques. 

Professional development programs can also be implemented to provide employees with opportunities to acquire new skills. These opportunities often consist of workshops, courses and seminars inside the office or at industry conferences or training centers. 

These skills development options allow companies to take full advantage of their employees’ existing abilities while training them in new areas. 

The importance of upskilling 

Upskilling initiatives provide employees with the opportunities to enhance their careers and adapt to new trends and techniques in their field. In most companies, workers have developed a variety of soft and hard skills. Upskilling allows companies to continue taking advantage of these abilities while adding new ones.  

what is important skills or education

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What is Life Skills Education & why it is Important?

Life Skills Education

The development of a child can be made possible by keeping all aspects of their personality in mind. This is the reason why Life Skill Education plays an important part in everyone’s life. In life skills education , the overall personality of a child is taken into consideration. It gives strength to handle any kind of situation and gives the courage to face struggle to achieve any target. By adding life skills for students to the school curriculum, better results can be achieved.

Here is the explanation of what is a life skill.

A life skill is used to describe basic skills acquired through learning or knowledge. Also, the daily routine can be said to be a life skill. Life skills also can include the ability of your emotions, finances, school performance, health, etc. If you are practicing life skills, so can improve a child’s esteem, social competence, and confidence. You are increasing the life skills in your life.

Now, the exact life skills meaning is when the group of psychosocial competencies and interpersonal skills that help people make decisions, build healthy, solve problems, communicate effectively, and think critically and creatively. Maybe life skills are directed towards personal actions or actions towards others.

 Hence, the representation of what is a life skill. And life skills meaning.

Table of Contents

What are Life Skills?

There are many definitions to understand what life skills are.

A person needs a set of social features and personal capabilities to interact with themselves and other people in and around their environment and make a decision that requires high ability, also to find solutions to various kinds of problems.

Moreover, the skills required to deal positively with any condition to get the desired outcome is called life skills. Life skills can be developed through encouragement to adapt to society and promote positivity in personal behaviors and adopt a positive perspective toward work.

What is Life Skill Education Meaning?

Life skills education is one such type of skill. Under this, the child develops the ability to discharge his life appropriately and to organize the activities related to life in a systematic manner. It is a type of education in which skills are developed to make the child efficient in such a way that he can make decisions in odd situations by his ability and intelligence.

At the same time, such miseries have to be developed in human life. So that he can become a skilled citizen.

Importance of Life Skills Education

If we want to live life successfully, then we need to understand the importance of life skills. And it is also very important to implement it in our life. If this happens then our life can move in a simple and right direction. Life skills make us competent to know how to make our life easy and simple, how to create a positive life, and how life can be spent in the right way. Therefore, life skills are very important in our life.

It polishes the ability to adapt to all kinds of circumstances and succeed in every aspect of society. Lack of life skills in the lives of new generations needs to be taken care of as it is important in life. Due to the absence of life skills, not only personal lives but professional lives and careers get affected.

By educating life skills, students can develop self-confidence in them. It makes them cooperative and communicative. It prepares them to take quick action in any unfavorable circumstances.

Types of Life Skills

There are two types of life skills that need to be taught to students. The first one is General Life Skills and the other is High-Level skills. And under these skills comes a variety of skills which are the following.

General skills

Confidence skills.

Decision-making skills.

Stress alleviation skills.

Adjustment skills in adversity.

Self-awareness skills.

The skill of negative tendency towards wrongdoing.

Positive behavior.

Critical Thinking.

Society’s skills towards each other.

High-level skills

The following skills are covered under High-Level Skills.

Excellent warmth and high mental level.

Way of thinking.

Mental and physical relaxation.

Goal Setting and Problem Solving.


Social support.

Standard of living with health.

Aims of Development of Life Skills

Following are the objectives for the development of life skills.

The purpose of social development.

Development of experimental knowledge.

The purpose of the development of adjustment power.

The objective of develops life values.

The objective of mental development.

Of all-round development

Who Created the Basic Life Skills Curriculum?

The curriculum for life skills education in schools was created by UNICEF in close collaboration with the Ministry of Youth and Sport of Azerbaijan to give youth new knowledge and a valuable chance to apply novel skills in a protected environment for the effective transition to adulthood.

What Are Basic Life Skills Education For?

Youthful generations foster perspectives and convictions positively so that they contribute to Azerbaijani society and make progress as they transition to adulthood and the work world.

Target Audience

The life skills lesson bundle is intended to apply to the youthful generation aged 10 to 24 years of age who come to Youth Houses aiming to create a healthy condition to support and promote the advancement of youth initiatives.

Anticipated result

Through life skills for students, youthful generations are outfitted with foundational skills essential for transitioning to useful adulthood; overseeing stress; learning to deal with difficult emotions; practicing positivism; improving confidence; feeling sympathy; learning to listen to others carefully; and learning to set personal limits.

Moreover, they learn to handle disputes well; find a balance between needs also, requests; impart confidently; put forth objectives; make decisions; solve problems; think basically and imaginatively; utilize chief functional skills; and learn to return from difficulty.

Imparting ‘Life Skills Education’ In the Classroom

Classroom discussions.

An activity provides amazing open doors for students to learn and work on turning to one another in solving problems. Empower students to develop their understanding of the topic and personalize their connection to it. Creates skills, in listening, decisiveness, and sympathy.


It permits students to produce ideas rapidly and spontaneously. Assists students with using their imagination furthermore, thinking out of the container. Great discussion starter because the class can imaginatively create ideas. It is fundamental to assess the upsides and downsides of each idea or rank ideas according to certain standards.

Along with being a fun activity and involving the entire class, to be active and participative, it also gives a fantastic strategy for practicing skills; experiencing how one could handle a likely situation in real life; increasing sympathy for others and their point of view, and increasing insight into their feelings.

Groups are useful when the time is restricted as it boosts student input. Permits student interactions, and permits them to, know, one another better which in a way improves group building and cooperation.

Educational Games and Simulations

They advance fun, active learning, and rich discussion as members work hard to make their statements or procure points. They require the combined utilization of knowledge, perspectives, and skills and permit students to test out assumptions and capacities in a somewhat protected environment.

Analysis of Situation and Case Studies

It allows an opportunity, to examine, and investigate, challenges, and problems and securely test solutions; providing open doors for working together in groups, sharing ideas, and new learnings and giving insight furthermore, elevates sometimes us to see things differently.

Case studies resemble strong impetuses for thought and discussion. Engaging in this thinking system; students improve their own, decisive thinking, and decision-making skills. It also gives a chance to confront risks or any challenges and find ways of coping with them.

Progress of Basic Life Skills Curriculum for Youth

Because of effective testing through the two pilot Youth Houses – in Baku-Binagadi and Mingachevir, the UNICEF-created Basic Life Skills program was extended to one more Youth House supported by the Ministry of Youth and Sports, as well as three Career Places supported by the Youth Foundation.

In equal, negotiations are held with the Ministry of Education concerning the conceivable inclusion of the BLS program into the formal education curriculum.


An important and legitimate implementation of life skill education is a need of 60 minutes, for today’s society.

Imparting life skills education to the students can be useful as it specifically addresses the needs of children, and helps in motivating, and providing practical, mental, emotional, social and self-management skills for life changes.

Yadav P and Iqbal N (2009) showed positive aftereffects of imparting life skills education to students and bringing change in young adults’ mentality, thought and conduct by providing a supportive environment for them.

According to Errecart et al., (1991) and Caplan et al., (1992), life skills education ends up being a successful methodology in essential prevention education, as it is more interactive, utilizes a problem problem-solving approach and is exercise-based.

Hence, the teacher and the educated are both involved in learning and fun too.

All in all, life skills education has been viewed as a compelling psychosocial intervention strategy for promoting positive social, and psychological wellness of youths which plays a significant role in all perspectives like strengthening coping techniques and developing fearlessness and emotional intelligence, as well as enhancing decisive thinking, problem-solving and decision-making skills as have been proven and factual in the aforementioned studies.

Thus, there is, significance and significance for life skills education to integrate into the standard school curriculum by a life skills trainer/teacher/guide to improve the psychological wellness of students, outfit them with better-adjusted skills to confront the challenges of changing life situations and enable them to turn out to be completely functioning contributors to the host society and the world overall.

In the illumination of the above discussion, it very well may be concluded, that, Life skill education has its significance and significance in by and large advancement of students. Our findings are in common with the findings of Botvin, et al., (1998), Nair. M.K.C, (2005) some more, suggesting life skill education programs as a decent supportive system for young people.

Future Implications

Although considerable progress has been made in the previous ten years and the current study too, life skills education is a powerful method of education, which upgrades social, emotional and thinking skills, and helps 21st-century youths accomplish their objectives.

It does so by strengthening their capacities to meet the needs and requests of the current society and find true success in life, but even more exact research is crucial for future researchers, academicians and professionals in the connected field to demonstrate hearty findings.

Essential Life Skills Everyone Should Learn

Developing life skills is important and every life skill has its importance to apply in life. Following are life skills:

Self-Awareness Skills

By developing the Self-awareness skill, one can be aware of his/her doings. They will be aware of their own performance and their behaviors which will make them competent to handle any situation. A person will get to know his feelings for things or towards other people. It also helps them to make sound decisions.

Empathy and Sympathy Skills

With Empathy, a person will be able to understand other people’s perceptions, feelings, and circumstances any person is in. It simply puts them in someone’s place to understand their actual emotions. It helps them to react accordingly.

With sympathy, a person will be able to show appreciation and compassion towards other people and their emotional reactions.

Problem-Solving Skills

The life skill of problem-solving makes an individual trace a problem, suggest options to solutions, evaluate the solutions to pick the best solution, and then apply the solution to the problem within the time limit. It is one of the most important life skills to practice in life on an everyday basis.

Decision-Making Skills

Every now and then, an individual has to face times when they have to make a decision that can affect their life. With decision-making skills, a person develops the skill to make the right and appropriate decision and pass it on. Decision-making enables them to take decisions in any hard and fast situation.

Thinking Skills

Developing thinking skill is very important as it is the mental activity by which an individual can process information, use experiences, make relationships, finalize solutions to problems, pass on decisions, ask questions, and suggest new ideas.

Thinking skills are of four types:

Analytical Thinking Skills: It is a visual thinking skill that makes an individual competent to break complex problems into manageable components to solve them effectively.

Divergent Thinking Skills: With Divergent thinking skills, one can generate creative ideas after working on or exploring many possible solutions. It is spontaneous and free-flow thinking.

Creative Thinking Skills: Creative thinking skill helps a person to create something new. It also allows their brain to explore things and look at things in creative ways to suggest creative solutions. Creative thinking is infused with imagination, and it does not involve logical reasoning.

Critical Thinking Skills: Critical thinking skill is the opposite of creative thinking skill. It is the ability to make a difference between fake truth and real truth, judgment, and opinion. It prepares a person to think rationally and prepare to build trust in right and avoid wrong.

Communication skills

Without proper communication, you cannot express and make people understand your thinking and it can be made possible by developing communication skills. It helps them to convey to people in a very convincing and clear way. It develops confidence in people as well and good communication skills help them in the professional environment too.

Interpersonal Skills

Interpersonal skills are basically interaction skills and social skills. This skill prepares an individual to communicate socially in person or in a group. These skills have traits such as self-confidence, critical thinking, communication skills, active listening, leadership, etc. To develop interpersonal skills, one needs to start their day with an optimistic approach towards the day.

Accepting Criticism Skill

Accepting criticism is not easy but by developing this particular skill, one will be able to be open to constructive criticism and improve themselves according to that criticism. An individual should keep their emotional side and accept the truth to work on it.

Students have to understand that not only studies will give them success, but they will also have to develop their skills.

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Working in the education sector can be a difficult task because you are dealing with a demographic that is not on the same maturity scale as you. As a result, you might find trying to get students to do their work more challenging than working with adults. Consequently, some educators prefer to work in a different sector as poor pay does not reap the benefits of being an educator.

However, many persevere and want to educate the next generation as they find this role fulfilling and more personal than working in an office. Teaching does have its challenges, but what job in this world doesn’t have challenges?

If you are looking to work in education, whether that be a career change or a career path you want to take, then the skills can be very similar to the ones you have now. So, what soft skills do you need to have to work in education?

1. Communication

This is key. Making sure you communicate what you want from your students is integral to how they will respond to your teaching. If you are unable to communicate clearly and effectively then students will turn off, meaning they will be less responsive to your teaching.

This is also the same when dealing with colleagues. Working in an educational setting means that you will have to deal with people at a similar level to you and it is vital that you communicate well with each other so that the needs of the students are met.

2. Teamwork

This leads to teamwork. If you are unable to work well with your colleagues, you will be fighting an uphill battle when trying to work in the education sector.

Not only should you be able to focus on teamwork with your colleagues, but you should also look to teamwork with the students. It is a two-way street and one that can be made harder if you lead a fully authoritative line. If you work with a student, you will see much better results from them.

3. Work ethic

Working in education, as stated, can be tough yet rewarding. You have to be focused all the time you are there and have to work hard to get results out of students. Not every student is the same , and it could require a different approach that could be out of your comfort zone, but applying that extra work could be exactly what you need to get what you want out of a student.

4. Leadership

Students and colleagues will look to you for guidance if you are specialised in a certain area or are a more experienced educator. It is your job to use those leadership skills and guide people along the way on their education journey or help them in terms of how to educate a certain student.

5. Adaptability

Sometimes in education, it is not plain sailing and you will have to reassess a certain situation. Some students respond to different teaching methods and, as an educator, you need to have all of them up your sleeve.

That adaptability will help you become the best educator you can be, and students will be more responsive if they can see you trying to teach them in different ways.

According to the site tradingforexsites , companies that are associated with trading are finding that many educators are using the site. Companies like eToro or FXTM have found that educators are able to transfer their adaptability skills from the classroom into the trading world with ease and great effect.

6. Decision Making

Working in education means that you have to be quick and decisive with your decisions. Faltering over decisions can lead to many problems for students if you are unsure how you want a lesson to go, how you want a student to work or what you expect of a student during a lesson.

Decision-making is needed every single day with education settings often throwing up a different scenario or story each and every day. No day is ever the same in education, so it is important to make effective decisions.

7. Motivated

As stated, working in education can throw up so challenges. It can be hard for example when a student is not responding to how you are teaching so you have to use all the motivation skills you have to keep persevering with a student.

Motivating others can be hard but, when you are working with a student and you can see the progress they are making, the rewards are incredible.

8. Conflict resolution

You are certainly going to have conflict when it comes to students, no matter what age they are! Figuring out what the best resolution is for students in a fair and unbiased way is important to becoming a respected educator to students.

Knowing the techniques of conflict resolution and remaining impartial when an issue arises between two students is certainly important day to day in an education setting.

9. Rapport building

Just as resolving conflicts is important when building a relationship with students, if you are able to also build some rapport you will find educating a lot easier than if you did not. Learn to know what your students like, and dislike, and how they will respond to how you interact with them.

Building rapport with fellow colleagues is also important because knowing how a colleague works and what their likes and dislikes are can help you in the long run when you need to interact with them in the future.

10. Friendliness

The main thing students like about an educator is that they are friendly. Students will more likely seek out an educator who is friendly and want help from a teacher who is friendly.

By being friendly , you will get better results, a stronger work ethic from a student, and you will be able to support them with less resistance.

Friendliness also extends to colleagues because, as we all know, if we approach someone in a polite manner, we are more than likely going to get what we want compared to if we use an abrupt tone or manner.

Further Reading from Skills You Need

The Skills You Need Guide to Interpersonal Skills eBooks.

The Skills You Need Guide to Interpersonal Skills

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Does College Matter?

Find the right college for you..

College does matter and is absolutely worth it - if you choose a program that matches your career goals, graduate on time, and avoid too much debt.

Almost every job that leads to a promising career, with good pay and benefits, requires education or training beyond high school. For most high-paying professional jobs, that means a four-year college degree.

At the same time, career training or short-term educational programs for a growing number of technical fields can pay off, too.

For many, the question is: college or trade school?

Is college worth the cost?

If you stick with your studies and graduate in a reasonable time, college is worth the cost. The vast majority of college graduates are better off financially than their peers who didn’t complete college. College degrees are still in high demand from employers, and completing college is a strong sign that you’re ready for high-skilled work.

The key is finding a school where you’re likely to graduate and finish with low or modest debt. The national average is about $29,400 , which most graduates are able to pay off because their degree helped them earn a well-paying job. You can find detailed information about college graduation rates, the real cost of college over time, and how potential earnings vary by career field at And you can give yourself the opportunity to save time and money toward a degree while you’re in high school by scoring a 3 or higher on an AP Exam to earn college credit .

Students can get into trouble when they don’t graduate, or when they take on significant debt before they’re able to finish. Many college students don’t graduate on time, which makes a degree more expensive. Or they don’t finish at all, which means they don’t get the benefit of higher earnings.

Finishing college is the single most important thing you can do to make it affordable. Students who leave college without graduating are the most likely to have trouble with debt and future employment. As many as 4 in 10 students who start a 4-year degree program don’t finish in 6 years. Colleges with more resources, like generous financial aid funding, good counselors, and mentoring programs, typically have a better track record of graduating their students on time and with low debt.

What about career or technical training?

There are valuable training and credential options available, but there are also a lot of expensive programs that don’t add much to your résumé. It’s important to know what kind of training is most valuable for your planned career field.

Specific training programs in fields like construction, manufacturing, and healthcare can lead to immediate job opportunities and above-average pay. Job training credentials offered by community colleges, often in partnership with local employers, are some of the highest-rated programs.

Some larger tech companies like IBM, Google, and Apple will accept proof of specific coding or data analytics skills for entry-level jobs. However, they still normally require college degrees for higher-level positions.

Building a long-term career—taking on more responsibility, managing other people, earning more money—is often easier for those with both a college degree and industry-specific credentials. Employers usually see a college degree as meaning you have a set of flexible skills, like critical thinking and communication. Industry-specific credentials are a sign that you have hard skills like coding or database management.

Together, they make a stronger case that you’re ready for skilled work than either alone. Unless you have a very clear sense of your dream job and its required training programs, it’s generally better to pursue both college and industry credentials.

Should I go to college?

Thinking clearly about your goals and college options can help you make the right choice. Feeling confident about your next step after high school, whether that’s college or a high-value career path, will set you up for success.

Many variables affect your life and career, and it’s impossible to plan and predict all of them. It’s most important to find a field that genuinely interests you, then get all the valuable education and training you can in that field. Here are some tips on how to be successful after high school:

  • Take classes in college or through a training program.
  • Pursue internships with companies or organizations that can give you experience in your chosen field.
  • Cultivate mentors who have built careers that interest you and ask how they did it.

You’re much more likely to complete a worthwhile degree or training program if you’re working toward a life and a job you’ll love. Focus on the future you want and be open to different options for getting there.

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What Type of Leadership Development Is Right for You?

Leader addresses team in meeting with whiteboard

  • 04 Apr 2024

Think of leaders you admire. What qualities do they embody? What abilities do they have? Even if it seems like leadership comes naturally to them, they had to learn, build, and hone their skills.

“Leadership is sometimes misunderstood as a mystical quality that some people embody and others don’t,” says Harvard Business School Professor Joshua Margolis in the online course Leadership Principles .

The truth is: Anyone can learn how to become an effective leader. The process of gaining and practicing leadership skills is called leadership development , and it’s beneficial for new and seasoned leaders alike.

Access your free e-book today.

Why Is Leadership Development Important?

Whether you’re about to make the jump from individual contributor to leader or have years of experience and want to sharpen or update your skills, there’s a leadership development option for you. In addition to gaining new skills, taking a development program can signal to your employer that you’re serious about your leadership journey.

If you’re an experienced leader, it can show that you’re willing to grow and adapt to the ever-changing business world. If you aim to advance into a leadership role, it can indicate that you have the skills and drive to do so.

Related: 5 Ways to Demonstrate Your Leadership Potential in the Workplace

Whereas individual contributor roles require specific technical skills, leadership requires more “soft skills” and emotional intelligence. That’s what drove Riya Dashoriya , who works at global learning platform Quizlet, to pursue a Certificate of Specialization in Leadership and Management , which she earned by completing three HBS Online leadership and management courses .

“I was having a hard time trying to convince leadership at my company why I deserved to be an engineering manager so early in my career,” Dashoriya said. “Earning a Certificate of Specialization in Leadership and Management helped me boost my skill set and build the confidence to ask for a promotion.”

Furthering her education paid off for Dashoriya.

“I'm now an engineering manager and get to apply what I learned in my daily life,” she said. “All three courses help me from time to time.”

Dashoriya isn’t alone. In one City Square Associates survey of HBS Online learners, 31 percent reported earning a promotion after taking a course. In another , 90 percent said they feel more self-assured at work, and 84 percent have more confidence making business decisions.

It’s evident that taking a leadership development program can help you increase your confidence, earn a promotion, and gain new skills. But how should you go about selecting one ? Here’s a breakdown of factors and three types of programs to consider.

Factors to Consider When Planning Your Leadership Development

It’s crucial to determine what you want and need from your leadership development program before researching options.

Factors to consider include your:

  • Existing skills: What leadership skills do you already possess?
  • Goals: What do you want to get from a leadership development course? What skills do you need to reach your goals?
  • Schedule and time commitment: How much time can you dedicate to your program per week? How long would you prefer its duration to be?
  • Budget and program cost: What’s your budget, and how much are you willing to pay? Explore whether your employer can help fund your professional development .
  • Credential or certificate: What will you earn ? Decide whether you want a certificate, a credential, or a more specialized option.

Related: How to Choose the Right Online Certificate Program for You

Types of Leadership Development: Finding the Best Fit

Once you’ve taken stock of your goals, skills, and logistical requirements, it’s time to research programs. In terms of topics, there are three types: those that teach foundational skills, those that teach specialized skills, and those that teach both.

Foundational Skills

Those that teach foundational leadership skills are ideal if you’re an aspiring or a new leader who wants a shorter-duration program. They offer guidance on adopting a managerial mindset, developing your leadership style , making difficult decisions, and influencing others.

HBS Online offers several certificate courses—running between six and eight weeks—that fall into this category:

  • Leadership Principles , taught by HBS professors Joshua Margolis and Tony Mayo, helps you develop your personal leadership style and bring out the best in yourself and others.
  • Management Essentials , taught by HBS professors Joseph Fuller and David Garvin, equips you with everything from perspectives on management to tools for guiding organizational change.
  • Leadership, Ethics, and Corporate Accountability , taught by HBS Professor Nien-hê Hsieh, outlines how to define and act on your responsibilities to stakeholders and lead with integrity.
  • Power and Influence for Positive Impact , taught by HBS Professor Julie Battilana, provides a framework for understanding power and using it to positively impact others, your organization, and society at large.

Specialized Skills

If you already have a solid leadership foundation, a development program focused on more specialized leadership skills could be the right fit.

Courses in this category teach more granular skills, including honing in on specific steps of the strategic process, leading change at scale , and being a more effective leader . They can also focus on topics surrounding leadership’s future, such as digital transformation and artificial intelligence.

Listen to HBS Professor Linda Hill discuss leading change and the paradoxes of management on The Parlor Room podcast below, or watch it on YouTube .

HBS Online offers several certificate courses—running between seven and eight weeks—that fit this description:

  • Organizational Leadership , also taught by Margolis and Mayo, prepares you to elevate your leadership style to apply it to larger teams and scale up your influence and organizational alignment.
  • Strategy Execution , taught by HBS Professor Robert Simons, zeroes in on the strategy process’s final step and helps you overcome execution challenges , manage risk, and measure strategies’ success.
  • Negotiation Mastery , taught by HBS Professor Michael Wheeler, equips you with the skills to analyze negotiation dynamics, de-escalate conflict, and maximize value in agreements .

Comprehensive Program

If you aim to build both foundational and specialized skills, research leadership development programs that encompass both.

One example is HBS Online’s Credential of Leadership, Impact, and Management in Business (CLIMB) . Comprising seven courses, this yearlong program culminates in a capstone project to apply your learning.

CLIMB offers two learning paths—New and Experienced Leaders—to cater to where you are in your career, with courses including:

  • Dynamic Teaming , taught by HBS Professor and CLIMB Faculty Chair Amy Edmondson
  • Leading in the Digital World , taught by HBS Professor Linda Hill
  • Personal Branding , taught by HBS Senior Lecturer Jill Avery
  • Leadership Principles (New Leaders) or Organizational Leadership (Experienced Leaders), both taught by HBS professors Joshua Margolis and Tony Mayo
  • Business Strategy , taught by HBS Professor Felix Oberholzer-Gee (New Leaders), or Strategy Execution , taught by HBS Professor Robert Simons (Experienced Leaders)
  • Finance elective of your choice: Leading with Finance , taught by HBS Professor Mihir Desai, or Financial Accounting , taught by HBS Professor and HBS Online and Executive Education Senior Associate Dean V.G. Narayanan
  • Open elective of your choice from HBS Online’s course catalog

CLIMB pairs foundational (leadership, strategy, and finance) with cutting-edge (dynamic teaming, leading in the digital world, and personal branding) topics to create a leadership development experience that prepares you to excel now and in the future.

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Level Up Your Leadership Skills

Determining what you want and need from your leadership development program can set you up to select an offering that helps you reach your goals.

As you progress through your career, explore how to expand, hone, and refresh your skill set—because a strong leader never stops learning.

Are you interested in building foundational and cutting-edge leadership skills? Explore our yearlong Credential of Leadership, Impact, and Management in Business (CLIMB) program, comprising seven courses for leading in the modern business world. Download our CLIMB brochure to learn more about the curriculum, admissions requirements, and benefits.

Unsure which leadership and management program is right for you? Download our free flowchart .

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Q&A: Udemy online education exec on tech layoffs and skills needs

Online education sites are scrambling to create and link to courses in generative AI technology to meet an insatiable demand for skilled workers. Udemy's Scott Rogers details what's going on.

AI (Artificial Intelligence) concept. Deep learning. Visual contents.

With companies shifting gears when it comes to the skills they want in new hires and current employees, online education providers are quickly compiling lists of generative AI (genAI) courses to meet demand.

While there are still  more tech job openings than tech workers available  to fill them, job-seeking technologists need to tweak their industry knowledge to get hired. Internally, enterprises are upskilling and reskilling workforces to address a flurry of genAI projects, even as most are still pilots. Not surprisingly, creating, training and securing genAI is becoming  a top skill to possess .

AI and machine learning engineers, AI research assistants, data scientists, prompt engineers, are all positions key to genAI rollouts. Beyond that, skills related to organizing, cleaning, and classifying data to ensure AI models are ready for learning continue to be an important skill set in 2024.

Freelance employment platform Upwork recently released a  study of freelance worker earnings for all of 2023  and found genAI and data science and analytics skills are seeing “unprecedented” growth in importance.

Along with colleges and universities, online education providers such as  Coursera ,  edX  and  Udemy  have been rolling out new programs to meet employer needs.

Scott Rogers, senior vice president of Instructor and Content Strategy at Udemy, said his company’s online learning platform has seen an explosion of enrollments in genAI courses. This year, Udemy had more than three million genAI-related course enrollments, higher than any other curriculum.

That’s with good reason. Up to 30% of working hours in the US could be automated by 2030 with employees across various professional fields using genAI tools to complete repetitive tasks and redirect their efforts toward more strategic initiatives, according to Rogers.

The company’s  2024 Global Learning and Skills Trends Report  revealed that ChatGPT was the most consumed skill on a global scale.

Udemy just launched a  GenAI Skills Pack  aimed at providing professionals across software engineering, data science, sales, marketing, finance, and HR with dedicated learning paths so they can upskill on genAI content specific to their job duties for immediate impact.

scott rogers 2022

Scott Rogers, senior vice president of Instructor & Content Strategy at Udemy.

Udemy/Scott Rogers

Computerworld  spoke with Rogers about why tech layoffs have been increasing while job openings remain high and what employers are seeking in new hires. The following are excerpts from that interview:

A lot of tech workers laid off over the past six months have struggled to find work, regardless of what unemployment figures lead us to believe. Why is that happening?  “The job market has become increasingly competitive as  companies like Apple, Google, and IBM , which place an emphasis on technical skills and experience, are vying for talent that has kept up with the pace of industry change. The  decreasing shelf life of technical skills  and emergence of genAI has resulted in many technology professionals who are currently navigating the job market needing to further invest in continuous upskilling — not only to land their next role, but to remain competitive in the years to come. 

“Additionally, the onset of genAI is changing existing job roles and responsibilities. Up to 30% of working hours in the U.S. can be  automated by 2030  with employees across various professional fields using genAI to complete repetitive tasks and redirect their efforts toward more strategic initiatives. Professionals, regardless of role, need to navigate which tasks to automate, what new skills to cultivate, and how to enhance existing skills.” 

What skills are employers seeking for genAI enablement?  “Since ChatGPT launched in 2022, we’ve seen  massive demand for genAI content  across the Udemy platform. The first ChatGPT course was published on Udemy just 11 days after the technology launched. In 2023, we had more than 3.2 million learners enrolled across 1,700 genAI courses on the Udemy platform. Interest has grown 60% year-over-year with  ChatGPT ,  Midjourney , and  Prompt Engineering  among the most popular genAI training content.

“Overall, we’ve seen a dramatic shift over the past few months with professionals and organizations transitioning from learning about what genAI is to how they can effectively use it within their particular job function or industry.”

What roles are you seeing as the most needed?  “While highly technical roles like data scientists, machine learning engineers, AI researchers, and product managers were the first area of investment for many companies — given the deep understanding they’ll require for AI algorithms, data analysis, and model development — genAI skills are becoming a critical focus for all companies across all job functions.

“For example, we’re seeing financial services professionals focused on course content around genAI for financial modeling and analysis, while HR leaders are exploring how to leverage this technology to create better job descriptions.

“To help address this growing need, our new  GenAI Skills Pack  provides professionals across software engineering, data science, sales, marketing, finance, and HR with dedicated learning paths so they can easily skill up on genAI content specific to their job functions for immediate impact.”

How has the tech employment industry shifted from requiring computer science degrees to taking more of a skills-based approach to hiring and why?  “Companies have long regarded practical skills, experience, and industry certifications as key factors in hiring decisions. With the rise of the skills-based organization focus, more companies are putting greater emphasis on skills development and validation, being more flexible with formal degree requirements. In short, skills remain the currency in today’s workforce.

“In fact, Udemy has seen 10 million IT certification enrollments across our platform in the past 12 months, across both business and individual learners. Many of these certifications and badges validate emerging skills in the tech space such as DevOps, cloud, modern programming, and cybersecurity.”

How important are skills compared to degrees?  “A focus on skills is more important than ever, given the widening skills gaps in many organizations. An astonishing  87% of executives  say they are already facing, or expect to face, critical skills gaps within their organization by 2025. At the same time, the pace of innovation –– with the rise of genAI and other technologies –– has caused the skills required for all jobs to  increase by 10% annually , meaning that constant upskilling is required to keep up with the pace of change. 

“In the last year alone, our enterprise customer segment  grew by 27%  as we continue to help more than 15,700 global organizations — including more than 50% of the Fortune 100 — make the transition to skills-based organizations, keeping pace with change and remaining ahead of their competition.”

While genAI is expected by many to create more net new jobs than it eliminates, what kinds of jobs do you see AI creating?  “We totally agree –– genAI is transforming how we work and redefining the skills professionals and organizations need to succeed. And we firmly believe that AI can serve as a powerful tool to help increase productivity, close widening skills gaps, and create new job opportunities for workers.

“New technologies can be disruptive. For instance,  3.5 million jobs  are estimated to have been lost due to the Internet and PC revolution, but none of us would want to go back to the pre-internet days. The  World Economic Forum  estimates that while 85 million jobs will be displaced by AI, 97 million new, higher-earning jobs will be created in its place. We’ll see if this is how it plays out, or if AI simply changes that many roles, and individuals who embrace AI skills can thrive in them.

“In many ways, genAI comes as a solution to the widening skills gap, which is projected to cost businesses a whopping  $8.5 trillion over the next six years  if a course correction is not made. While it’s too soon to tell what specific jobs will be created in the wake of this new technology, it is already providing organizations with a solution that can enable employees to free up  60-70% of their time , allowing them to refocus away from mundane tasks toward more strategic, innovative work –– elevating themselves and their organizations to the tune of  $2.6 to $4.4 trillion  in annual economic gains.”

What kinds of enrollment rates are you seeing for genAI courses, and how has that grown over the past two years?  “At Udemy, we’ve seen an explosion of enrollments in genAI courses. In fact, in our 2024 Global Learning & Skills Trends Report, it was revealed that ChatGPT was the most consumed skill on a global scale. In 2023, Udemy had more than 3.2 million enrollments — which means 6 learners are enrolling in genAI courses on Udemy every single minute. We’ve seen more than 79 million minutes of genAI course consumption.

“Increasingly, companies and individuals are embracing the fact that genAI will be a disruptive technology — and are upskilling to ensure that this disruption is a positive in their careers.”

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Senior Reporter Lucas Mearian covers AI in the enterprise, Future of Work issues, healthcare IT and FinTech.

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This soft skill is the new Harvard degree, says expert: It’s ‘the biggest competitive differentiator’


There's no shortage of stories about how technical skills in IT, software and data are in high demand and can command a handsome six-figure salary .

But according to one LinkedIn expert, one particular soft skill may be as coveted as an Ivy League education.

Given the fast-changing world of business, hiring managers "want to look for growth mindset," says Aneesh Raman, a vice president and workforce expert at LinkedIn. "This is the new degree, the way that you've been looking for a Harvard degree."

A growth mindset , coined by psychologist Carol Dweck, is the idea that you can continue to improve your abilities, talents and knowledge over time by learning through new experiences. The opposite is having a fixed mindset that you can't improve on your skills.

The advice to prioritize continual learning and development is especially crucial to young professionals today who may one day end up in roles that don't yet exist, Raman says. For example, LinkedIn recently identified fast-growing jobs on the rise in 2024 — including chief growth officer and sustainability analyst — many of which didn't exist  20 years ago .

Developing a growth mindset involves setting challenging goals for yourself, taking risks and seeking feedback and coaching from others, Shekhinah Bass, Goldman Sachs' head of talent strategy, previously told CNBC Make It .

How you respond to feedback is especially important, she says: "Feedback can help you identify your blind spots, so you can shift or change how you're showing up in certain work situations. With a growth mindset, you will see those blind spots as things that are within your control to improve." 

Having a growth mindset is essential to achieving goals, gaining skills, viewing failures as learning opportunities and developing positive changes in your life, according to research .

And it could give you an advantage in the hiring market. To demonstrate a growth mindset in an interview, express your enthusiasm for learning on the job and working with the manager to grow as a valuable team member.

"You've got to get excited about learning as an individual," Raman says. "The biggest competitive differentiator a young grad can have is internalizing the idea that they're going to be learning for the rest of their life and getting excited about it."

Want to land your dream job in 2024?  Take  CNBC's new online course How to Ace Your Job Interview  to learn what hiring managers are really looking for, body language techniques, what to say and not to say, and the best way to talk about pay.

Plus,  sign up for CNBC Make It's newsletter  to get tips and tricks for success at work, with money and in life.

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Do college majors matter not as much as you think.

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Students in a lecture hall.

It might be the most common question college students get: “What’s your major?”

While it may be a great conversation starter on campus, the question isn’t that effective in predicting someone’s job choice—certainly not a full career trajectory. The better we understand that, the better equipped we’ll be to help students with the bigger questions they face at the starting line of adulthood.

David Gwyn knows this. One year after graduating from college with an English degree, he convinced JPMorgan Chase, the country’s largest investment bank , to hire him as a financial analyst.

“I knew there was value in getting an English degree, being able to take complex ideas and make them clearer,” said Gwyn, who has a bachelor’s degree from Muhlenberg College in Allentown, Pa. “I think the hardest part is convincing other people of that.”

He had to prove his value—selling the communications skills that underlie his college major.

“With a finance degree, you might have an understanding of the system, but they’ll teach you that anyway,” Gwyn said. “It’s the difference between having a specific skill set and having a general understanding that you can apply to the job.”

Gwyn wrote about his journey from English major to financial analyst a couple of years ago, describing how he prepared for the critical job interviews with Chase and what he learned—including tips for other job-seekers schooled in the humanities.

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“I’ve found that if you position yourself correctly, an English major is actually one of the most malleable areas of study,” he wrote on the Medium website. “And if you understand that and can articulate it, you’re one step closer to success in pretty much any field.”

Stories like this should encourage students who are wondering how to apply their college learning. Increasingly, in a world where technology fills the roles once occupied by people, we’ll see the importance of agile problem-solving, communications, and critical thinking. That’s the work that only humans can do, as I explored in my most recent book , “Human Work in the Age of Smart Machines.”

For example, in some professional fields—medicine, engineering, law, and accounting—it’s easy to see the path to a job. But not always: A study by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York found that fewer than one in three college graduates work in their field of study. Other sources put the figure higher, but still only 46 percent.

And some of the country’s best-known business leaders can attest to the enduring value of humanities degrees, including Starbucks founder Howard Schultz, former YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki, and Andrea Jung, former CEO of Avon Products. All pursued liberal arts degrees.

Gwyn, meanwhile, has changed course again. After two years in banking, he left to earn a master’s degree in English literature from Rutgers University and turned to education. He now teaches middle school in a Philadelphia suburb and has a podcast devoted to authors of suspense fiction.

David Gwyn in his classroom.

One of his former colleagues, Spencer Liddic, was with JPMorgan Chase for six years. Liddic was a finance major in college, but he agrees with Gwyn on the underlying skills needed for success.

“I learned nearly my entire role while training with JPMorgan—not while I was in college,” Liddic said. “If you have an aptitude for learning, you can learn nearly any entry-level job with on-the-job training, with little to no background on the subject.”

Liddic was an operations analyst at the time and today owns a real estate investment company in of Scranton, Pa. He agreed that being able to relate to others—sometimes harder than it sounds—is key to success in many fields.

“This is a large part of an entry-level finance job, where you are communicating daily with not only your colleagues but with clients of the company,” he said. “Being able to effectively and efficiently communicate is as important a skill as you can have."

Timing and even luck can influence a job search, but a recent study commissioned by the Modern Language Association, a professional association for scholars of language and literature, found that English majors are holding their own.

“Contrary to popular belief, career outcomes for English majors are similar to those of all graduates,” the study said. “Data from the National Humanities Alliance shows that in 2018, the unemployment rate was 2.17% for all college graduates and 2.3% for English majors. The median career peak annual earnings for all college graduates in 2018 was $78,000; for English majors, it was $76,000.”

A report from the American Association of Colleges and Universities found that while humanities and social science BA grads lag others in salaries for the first few years after graduating, on average, they catch and often exceed them later on.

There are no guarantees in life, including higher education, and no report will take the place of smart job-hunting practices, including the ones Gwyn wrote about. So, what does an investment analyst turned middle school English teacher tell his students?

“I tell them I'm teaching skills that are transferable to whatever job you get,” Gwyn said. “I don't just teach the curriculum; I teach the skills.”

Jamie Merisotis

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  1. The Learning Skills Pyramid: An Integrated Approach

    what is important skills or education

  2. The importance of skills-based learning innovation

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  3. What are the Key Skills for Higher Education & their Importance?

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  4. What Are The 6 Essential Skills For University Students?

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  5. Top skills needed for the 21st century employee

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  6. The Benefits of TVET: Why Technical and Vocational Education and

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  2. Why Life Skills are Important

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  5. Important Skills and Requirements for Entrepreneurs

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  1. What is Skills-Based Learning and Why It's Important?

    Skills-based learning is an educational approach that focuses on developing specific, practical skills and competencies rather than just acquiring theoretical knowledge. It emphasizes hands-on, experiential learning that equips individuals with the abilities they need to perform tasks, solve problems, and excel in real-world situations.

  2. Adolescent education and skills

    Foundational skills: Foundational skills, namely literacy and numeracy, are essential for further learning, productive employment and civic engagement.; Digital skills: Digital literacy enables children and young people to use and understand technology, search for and manage information, create and share content, collaborate, communicate, build knowledge, and solve problems safely, critically ...

  3. Knowledge vs skills: what do students really need to learn?

    A skills-based education is one where the focus is skills development rather than knowledge acquisition. This type of curriculum is structured in a way which prioritises student-led learning and helps students to develop the type of transversal skills which they can apply across subjects and use in every area of their lives. Let's look at an ...

  4. 18 Student Skills for Effective Learning

    Top skills for students Here are 18 important skills for students to develop during their education: Communication Communication is a soft skill set that allows students to share their ideas. These skills can help students express their thoughts in both verbal and written formats.

  5. 21st Century Skills Definition

    The term 21st century skills refers to a broad set of knowledge, skills, work habits, and character traits that are believed—by educators, school reformers, college professors, employers, and others—to be critically important to success in today's world, particularly in collegiate programs and contemporary careers and workplaces.

  6. Integrating 21st century skills into education systems ...

    The skills include critical thinking/reasoning, creativity/creative thinking, problem solving, metacognition, collaboration, communication and global citizenship. 21st century skills also include ...

  7. Top Skills for Education Students: What You Need to Know

    Skill 2Communication. Communication is likely the broadest and most important skill for professional educators and education students alike, and no doubt your degree program will focus on strong communication skills. Effective communication in college academics begins with the establishment of trust between you, your instructors, and your ...

  8. Skills-Based Learning

    In formal education, there are two places where skills-based learning can take place. The first is inside the curriculum and the second is outside the curriculum. Why is this important? Skills-based education inside the curriculum must align with existing frameworks. In many cases, these frameworks are extremely rigid and come with legacy ideas ...

  9. Nonacademic Skills Are Key To Success. But What Should We Call Them?

    The problem, says West, is that "if anything, all the evidence would suggest that in the closing decades of the 20th and 21st centuries, cognitive skills became more important than ever." So this ...

  10. The role of education and skills in today's world

    Education has strong potential to address these challenges by enhancing a variety of skills. Cognitive skills matter, but social and emotional skills, such as perseverance, selfcontrol and resilience are just as important. All of these skills need to be fostered for individuals and societies to prosper.

  11. The Importance of Skill Development and Where to Start

    In the workplace, you'll find three main types of skill development: Upskilling: Improving your skills in your current role. Cross-skilling: Learn new skills for your current role. Reskilling: Learning new skills so you can move to a new role. However, you don't have to be part of a workplace program to develop your skills further.

  12. Why Is Education Important: All The Reasons To Stay In School

    6. A Safer World. Education is something that's not only needed on a personal level, but also on a global level, as it's something that keeps our world safe and makes it a more peaceful place. Education tends to teach people the difference between right and wrong, and can help people stay out of risky situations. 7.

  13. Skills, success, and why your choice of college matters

    The graphs have been corrected. Skills are an important predictor of economic outcomes, and how well colleges instill highly valuable skills should be an important consideration when evaluating ...

  14. What is skill-based learning and why is it important?

    Skill-based education ensures a learner's competency, flexibility and, therefore, overall value, ingraining the new skill while also awakening a recognition of its portability from one area of interest to another. A worldwide revolution has made almost every classroom and workplace dependent on technology, highlighting the vital importance of ...

  15. Teaching Skills: Definition and Examples

    Teaching skills are crucial when working as an educator. These skills are what help a teacher keep their classroom engaged and interested in learning. Knowing the most desirable teaching skills, as well as how you can highlight them can help you find a teaching job that you enjoy. It can also be helpful to learn how to highlight your teaching ...

  16. Life Skills in Education: Should Schools Teach Life Skills?

    The Importance of Life Skills-Based Education & Why Schools Should Teach Life Skills. In an ever-growing technology and data driven world, much of the focus in education has understandably taken a shift toward STEM-based (science, technology, engineering, and math) initiatives that will prepare students for the coursework and careers of the ...

  17. What is a skill? Types of skills and how to develop them

    Every career requires both hard and soft skills. It is important to understand how to identify and develop both types of ability. Hard skills . Hard skills are also known as technical skills or job-specific skills. They are teachable, and you can prove your abilities with an exam or demonstration. Assessing hard skills is not a subjective process.

  18. What Is Life Skills Education: Importance, Challenges, & Categories

    Getting a life skills education has several key benefits. They include: 1. Strengthens the self-respect of children. Self-respect is necessary for children to build healthy relationships and make wise life choices. Life skills education strengthens the self-esteem of children in a supportive environment.

  19. Skills children need to succeed in life

    While these are skills that children (and adults) can and do learn throughout their lifetimes, there are two time periods that are particularly important: early childhood (ages 3 to 5) and adolescence/early adulthood (ages 13 to 26). During these windows of opportunity, learning and using these skills can help set children up for success.

  20. What is Life Skills Education & why it is Important?

    An important and legitimate implementation of life skill education is a need of 60 minutes, for today's society. Imparting life skills education to the students can be useful as it specifically addresses the needs of children, and helps in motivating, and providing practical, mental, emotional, social and self-management skills for life changes.

  21. 10 Soft Skills You Need to Work in Education

    Leadership. Students and colleagues will look to you for guidance if you are specialised in a certain area or are a more experienced educator. It is your job to use those leadership skills and guide people along the way on their education journey or help them in terms of how to educate a certain student. 5. Adaptability.

  22. Why College Is Important- BigFuture

    Finishing college is the single most important thing you can do to make it affordable. Students who leave college without graduating are the most likely to have trouble with debt and future employment. As many as 4 in 10 students who start a 4-year degree program don't finish in 6 years. Colleges with more resources, like generous financial ...

  23. Importance of Life Skills in Education

    Importance of Life Skills in Education: What exactly are life skills, and why are they important in education? If you are wondering about this, we have got the answer! Education is intended to improve the quality of life, not just your chances of getting a job. In this blog, we will discuss the essential life skills every person should have and ...

  24. What is Life Skills Education and Its Importance?

    Life Skills are widely recognized as one of the most effective ways of promoting the social and mental health of adolescents. They help in developing the overall personality of children. They can help in developing and strengthening management techniques, and coping strategies, and boost critical thinking. It can help students become better ...

  25. Teaching Self-Determination Skills

    Teaching Self-Determination Skills. Try these playful activities to help your child develop important self-determination skills. When you give your child opportunities to identify their own interests and needs, make choices, and solve problems, you're helping them develop important self-determination skills. Consider these playful activities ...

  26. Supporting Children's Learning Through Play

    you can use to encourage play. All children—from infants to school-age children and even teens—need time to play every day. Play allows children to be active, calm their minds, follow their own ideas, pretend, be creative, and build physical, social, and intellectual skills. In fact, play is the main way that young children learn.

  27. What Type of Leadership Development Is Right for You?

    If you aim to advance into a leadership role, it can indicate that you have the skills and drive to do so. Related: 5 Ways to Demonstrate Your Leadership Potential in the Workplace. Whereas individual contributor roles require specific technical skills, leadership requires more "soft skills" and emotional intelligence.

  28. Q&A: Udemy online education exec on tech layoffs and skills needs

    "A focus on skills is more important than ever, given the widening skills gaps in many organizations. An astonishing 87% of executives say they are already facing, or expect to face, critical ...

  29. This soft skill is the new Harvard degree, says LinkedIn expert

    This soft skill is the new Harvard degree, says expert: It's 'the biggest competitive differentiator'. There's no shortage of stories about how technical skills in IT, software and data are ...

  30. Do College Majors Matter? Not As Much As You Think

    Liddic was a finance major in college, but he agrees with Gwyn on the underlying skills needed for success. "I learned nearly my entire role while training with JPMorgan—not while I was in ...