2 Ways to Identify Top Skills Your Students Need for the Future

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    • #587

      EDU Matters

      Twenty years ago teachers and parents had a pretty clear idea of what their kids could become when they grow up – doctors, teachers, lawyers… you name it.

      Today, if we prepare kids for ‘these professions’, would we be doing them a favor or would we instead undermine their future success?

      Knowing which skills will get students equipped for the future job market can help educators and parents design better approaches and content to educate them.

      But first, what happens to the ‘traditional’ professions?

      Over 50% of the job activities that humans do now, will be automated in the near future, according to this insightful McKinsey research.

      You might argue that only low-skill and low-paid jobs will get affected. The truth is all the jobs will have a degree of automation in the future. If you plan to live by 2030 (and I hope you do), there is no doubt that in one way or another your job will get somewhat automated sooner than you might like it.

      The next generations will have jobs that we have never had. According to some reports, we’ll have 65% of new jobs in about 18 years, and according to another report, 85% of new jobs will appear in 2030.

      A child that is born today will be celebrating her 18th birthday in a totally new world of 2037, and soon after she will join the workforce of a world we cannot imagine now.

      What will the next generations do in the future, if today we teach them using outdated curricula that were created for the world we no longer live in?


      How to identify what skills students need to master for the future success?

      There are two approaches that can help us discover what the ‘skills of the future’ are:

      1. What machines cannot do.

      Let’s look at the skills that are unique to humans and not machines (at least for now). According to this Forbes article, they are 8 skills as following: 

      1. empathy 
      2. .loggedin. communication
      3. critical thinking
      4. creativity
      5. strategy
      6. tech management, installation and upkeep
      7. physical skills
      8. imagination and vision

      “These soft skills are going to be hard currency in the job market as AI and technology take over some of the jobs that can be performed without people.” – says the article author Bernard Marr.

      Peter H. Diamandis, co-founder and executive chairman of Singularity University, highlights a few more skills in his article:

      • passion
      • grit/persistence
      • ethics/moral dilemmas
      • the 3R basics (Reading, wRiting, aRithmetics)
      • mindset (optimism, abundance, tolerance for failure)

      2. Ask the students.

      Let’s be honest, students can sometimes teach us much more than we can teach them, it’s only a question of guiding them in the right direction while providing with the right resources.

      If we look at what students enjoy studying most, according to the study by Change the Equation, the Amgen Foundation, and C+R Research, here’s what we see:

      Students choose Art and Design, Performing Arts, Computer Science and Engineering above all other subjects. It’s an interesting hypothesis that maybe students like these subjects because they lack the traditional lesson plan structure and class framework.

      Out of all the skills above which one do you think is the most important? And what can you do today to teach that one skill to your students and kids?

      Share with us in the comments!


      Special thanks to pixabay.com for the images
    • #602


      I believe, the empathy – one of the most important skill, today, tomorrow and all times … Really hard to train this skill, paradoxically when u study hard, train yourself at all possible courses and after all you lack of understanding on critical importance of relations, which build on the empathy.
      Your career, personal life, friendship, networking, Social life mostly relay on empathy, this skill shapes right attitude toward ppl and in return open opportunities for you.

      • #603

        EDU Matters

        This is so true. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Iana! Teaching empathy is not as simply as it might seem at first, but definitely needed.

    • #611


      I trust the world of the future will continue the changing rapidly.
      Workplace will becomes more project-oriented.
      Global security crisis will increase. (The proliferation of cybercrime)

      To be success, people need to/have:
      1. Ability to cope with change
      2. Ability to integrate resources (professional knowledge/human resources/integration)
      3. Safety awareness and prevention ability in various professional fields
      4. Strengthen the education of heuristic thinking
      (inter-subjects correlation)
      How to learn and apply, how to think.
      5.EQ training (the ability of integration is needed for the decentralization of manpower)
      6. Leadership training
      (School education is to educate people to form a good personality , build faith; workplace education is for people to practice skills. )
      7. Develop children’s enthusiasm and ability to solve problems.

      Therefore, the school needs to pay close attention to the social change and global news, to make the education applicable, to cultivate children’s concern and responsibility for the environment and humanities, so that the education can be put into practice. Children don’t look forward to what they want to do when they grow up, they look forward to solving big problems for human beings.

      • #615

        EDU Matters

        Carol, these are all great points! Thank you for sharing your professional knowledge with educators around the world!

      • #651

        Muchas gracias por compartirlo Carol Wang

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