7 Skills Students Need To Succeed In Their Future

By EasyUni Staff | Last modified 11 Nov 2017
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soft skills you need to succeed in life

Those seven skills are as follows.

1. Critical Thinking and Problem-solving

To maintain competitiveness and relevance, businesses are pressured to focus on the continuous improvement of products and processes and how to keep serving customers. Toyota, for instance, expects that its employees will always commit to the three responsibilities: (1) to produce only the best quality products, (2) to find ways to create better products, and (3) to use their knowledge to produce “the cars of the future”. As students, you too need to have the right thinking skills to solve problems you will encounter in your careers.

2. Collaboration and Leading with Influence

We live in a globalised world, where national boundaries are loosening in terms of commerce. When our students eventually find themselves working, it is almost guaranteed that they will be working as part of a team. Most business’ teams have no hierarchy, and with this comes the need of being able to lead by influence. In the 21st century, the most effective way to lead is through one’s ability to engage people and raise the right questions. To do this in a global setting, our students need to be able to respect and understand each person’s individual differences.

3. Agility and Adaptability

Most individuals will change jobs at least ten times during their working lives. Thus, it is rare for an individual in this economy to have the same job for his or her entire career. Even in cases where a person finds himself working for the same company for quite some time, the corporation is likely to change its role or structure from time to time. The person who can adapt to a new role and environment as things change proves to be the most productive staff of the company.

4. Initiative and Entrepreneurialism

During his presentation, Dr Wagner referenced a conversation with the Vice-President and General Counsel of Cisco, Mr Mark Chandler, in which he compared two different types of employees: one who sets five goals for him or herself and meets all of them with no problems, and another who sets ten goals for him or herself and reaches only eight of them. Dr Wagner notes that the second type of employee is the ideal one because he or she is aware that he/ she is setting bigger goals for himself and the company. Although the second employee accomplishes less as a percentage of the total, in absolute terms the second employee is more productive (which makes Cisco very competitive). Corporations need employees who are always pushing the envelope to risking failure in their quest for the next innovation – which indicates the relevance of entrepreneurialism in today’s world where many governments and businesses are trying to nurture start-ups.

5. Effective Written and Oral Communication

The number one criticism of college professors and employers is that young adults graduating from both high school and college cannot communicate effectively. Dr Wagner quotes a Dell senior executive who commented that, “the problem with [students’] writing is with their thinking.” They cannot analyse and cannot reason. Their thinking is as fuzzy as their writing, and they do not know how to write with voice. The students do not know how to write persuasively or articulate a point of view clearly, which is important in any professional setting.

6. Accessing and Analysing Information

We are constantly bombarded with information on an hourly basis. The amount of available information in our world is also increasing exponentially. Another important skill is knowing where to fi nd this information and to be able to access it. Also, it is important to know be able to analyse and interpret this information.

7. Curiosity and Imagination

Dr Wagner referred to Daniel Pink’s book, A Whole New Mind, most specifically the case where Pink states that, “in a commoditised world where every product begins to look the same, it is those products that have a more imaginative quality, a more playful element that is going to capture people’s imagination.”Thus, having creative skills is significantly important in today and tomorrow’s highly competitive market.


Posted on 09 Oct 2017
Student Life, Useful Tips