The 16 skill profiles that follow students into the future
Strategise your work with these skill profiles. Source: Kaleidico/ Unsplash

Regardless of their type, schools, universities and colleges all have something in common: They’re an interactive web of skill profiles.

Hoping that the best skills will stick to them upon leaving their academic institution, students aim to collect them all.

But if you try to look ahead and predict your future employer’s demands, how do you know which skills you’ll need and which will be replaced by automated beings?

To collage the skills that will serve students well in the future forums of work, Professor for Educational Management, Ulf-Daniel Ehlers, recently released a study titled Future Skills: The future of learning and higher education.

Made up of three core modules – an analysis of future organisations competence and skill development concepts, an in-depth interview series with more than 20 HR-, change- and business experts as well as students, and a Delphi Survey on future skills, and drivers and scenarios for future learning and future higher education – the study is filled with valuable insights.

Enclosed in the first module is a set of 16 future-facing skills.

“The term future skills,” the report notes, “is defined as the ability to act successful on a complex problem in a future unknown context of action. It refers to an individuals’ disposition to act in a self-organised way, visible to the outside as performance.”

What are the skills you’ll require to thrive? Austin Distel/ Unsplash

Actively shaping the future working environment, here are 16 skills to note down:

Subject-development related skill profiles

1. Autonomy: Another term for self-determination, autonomy encourages you to be self-governing and to make use of your independent thinking.

2. Self-initiative: Relating to performance competence, self-initiative pushes you to act and to know what’s best.

3. Self-management: Founded from decision making, this skill enables you to take control of your professional life.

4. Need/motivation for achievement: If you’re set on securing a goal, you’ll need the motivation to do so.

5. Personal agility: A key term for many future-facing universities, agility keeps you focused.

6. Autonomous learning competence: This skill links to learning literacy and your understanding of teachings.

7. Self-efficacy: Believing in yourself to succeed is a great way of accomplishing tasks.

8. Tolerance for ambiguity: In every workplace, there’s always an unexpected challenge waiting around the corner. Therefore, having this type of tolerance will allow you to counteract that.

9. Ability to reflect: Looking back on faults and issues you’ve faced is a superb learning curve. Always choose a workplace that encourages you to grow.

Creativity, agility and reflection are super skill profiles to take with you. Source: Trent Szmolnik/ Unsplash

Object-related skill profiles

10. Agility: Rather than personal, this skill requests a broader focus.

11. Creativity: Closely tied to innovation and design, creativity comes in many forms.

12. Digital literacy: Referring to your ability to evaluate and compose clear information through digital platforms.

Drive your digital skill profiles forward. Source: Studio Republic/Unsplash

Social world/organisation-related skill profiles

13. Sense-making: The ability to make sense of an ambiguous situation and to creative situational awareness.

14. Future mindset: Readying your skills for the future worlds of work and maintaining a progressive attitude.

15. Cooperation competence: Behaviour such as working well with others, participating and collaborating as well as ensuring team effectiveness.

16. Communication competence: This refers to the knowledge of effective and appropriate communication patterns.

After reading all these skills, don’t panic. Ticking off all 16 may be a challenge.

But by acquiring at least a handful from your academic experiences, you’ll feel extra ready for future roles.

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