The Importance of Future-Ready Skills
A simple definition for Future-ready skills would be that they are a set of skills that will help us be prepared for the constant changes happening in the workforce and not only. Being flexible and adaptable to changes is crucial to surviving in a fast-paced environment. Thus, we try to equip our students with the qualities and skills that are necessary to assure a successful future career.
Future-Ready Students Will Be Ready for Any Workforce
Let’s face it, each generation has its idea of which work domain is the most future-proof, or secure one. Nowadays, it might be IT, it might be Artificial Intelligence, or it might be anything that could also become outdated in a couple of years. By learning some skills just because we’re told it’s the future, we might not be taking the safest route to ensure a successful future. Students can instead be better prepared by learning skills like being adaptive, analytic, or open-minded. These, for example, are skills that are required when working in teams.
A Future-Ready Focus Helps Students With Facts and Figures
There is research that proves that learning by heart is good for memorizing information in the short term. But, if we want to remember that information, the key is to understand it. Future-ready schools also emphasize how their students learn. For example, by using teaching methods like gamified learning, or by involving technology in day-to-day lessons, they are better involved in the learning process. By encouraging them to figure out answers by themselves or to learn from mistakes, we allow our students to learn from experience, thus creating a more effective learning process with the use of future-ready learning.
Teachers Can Give Their Classrooms a Future-Ready Focus
A future-ready school also requires teaching methods that encourage students to focus on the necessary competencies. If we want to cultivate skills like critical thinking, creativity, or teamwork, we also need to give our students the relevant tasks to nurture these competencies. Some examples of activities that can help improve skills like the ones we mentioned are community service, participating in team competitions, art projects, etc.
Examples of Future Ready skills
10 years ago we would have considered someone who knows the Microsoft package (Excel, Powerpoint, Word, etc.) a tech-savvy person. 5 years ago, people mastering Adobe or music-producing software might have been considered tech-savvy too. Today, we should have the curiosity to know a little bit about everything. New video platform with funny cat content and live streams of hamsters running on wheels? Try it out. New AI that can help boost your productivity? Give that trial a go. Anything new might be scary, but if we want to stay up to date with all the new digital trends and technologies, we need to stay curious.
Part of what makes us human is our ability to feel, communicate, and be. It might seem natural to think that everyone already knows how to do these things, but you’d be amazed to find out that we never actually stop learning. Whether that’s how to behave, a new recipe, or a new emotion, we can always be better at something. Being able to calmly offer arguments or participate in a debate are just some examples of skills that have to do with emotional intelligence.
As an international school, Spark is globally involved in changing education. This means that our students get to socialize and work with students from all over the world. While we might think that this is useful for learning to be culturally aware and respectful, it comes with much more than that. People who learn how to take advantage of international connections are those who truly benefit from cultural intelligence. Our students can work together and debate global issues, and they have the chance to put down the foundation for what could be successful networking opportunities or partnerships in the future.
By observing a healthy company culture students get the first impression of what it means to be part of an organization. Cultivating leadership skills is essential for schools because our students are our future leaders, and some of them will get to positions where skills like cohesive collaboration are necessary. By encouraging students to participate in exchange programs and team projects we give them a way to develop and nurture their leadership skills.
Novel and adaptive thinking
In a fast-paced industry, we also need to be able to make decisions fast or get the attention of our clients fast, as there are so many options out there. For this reason, skills like being intuitive or practising out-of-the-box thinking are crucial. Through adaptive thinking, we are training our students not only to put their ideas out there but also to be able to argue them and demonstrate why they matter.
This has to do with how well we thrive in a fast-paced environment. Changes are scary enough already, but what if there are many of them happening constantly? A good leader can embrace change and adapt to new situations with calm and rational thinking, and schools have a chance to develop the skills that support that type of development.
Cognitive flexibility is something similar to the ability to multitask. An effective leader is someone who is able to switch rapidly between projects or tasks and keep a clear mind at the same time. This skill can seem like something that many people master already, but being able to multitask is not the same as being able to manage different tasks simultaneously, and with a clear approach and grasp over everything.
Strategies for developing future-ready skills
They test and cultivate skills like rapid thinking, teamwork, communication skills, etc.
Activities like these encourage creativity, collaboration, and authenticity, and they can help increase student engagement.
Learning stations are activities that encourage students to rotate on doing different tasks one after the other. The goal of using techniques like this one is to promote the use, elaboration, and application of concepts to advance learner understanding.
We already explained why projects and teamwork are essential for students. These types of activities help students develop skills like reliability, communication, learning from experience, etc.
Future-ready skills FAQ
Why are future-ready skills essential?
Future-ready skills are crucial because they enable individuals to adapt and succeed in a rapidly changing job market.
What does it mean for students to be future-ready?
Being future-ready as a student means having the ability to adapt to the changing demands of the workforce and possess the necessary skills to succeed in the job market of the future.
What does it mean to be future-ready in a digital age?
Being future-ready in a digital age means having the skills and knowledge to effectively use and navigate technology to solve problems and communicate, as well as possessing digital literacy to access and evaluate information.
What is the difference between future-ready skills and skills for jobs?
Future-ready skills are transferable and essential for individuals to adapt and succeed in a rapidly changing job market. Skills for jobs are specific to a particular role or profession.