The educational system should not only provide information on different majors but also prepare young people for entering the modern corporate world, instill the habits of constant learning, and help students to take the first steps on a lifelong self-development path. Experts from Pro-Papers have outlined the basic skills which learners should acquire to succeed in their academic, professional, and personal lives.
Critical thinking and problem-solving
We live in the informatization era when data flows are poured on us here and there. It is not enough to just absorb large information volumes to position yourself as a smart person. It should be assessed critically and sorted out into trustworthy and dubious facts. Businesses seek employees making well-informed decisions based on a profound analysis, looking for innovations, coming up with original solutions, increasing products’ quality, and solving problems a company faces.
It is the universities’ task to develop students’ critical thinking. This should help graduates to be compatible with the labor market, solve challenges characteristic to their industries, and contribute to corporate growth.
A person may be very smart and talented, have brilliant ideas, and know how to embody them. But one is unlikely to succeed not knowing how to collaborate with other people. Employees communicate with colleagues from their office as well as subcontractors and international partners. Whatever level a specialist reaches, one should be able to work in a team.
Most companies do not establish a strict hierarchy when gathering workers in project groups. This means that everyone has equal chances to occupy a leadership position and influence others. To become a leader, a person should show a personal charisma, hone the art of persuasion, ask right questions, analyze colleagues’ words and actions, try to look at things from their perspective, seek compromise satisfying everyone, and inspire surrounding people to work productively on joint tasks.
The world does not stand still. It undergoes constant transformations. Learners should be ready for changes in their professional lives, understand that it is almost impossible to find a well-paid, prestigious position right after graduation, and work a whole life in the same company.
With today’s unstable economy, enterprises emerge and disappear, grow and degrade, change their structure and roles. It is important for young specialists to be agile, able to adapt to the situation on the labor market, find a job corresponding to their talents, and allowing them to reach full professional potential.
There are two types of people: those who prefer safety, avoid surprises, set 5 goals and accomplish them all, and those who are not afraid to risk, like to try new things in pursuit of innovations, set 10 goals and accomplish only 8 of them. Somebody would call representatives of the second group dreamers, while somebody would claim that all great things are created by their hands.
Most employers look for young specialists with ambitious dreams and zeal to realize them. Educators should explain to students that challenging goals are useful because they help us to think strategically, leave place for growth and self-development, and bring professional skills and knowledge at a new level.
In contrast, people approaching their careers passively and preferring to simply perform supervisors’ orders usually stay in the same positions for many years and do not bring significant benefits to their companies.
Professors teach young people to write essays, read textbooks, and pass tests. But these activities have nothing to do with real labor tasks. Many recruiters complain that graduates have poor communication skills, do not know how to express their point of view convincingly, ask superiors for help, and interact with clients.
This is true for both oral and written conversations. Students can write a term paper or a dissertation but find it difficult to send e-mails to colleagues and maintain business documentation. Some of them even do not have a good resume and a cover letter upon graduation, while this is the first step to establishing a dialogue with an employer.
Imagination and curiosity
There are countless actors at any market today. Most of them produce similar products and offer standard services. Bold and unusual ideas help businesses to stand out on competitors’ background and attract clients’ attention. Employers seek young people able to generate such ideas, having extraordinary talents, and knowing how to use them for the company’s benefit.
The traditional educational system is rather bureaucratic, creates clones with the same skills and abilities. They cannot offer something brand new to the market. Educators should change teaching approaches to stimulate learners’ creativity and imagination, motivate them to think outside the box, and develop unique things.
Most people cease to be curious with age, become indifferent to innovations, and prefer to use well-tested, even though often outdated approaches. Employees stay productive if they always see the beauty of the surrounding world and strive to find out something new about it.
There is the moment in each person’s life when professors and parents stop directing one’s actions, and it is necessary to plan each step self-handedly. Young people should be taught to undertake responsibility for their actions, compile personal schedules, track deadlines, and organize learning routine rather than wait that supervisors would do it for them. As students mature, educators should gradually weaken control, thus allowing learners to become more autonomous and develop individualized work style.