21st century has been a century of extraordinary growth and increasing opportunities for development. Work habits in this century are changing a lot and are driven by innovative technologies. In order to survive, workers need a new and different set of skills more than ever to compete in this growing environment. During past centuries, foundation skills like literacy and numeracy were all that worked for people but now the scenarios are changing drastically. This ever-growing and changing world brings new challenge for the working class. Every year it seems like there's some new technology or skill Study and innovation in this century has brought influx of new technology and skill that it feels difficult to catch up and master them. Countries around the world run their economy on creativity, innovation and collaboration. Recent change in labor market brought a shortage of skill and around one-third of global companies faced difficulties in filling key positions in another survey across the 24 countries included in the programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC), an average of 16% of adults had a low proficiency in literary and an average of 19% had a low proficiency in numeracy Only an average of 6% of adults demonstrated the highest level of proficiency in "problem solving in technology-rich environments" covers a broad set of skills and abilities Over these years various researches and studies are done in order to prepare workforce for what's to come.
21st century is a century of extraordinary growth and can cover a lot of ground. There are a lot of skills to focus upon. All these skills are worth developing but one cannot focus on all of them and we need to narrow our focus on most important ones as we are aware of the fact that efficiency should be taken care off. Apart from some basic skills, the technology is going to bring change every once in a while, we cannot rely on the same set of skills. The most important need of the time is flexibility and employees must be open to learn. Unlike the traditional skills, soft skills which are need of the century that are not easy to describe and measured. The traditional way of learning is outdated and hence, replaced by creative and transformative way of learning. We need to focus on all around development of an individual as a particular set of skills are never enough for one to thrive. The set of skills which are necessary in this century include creativity, critical thinking, collaboration, information and communication literacy, leadership, productivity, global and cultural awareness and flexibility.
Why do we need all the above-mentioned skills?
In this century, most of the jobs require their employees to think out of the box, in a critical and unorthodox manner, develop solutions to the problems and apply it. No work can be done on our own as we all need some help or material from others because none of us is self-sufficient which makes collaboration and team work as an important set of skills. Communication is required in every facet of life; one cannot succeed and grow with lack of proper communication. Facts, figures and statistical data are a new way to understand society and interpret it accordingly. We need to match our steps with information and communication technology in order to survive the changes and development in the work technologies. Global and cultural awareness helps us to understand the environment and workspace around us in a better way which in turn helps us in optimum utilization of resources. Flexibility and productivity are the most important of all the above skills in order to compete and thrive against rivals and rapid changes and development in workspace.
We are now familiar with the basic skills required for jobs in 21st century and in this situation of pandemic, there is more than ever need of digitalization and we need to adapt ourselves to new technologies. It is not possible to do jobs efficiently without the presence of all the new set of skills which are technology driven. According to an ILO report, this pandemic has provided us new innovative solutions towards skill development but has also increased the preexisting social divide as marginalized sections of society were not equipped with proper technologies. Are we ready for this new working environment of rapidly changing world economy? There's no problem if the answer is that we need to pull up our socks and learn a few more skills. We can refine all these skills by formal education or by some employer focused schemes or simple focused repetition in life. We may come across many difficulties in this century of ever-growing competition but environment is best to thrive and achieve excellence.