8 skills institutions must cultivate among learners for lifelong success

8 skills institutions must cultivate among learners for lifelong success

Developing diverse skills makes an individual versatile and adaptable. Institutions play a crucial role in this process by using technology, real-world projects, and industry experts. Focusing on critical thinking, problem-solving, creativity, and learning from mistakes helps. Integrating subjects for a well-rounded view and promoting teamwork can prepare learners well for the workplace. Keeping the curriculum relevant is essential.

Traditional curriculums often overlook these skills. However, workshops, webinars, broad reading, and community work programs can help develop these abilities. (Pixabay)

Here are key skills institutions can teach:

Critical Thinking and Problem Solving

Critical thinking involves analysing arguments, evaluating data, and making reasoned judgments. It requires spotting biases, assumptions, and logical errors while carefully considering evidence. Critical thinkers communicate well, make informed choices, and solve problems effectively.

Problem-solving skills enable swift identification of issues, creation of innovative solutions, and implementation of effective strategies. Proficient problem solvers think creatively, communicate clearly, critically analyse situations, and work well with others.

These skills are crucial today and will become even more vital as the decades advance toward the mid & late 21st century. Traditional curriculums often overlook these skills. However, workshops, webinars, broad reading, and community work programs can help develop these abilities.

Leadership and Management Skills

Leadership entails inspiring and motivating others, innovating, communicating, delegating tasks, and resolving challenges. Effective leaders create supportive workplaces that promote team development. Management skills focus on coordinating activities to achieve goals through strategic planning, implementation, and supervision. Institutions can cultivate these skills through structured guidance, experiential learning, mentorship, and practical application and reflection opportunities.

Emotional Intelligence and Self-Management

Emotional intelligence is about recognising and managing personal emotions and empathising with others, improving relationships and communication. Professionals with this skill handle tough situations and adapt to change well. Self-management skills like time management and goal setting help prioritise tasks, manage emotions, and use resources efficiently, increasing productivity and well-being.

Institutions can teach Emotional Intelligence and Self-Management through weekly expert-led counselling, stress management sessions, and webinars. These sessions provide tools for handling emotions, building resilience, and managing stress.

Communication and Interpersonal Skills

Effective communication is crucial for productivity, relationship-building, and conflict resolution. Skilled communicators collaborate well, avoid misunderstandings, and create positive experiences. Interpersonal skills help convey ideas clearly, listen actively, and build meaningful connections, enhancing empathy and collaboration. Institutions can build workplace-ready communication and interpersonal skills by promoting teamwork, involving learners in group discussions, having them present on assignments or projects, providing feedback, and facilitating diverse interactions.

Creativity and Innovation Skills

Creativity and innovation support unconventional thinking to generate fresh ideas and approach tasks innovatively, improving effectiveness. Design thinking enhances innovation by understanding users, defining problems, brainstorming solutions, and testing them iteratively. Institutions can cultivate environments conducive to exploration and experimentation, encouraging novel thinking and problem-solving abilities among learners.

Technical Skills

Digital literacy is crucial today. It is helping people use digital tools to access, process, and share information. These skills are vital for jobs and productivity. Data analysis supports informed decisions and business growth. These skills are valuable in the job market and help career progression.

Educational institutions can use MCA and BCA programs to impart digital skills by integrating coding, data analytics, cybersecurity, and AI courses. Hands-on projects, internships, workshops, and industry collaborations also provide real-world experience and prepare learners for tech roles.

Industry-Specific Skills

Industry-specific skills like personal branding, work ethics, and professionalism are vital for career success. They differentiate individuals, enhance credibility, and build trust. Educational institutions can help learners by integrating real-world experiences, mentorship programs, and workshops into the curriculum, providing students with practical exposure and opportunities to develop these essential skills.

Time and Project Management Skills

Time management prioritises tasks, allocates time effectively, and minimises distractions, reducing stress and improving work-life balance. Project management ensures efficient planning, execution, and monitoring of projects, optimising resource allocation and timeline adherence for successful outcomes. Educational institutions can equip learners with these skills by prioritising tasks, setting deadlines, collaborating in teams, using planning tools, practising real-life projects, and managing resources.

(Author Srikant Nandigam is CEO Vignan Online. Views expressed here are personal.)

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