You have probably heard of 21st century skills and why it is important. But for the sake of reiteration – 21st century skills are the required skills to survive in the age of internet and digitalization. We, regardless of how slow we choose to catch up in this part of the world, are in the 4th industrial revolution – disruptive technologies and trends such as robotics, the Internet of Things (IoT), virtual reality (VR) and artificial intelligence (AI) are changing the way we live and work. For me, I interpret all these to say, but not to scare, that if you are not part of the people controlling the changes that come with internet of things and AI, then, the probability to earn a decent living might be very slim.
The following skills have been identified as 21st century skills; Creativity, Communication, Technology literacy, Critical thinking, Collaboration, Information literacy, media literacy, Flexibility, leadership, initiative, productivity and social skills. The interesting aspect of all the above skill is that they are not offered courses at your favorite universities. You have to consciously groom and train yourself to be good in all of these skills and very good in at least two.
And the only way you can achieve this feat is in having the most essential 21st century skill – LEARNING. Your ability and willingness to want to learn would help you stand out from the pack. Make acquiring knowledge and information your hobby. Some information we acquire might seem residual and if you understand how the brain works, you would know that information is not entirely a waste even when they are not expressly needed at the moment or seem to be useless to your line of focus.
“Learning is the process of acquiring new, or modifying existing, knowledge, behaviors, skills, values, or preferences.”
Learning is a relatively permanent change in behavior as a result of experience or practice. Learning as simple as it sounds is beyond what you think goes down in the four walls of the school. It is a deliberate attempt to know, practice and sometimes, to share.
There are different ways to learn, using a search engine such as google can help you understand this better and to choose the form of learning which works best for you. However, please note that learning is beyond acquiring information. If information acquired does not cause a change in behavior or pattern, it simply remains information. And you know how it is when you are told that you don’t have data until information gathered is processed? Same way you have not learned or are not learning if you go around sitting in classes and attending seminars without putting them into practice. Without trying to undermine the process of learning via observation, with learning comes experience. To acquire any relevant skill, follow the relevant set of rules.
Also, endeavor to not be stuck in a phase called “Unconscious incompetence”. The stage where you think you know or you absolutely do not know that you do not know. Be open minded, Be ready to learn, forget all that you think you know and never assume – even if you do, your assumption must never lead to a conclusion but a test.
Deliberately working on your ability to learn might not automatically make you become the next Mark zuckerberg or Gossy Ukanwoke, but you have a better shot at it and you sure won’t be a liability to anyone
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