You Need More than “Book Learning” to Succeed in the 21st Century

Posted Tuesday, Jul 24, 2012 by Allen B. Ury

Business TeamIn the 21st century workplace, technical skills are in high demand. But technical skills alone are not enough to advance your career. To truly succeed, you need to develop a range of “soft skills” that help you deal with new challenges and the people with which you work.

In early July, the Nation Research Council of the National Academies of Science in Washington issued a report that focused on “deeper learning” and “21st century skills.” The authors divided 21s century work skills into three categories:

1) Cognitive skills – Such as critical thinking and analytic reasoning
2) Interpersonal skills – Such as teamwork and complex communication
3) Intrapersonal skills – Such as resiliency and conscientiousness

Another way to express these three skills is:

1) The ability to think clearly, ask the right questions and separate fact from fantasy.
2) The ability to work productively with others, to put the needs of the group ahead of your own, to listen to what other people say and speak in ways that make you understood by others.
3) The ability to take criticism; to learn from mistakes; to bounce back from failures; and to care deeply about meeting deadlines, exceeding expectations and producing quality work.

Another important concept discussed in the report is “transfer.” This means being able to take a skill you learned to deal with one kind of problem and use it instead to solve an entirely different kind of challenge. (A simple example of transfer would be using the physical skills you developed to operate a computer keyboard to help you learn to play the piano.)

Soft Skills Emphasized at Everest

At the Everest family of colleges, institutes and universities, the soft skills discussed in the National Academies of Science’s report get a lot of attention. Primarily a career training school, Everest wants to make sure you’re prepared for the demands of the 21st century workplace – and that means having good personal and social skills along with your academic achievements.

All of Everest’s programs include classes that teach and establish good workplace habits such as punctuality, effective business communication, organizational skills and taking responsibility for your own actions. Everest knows that employers aren’t looking for drones and robots; they want well-rounded people who can learn and grow with an organization. And Everest endeavors to produce the kinds of energized, flexible and adaptable graduates that meet these needs.

Train for a Rewarding Career at Everest

Everest offers short-term diplomas as well as two-year associate degrees, four-year bachelor’s degrees and master’s degrees in a variety of areas. These include accounting, business, health care, criminal investigations, criminal justice, computer information science and paralegal. (Programs and schedules vary by campus.)

For more information on Everest’s career education programs and the benefits they can offer you, contact Everest today. Financial aid is available for those who qualify.

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