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What are the most important 21st-century skills? An Overview

We are living in an information age, the 21st century where power isn't derived only from the textual knowledge but also depends on one's skills and ability to adapt and accustom new tools and machinery into their knowledge pot. In today's age, competition has become tougher, the economy in the third world remains in doldrums, prices of the commodities are soaring, job-hunt exercises have become tiring, and the marketplace seeks the young, best, and dynamic talents to advance their growth. That said, the check-list to secure a job, to advance one's business, or just to be counted in the cohorts of talented individuals has now expanded to acquiring technical skills and having hands-on experience at newer and newer things. Let's check out what these new skills are that one can't do without.

Critical thinking / Problem-solving

Critical thinking is one of the most essential skills to possess in the 21st century. It paves one's way to excel as it lends the quality of self-criticism and reflection that are inherent to improvement. It’s the mechanism that helps in weeding out the problems and replaces them with fruitful endeavors. The skill of critical thinking and problem-solving communicate the idea that you are your mentor and you do have the ability to find out the plaguing problems, and with the help of self-reflection can provide yourself with the required constructive criticism. These approaches are the part and parcel of the processes related to design thinking and innovation.


Creativity helps you see things differently and better deal with uncertainty. Studies have reflected that people with a creative spark are better able to live with uncertainty because they can adapt their thinking to allow for the flow of the unknown. Simply put, it is the skill that empowers you to see concepts in a different and even bright light. Thus, to solve problems and exploit opportunities, you are ought to think creatively. Think different, think creatively, think out of the box. Try to follow this motto and pace your lives faster.


Collaboration means working together, achieving compromises, laying out a plan in coherence, and getting the best possible results from the same. Once a company, a business, or a group masters this skill, they can be at a brink of a problem and can still get together to solve it rationally, logically, and collaboratively. The key element of collaboration is willingness. That means understanding the idea of a greater good and abiding by it through thick and thin.

Technological literacy

As PCs, cloud programming, and mobile devices become more known to the world, we need more and more people to understand these concepts. Technology is relatively a new skill that is steadily sweeping in the market place and thus we need a gateway to be able to customize these technologies to our own good and usage. Technological literacy gives us the basic information we need to understand about what gadgets perform what tasks and why. The world is shifting towards technology in all possible ways, then isn't time to think about the How Might We question?


Well, communication is as basic a requirement for anything but mastering it requires enough experience and art. Do you think it is easy to effectively convey your ideas among different personality types? Or do you think it's easy to satisfy the needs of your customers if you are in the sales department of an advertisement company? No, it really isn't. While communication has the potential to eliminate confusion, miscommunication, and communication gap might result in disastrous situations.

Effective communication is also one of the most underrated skills, however, it mustn't be taken for granted. Because without understanding the essence and importance of proper communication, we must just lack a pivotal 21st-century skill to progress in our careers.

The list of the skills ostensibly doesn't rest here. Remember, the more, the better.

Udisha Srivastav is currently working as a Content Manager with MakeShift.


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