Important Skills Students Need for the Future that we need to help them learn

Back in January of 2012, I published a post entitled "10 Important Skills Students need for the Future" in which I described what I, and other research, felt were the 10 most important skills for students to learn.

The list:

  • Sense-making. The ability to determine the deeper meaning or significance of what is being expressed
  • Social intelligence. The ability to connect to others in a deep and direct way, to sense and stimulate reactions and desired interactions
  • Novel and adaptive thinking. Proficiency at thinking and coming up with solutions and responses beyond that which is rote or rule-based
  • Cross-cultural competency. The ability to operate in different cultural settings
  • Computational thinking. The ability to translate vast amounts of data into abstract concepts and to understand data-based reasoning
  • New-media literacy. The ability to critically assess and develop content that uses new media forms and to leverage these media for persuasive communication
  • Transdisciplinarity. Literacy in and ability to understand concepts across multiple disciplines
  • Design mind-set. Ability to represent and develop tasks and work processes for desired outcomes
  • Cognitive load management. The ability to discriminate and filter information for importance and to understand how to maximize cognitive functioning using a variety of tools and techniques
  • Virtual collaboration. The ability to work productively, drive engagement and demonstrate presence as a member of a virtual team

I also posted this list this past January that came from employers:

  • Problem Solving Skills
  • Positive Thinking
  • Creative/Innovative
  • Multi-tasking
  • Initiative
  • Cultural Sensitivity
  • Accepting Responsibility
  • Team Working
  • Empathy
  • Communication
  • Time Management
  • Professional Manners

Edudemic has released a list of the 8 Skills Students Must Have for the Future. The article also has some tips for teaching these skills.

  • Leadership
  • Digital Literacy
  • Communication
  • Emotional Intelligence
  • Entrepeurship
  • Global Citizenship
  • Problem Solving
  • Team Working

Most of these lists cross over with each other, but are all important. Project Based Learning can help students develop skills such as team work, communications, problem solving, creativity, etc, while technology can also help by providing students with new opportunities to communicate, learn with others, and be creative.

There are some articles on this blog that can also help. See below and search the blog for what you are looking for.


10 Technology Skills Every Student Needs for the Future

21st Century Skills resources

The 10 Most Important Work Skills in 2020

Project Based Learning resources

WPI Plan - a great educational model

David Andrade is a Educator, Educational Technology Specialist and Education Administrator in CT. Before teaching, David was an Aerospace Engineer for 10 years.He is the author of theEducational Technology Guy blog, where he reviews free educational technology resources for teachers, discusses ways to use technology to improve teaching and learning, and discusses other issues in education. He is also a professional development trainer, educational technology consultant and presenter at conferences. Check out his blog at for more resources, tips, links, information and more. Follow him onTwitterandGoogle+.

Disclaimer: The information shared here is strictly that of the author and does not reflect the opinions or endorsement of his employer.

David Andrade, MS Ed, a former educator, edtech specialist and school district CIO, is the Business Development Manager, Google Services, at CDW•G, a leading provider of integrated information technology solutions. He works with schools and internal teams on services and solutions around their Google environment.