The purpose of education is to teach people lifelong learning skills that will help them navigate careers and relationships in their post-school lives. Aside from teaching core subjects (among others), there are many important skills that are valuable to becoming successful.
Here are 9 lifelong learning skills that can come in handy for future endeavours in life beyond school. You’ll find our education system teaches some of these skills while others can potentially fall more into the category of personal responsibility. Since this is by no means a definitive list, what skill(s) would you add to it?
1. Basic Computer Skills
Not educating people on basic computer skills means sending them into the world unprepared for technology. Today, people need computers to communicate, find important information, and perform the most basic of tasks.
As far as programming science goes, that’s also a big consideration. Technology is the biggest trend of this century and lacking such computer skills can deprive students of many incredible employment opportunities in a swiftly growing industry.
2. Speed Reading
Speed reading means using techniques that will improve one’s ability to read more quickly. Such techniques include subvocalization and chunking. The main purpose here is to allow students to gather more information in less time and remember the most important parts of the material they are studying.
3. Time Management
Teachers generally require students to finish assignments and tests in a given period of time. The older students get, the more they will need this skill to rise above the competition. Time management can prove to be extremely beneficial since keeping schedules makes room for everything a person wants to do and has to do.
4. Effective Study Skills
As is the case of speed-reading, learning faster and more efficiently is also a skill we must know. In order to be able to retain valuable knowledge to put in practice, study skills are a great benefit to any student in and out of school.
5. Financial Management Skills
Handling money responsibly is a valuable thing every student needs to learn in order to manage their money in school and life in general. Finance and business classes explain such skills, but education in schools rarely covers the topic of even basic financial management skills.
Higher education barely spends any time teaching students how to handle their expenses and loans, open or maintain their bank account and balance, or be self employed. Regardless of how much they have learned for their field of work, having proper financial savvy is part of the path of life success.
6. Negotiation Skills
Sound like an odd one? Not really, if you consider just how much we actually negotiate with people in both personal and business relationships. We just don’t always see it as “negotiations” because of the connotations the word can sometimes have.
Education programs rarely include teaching students how to negotiate. When a student enters college or university, they are thought to possess such skills, but negotiating is a work in progress. In order to be prepared for the world after finishing post-education, people need to work on their negotiation skills and improve them constantly.
7. Mental Wellness/Stress Management
When a student is not able to manage their mental health, many other problems come as a result. Since mental health teaching is not something education pays much attention to on a basic level, many students nowadays start skipping classes, getting bad grades and become anxious due to depression. One of the best ways to avoid this is by providing relevant information and open discussion groups to students.
8. Writing a Resume
Getting a job certainly does depend on skills and education, but there are many steps a student must follow before they get there. Another part of finding a job is writing a great resume. Applying for a job can be a competitive and complex process after they graduate from school. Having a resume that stands out above others can help their chances landing the job they want or need.
Writing a resume requires not only writing skills, but knowledge of the best ways to present the quality of the applicant. When doing this, you need to know what you should and should not include.
9. Searching the Web
Teaching students how to search the Web for relevant and factual content is a thing colleges and universities generally don’t offer, despite its importance in the digital age. The Web is filled with great information along with false and misleading “fast food facts.” This is one of the many reasons the Global Digital Citizen Foundation developed Information Fluency, which is being used today in thousands of schools worldwide.
Getting prepared for the world outside school is difficult, and not only in terms of basic skills and knowledge education. What lifelong learning skills would you add to this list?
This article was written by Lisa Wheatly.