The educational-professional paradigm has changed rapidly. Are our children prepared?
Growing up, we learned that there was a straightforward path to success.
Do well in school so you can get into a good college, which will make you an appealing candidate that companies want to hire because of your academic achievements.
Yet more and more companies are realizing that a strong academic background alone is not sufficient to navigate the complexities of today’s environment. Instead, according to ZipRecruiter’s First Annual Employer Survey, two of the top three traits employers seek in potential hires are soft skills, and the top three skills employers say are most lacking in candidates are time management, professionalism and critical thinking.
Life Skills and Why They Matter
Given their increasing importance for professional success, “soft” doesn’t seem an appropriate characterization for the invaluable learned attributes that would be more aptly addressed as “life skills.”
Life skills encompass not only professional competencies but also personal development and success in every facet of life. These skills encompass a wide range of domains, including communication, problem-solving, decision-making, time management, interpersonal relationships, and emotional intelligence.
Developing a strong foundation in life skills is crucial because they are the building blocks for personal and professional success, offering individuals the tools they need to thrive in various aspects of their lives.
Building Your Life Skills Toolbox
Just like a carpenter needs a set of reliable tools to craft a masterpiece, individuals need a well-rounded set of life skills to navigate the complexities of life successfully. At the Institute of ACS Athens, we encourage students to view their life skills as an ever-expanding toolbox.
As they progress through their academic journey, they will continue to add new tools and refine existing ones, building a repertoire of skills that will serve them throughout their lives. That’s why we offer a diverse range of programs and masterclasses designed to instill these skills in students from an early age. We believe that the investment in these skills should begin in childhood and adolescence, laying the foundation for lifelong success.
These skills form the foundation of effective communication, strong relationships, personal resilience, and decision-making. This is what the masterclasses do: provide students with tools to add to their toolbox. Rather than a traditional classroom’s focus on teaching content, these sessions help students learn strategies within an average of five to six hours.
Early Investment, Lifelong Dividends
In the academic arena, life skills are not merely complementary; they are indispensable. Critical thinking, time management, and problem-solving skills are essential for excelling in coursework. They enable students to analyze complex subjects, meet deadlines, and tackle challenging assignments with ease. When cultivated early, these skills transform students into adept learners, setting them on a trajectory for academic excellence.
Importantly, life skills go beyond the classroom and profoundly influence one’s future career. Consider professionalism, a quality that 43% of employers in the ZipRecruiter survey identified as lacking in job candidates. Developing professionalism from a young age equips students with the traits that employers value most – reliability, punctuality, integrity, and respect. By honing these skills, students, such as those participating in ACS Athens OPEN, are well-prepared to stand out in the competitive job market, making their transition into the professional world much smoother.
By investing in personal development from an early age, students gain a distinct advantage – not just in academics but in every aspect of their lives.