Advertisement

Twenty-First Century Skills

  • Catherine A. DiBenedettoEmail author
Reference work entry

Abstract

Across the globe the term “twenty-first century skills” has become the focus of schools for preparation for work and the center of attention for industry leaders to maintain a competitive advantage in our ever-changing, technologically advanced world. Definitions of twenty-first century skills vary, but include lists of similar competencies and proficiencies commonly termed employability skills, soft skills, and hard skills. Career Ready Practices have been identified by the National Association of State Directors of Career and Technical Education Consortium/National Career Technical Education Foundation as skills required in 16 career and technical education career clusters that students should know and be able to do upon completion of a program of study. International perspectives of cross-cultural competencies and global awareness have been jointly recognized by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, a collaborative of 34-member countries which comprise 80% of world trade and investment. As we enter the fourth industrial revolution, to increase productivity and effectively address skills for the future, the international philosophy has become based not on “lifetime employment” but rather on “lifelong employability and lifelong learning.” Many agree that communication skills are the number one competency required to be a successful wage earner. Several lists of twenty-first-century skills are reviewed and presented in summary format to assist the reader in understanding what currently exists in the literature base to better define work readiness in the twenty-first century.

Keywords

Twenty-first-century skills Academic skills Competencies Dispositions Employability skills Fourth revolution Hard skills Knowledge Soft skills Technological skills Work readiness 

References

  1. ACT (2010) A first look at the common core and college and career readiness. Available via DIALOG. http://www.act.org/research/policymaker/pdf/FirstLook.pdf. Accessed 4 Oct 2017
  2. Bardia G (2010) Smart communication: the key to managing your new age business. IUP J Skills 4:27–33Google Scholar
  3. Bartram D (2005) The great eight competencies: a criterion-centric approach to validation. J Appl Psychol 90:1185–1203CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Boyatzis RE (2008) Competencies in the 21st century. J Manag Dev 27:5–12CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bybee RW (2009) Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) 2006 and scientific literacy. Sci Educ 18:1–13CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Career Builder.co.uk (2015) Employers: university graduates not prepared to enter the workforce. Available via DIALOG. https://hiring.careerbuilder.co.uk/news/university-graduates-not-prepared-to-enter-the-workforce#.Wg2yg1DoSsM.email. Accessed 14 Nov 2017
  7. Carnevale AP (2013) 21st century competencies: for college and career readiness. National Career Development Association. Available via DIALOG. https://repository.library.georgetown.edu/handle/10822/559289. Accessed 30 Oct 2017
  8. Carnevale AP, Smith N (2013) Workplace basics: the skills employees need and employers want. Hum Resour Dev Int 16:491–501CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Casella G (2017) The role of universities’ career services in improving the “skills match” between new graduates and employers: an international benchmarking. Thesis, Università Ca’Foscari VeneziaGoogle Scholar
  10. Conley DT (2014) Getting ready for college, careers, and the common core: what every educator needs to know. Jossey-Bass, San FranciscoGoogle Scholar
  11. Conroy CA, Scanlon DC, Kelsey KD (1998) Influences on adolescent job choice: implications for teaching career awareness in agricultural education. J Agric Educ 39:30–38CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Crawford P, Lang S, Fink W, Dalton R, Fielitz L (2011) Comparative analysis of soft skills: what is important for new graduates? Michigan State University and the University Industry Consortium. pp 1–24Google Scholar
  13. CTE Technical Assistance Center of New York (2013) Career readiness is more than career and technical education. Available via DIALOG. http://spnetwork.org/spn/userMedia/63/72763/files/Career_Readiness_vs_CTE.pdf. Accessed 3 Mar 2014
  14. Darling-Hammond L, McCloskey L (2007) Assessment for learning around the world: what would it mean to be internationally competitive? Phi Delta Kappan 90:263–272CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. DiBenedetto C, Myers B (2016) A conceptual model for the study of student readiness in the 21st century. NACTA J 60:28–35Google Scholar
  16. Duckworth AL, Peterson C, Matthews MD, Kelly DR (2007) Grit: perseverance and passion for long-term goals. J Pers Soc Psychol 92:1087CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Dutta B (2008) Communication in cross-cultural context. ICFAI J Soft Skills 2:7–12Google Scholar
  18. e-Competence Framework (e-CF) (2016) A common European framework for ICT professionals in all industry sectors – part 1: framework. EN 16234-1:2016Google Scholar
  19. Fabris C (2015) College students think they’re ready for the work force. Employers aren’t so sure. The Chronicle of Higher Education 20Google Scholar
  20. Goodlad JI (1984) A place called school: prospects for the future. McGraw-Hill, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  21. Huitt W (1999) The SCANS report revisited. Paper presented at the fifth annual Gulf south business and vocational education conference. Valdosta State University, 18 Apr 1997Google Scholar
  22. John J (2009) Study on the nature of impact of soft skills training programme on the soft skills development of management students. Pacific Bus Rev:19–27Google Scholar
  23. Klaus P (2010) Communication breakdown. Calif Job J 28:1–9Google Scholar
  24. Lee R, Mark Kendall M, Simmons T (2017) To train tomorrow’s leaders universities need to teach universal skillsets. Available via DIALOG. https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2017/10/to-train-tomorrow-s-leaders-universities-need-again-to-teach-universal-skillsets. Accessed 14 Nov 2017
  25. Lynch RL (2000) High school career and technical education for the first decade of the 21st century. J Vocat Educ Res 25:155–198Google Scholar
  26. Mishra K (2014) Employability skills that recruiters demand. IUP J Soft Skills 8:50–54Google Scholar
  27. Mulder M (2016) Competence for life- a review of developments and perspective for the future. Farewell Address, Wageningen University & Research. ISBN 978-94-6257-967-5Google Scholar
  28. Mulder M (2017) Competence-based vocational and professional education. In: Bridging the worlds of work and education. Springer, ChamGoogle Scholar
  29. National Career Technical Education Foundation (2012) National Association of State Directors of Career and Technical Education Consortium (NASDCTEc). Accessed from http://blog.careertech.org/?tag=national-career-technical-education-foundation
  30. National Commission on Excellence in Education (NCEE) (1983) A nation at risk: the imperative for educational reform. Elem Sch J 84(2):113–130CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. OECD (1996) OECD jobs strategy: Pushing ahead with the strategy. http://www.oecd.org. Accessed 4 Oct 2017
  32. OECD (2010) The OECD innovative strategy: getting a head start on tomorrow. Available via DIALOG. http://www.oecd.org. Accessed 4 Oct 2017
  33. OECD (2011) Better policies for better lives: the OECD at 50 and beyond. Available via DIALOG. http://www.oecd.org. Accessed 4 Oct 2017
  34. Partnership for 21st Century Skills (2009) Framework for 21st century learning. Available via DIALOG. http://www.21stcenturyskills.org/documents/P21_Framework.pdf. Accessed 4 Oct 2017
  35. Robles MM (2012) Executive perceptions of the top 10 soft skills needed in today’s workplace. Bus Commun Q 75:453–465CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Schwab K (2017) The fourth industrial revolution. Crown Business, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  37. Secretary’s Commission on Achieving Necessary Skills (1991) What work requires of schools. Available via DIALOG. http://www.eric.ed.gov/PDFS/ED332054.pdf. Accessed 4 Oct 2017
  38. Sensenig K (2009) The five essential skills for a global marketplace. Employ Relat Today 36:27–33CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Simpson D (2016) Cultural intelligence as an important attribute of global managers. Int Bus Global Econ 35:295–308Google Scholar
  40. Soland J, Hamilton LS, Stecher BM (2013) Measuring 21st-century competencies. Available via DIALOG. http://www.rand.org/pubs/external_publications/EP50463.html. Accessed 3 Mar 2014
  41. Stone JR III, Lewis MV (2012) College and career ready in the 21st century: making high school matter, Teachers College Press, 1234 Amsterdam Avenue, New York, NY 10027Google Scholar
  42. Trilling B, Fadel C (2009) 21st century skills: learning for life in our times. Jossey-Bass, San FranciscoGoogle Scholar
  43. Wilhelm WJ (2004) Determinants of moral reasoning: academic factors, gender, richness of life experiences, and religious preferences. Delta Pi Epsilon J 46:105–121Google Scholar
  44. Zinser R (2003) Developing career and employability skills: a US case study. Educ Train 45:402–6410CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Clemson UniversityClemsonUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Kirby Barrick
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Agricultural Education and CommunicationUniversity of FloridaGainesvilleUSA

Personalised recommendations