Soft skills – often known as “core” or life skills – are an important toolset students will need to develop in order to achieve their fullest potential. Here are 4 important soft skills all students should practice to prepare for life after school!
1. Communication. This skill set includes your ability to express yourself effectively in various settings, from public speaking to personal conversation. In both the classroom and the workplace, public speaking is an important skill which is heavily relied upon for team-based communication, presentations, and group projects. Public speaking is also one of the most commonly held fears, so don’t worry if it doesn’t come naturally to you! Check out our blog for some awesome public speaking strategies to help build confidence. On the flip side, it’s also important to feel comfortable communicating one on one – for students, this includes reaching out to parents or teachers for support when needed.
2. Critical Thinking. With the constant flow of information these days, it’s more important than ever for students to develop critical thinking skills early on. From an academic standpoint, this involves understanding how to identify credible sources and form your own educated opinion once the facts have been examined. Critical thinking skills are required far beyond the classroom as well – the prevalence of social media culture, targeted advertising, and disreputable news sources in today’s world makes it absolutely crucial for young minds to learn to think for themselves. To learn more about identifying critical sources, check out our guide on the topic!
3. Problem Solving. This soft skill is one of the most self-explanatory, and few would disagree that being a “problem solver” is a highly desirable quality. From a young age, problem solving skills teach students to approach challenges from multiple angles in order to find a solution. Beyond the classroom, problem solving skills are an incredibly valuable career trait. In fact, most of our society’s revolutionary inventions were created to solve problems! MP3 players like the iPod solved the problem of having to lug a disc player and multiple CDs everywhere you went. And when those became essential, Steve Jobs solved the new problem of now having to carry both a cell phone and an MP3 player in your pocket by combining them into one device – the now ubiquitous iPhone. The importance of problem solving skills truly cannot be understated!
4. Financial Literacy. All adults know that money management skills are important, so it makes sense to introduce kids to these skills at a young age. In many ways, teaching financial literacy from a younger age is better as kids can practice these skills when the stakes are low. Later in life, financial literacy skills obviously become more critical to our daily lives – but even high school students should get comfortable with financial matters (especially due to the cost of attending college). To learn more about developing financial literacy, check out our blog on the topic!