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Career & Life skills

10 skills you will need in 2020

Today’s life and work environments require far more than thinking skills and content knowledge. The ability to navigate the complex life and work environments in the globally competitive information age requires students to pay rigorous attention to developing adequate life and career skills (P21).

Organisations such as; P21.org and the World Economic Forum have conducted research and identified a range of skills that students will need to be successful in the 21st century: P21 Framework, WEF report 2016.

Career & life skills identified in the P21 Framework include; Flexibility & adaptability, initiative & self-direction, social & cross-cultural skills, productivity & accountability, leadership & responsibility. The P21 framework also incorporates other literacies that are important for a  safe and healthy life: Financial, economic, business & entrepreneurial literacyCivic literacyHealth literacy, and Environment literacy.

What will the future hold?


"Taking charge of your own development is always a good idea" (para. 2). Developing your own personal learning environment (PLE) and networks (PLN) can assist you to develop your skills and form connections with others.

Morris identifies 6 important life skills that "everyone can (and should) work to improve, regardless of where you are at in your career": These are: 1) Mindfulness, 2) Collaborating across differences, 3) Resilience, 4) Working at your highest and best use, 5) Empathy, and 6) Inquiry (or "learn how").

Personal learning environments

There are many definitions for personal learning environments (PLE). However, Wilson (a PLE pioneer) defined the PLE as: "the collection of tools used in one’s personal working and learning routine" (Martindale & Dowdy, 2010, p. 180).

Building a personal learning toolkit
(Porter, OERworkshop, Module, 1, 2011)

Personal learning environments share a close relationship with personal learning networks (PLN).

Personal learning networks

Couros observed that although there was a body of research about the concept of PLEs, there was only anecdotal evidence about PLNs and there was no clear definition for a PLN. He defined a PLN as:
the sum of all social capital and connections that result in the development and facilitation of a personal learning environment 
(Couros, 2010, p. 125).
Diigo: Community library search
Personal learning networks

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Graduate employability

Graduate employability means that higher education alumni have developed the capacity to obtain and/or create work. Furthermore, employability means that institutions and employers have supported the student knowledge, skills, attributes, reflective disposition and identity that graduates need to succeed in the workforce (OLT project, n.d. para. 3).

Associate Professor Ruth Bridgestock

Professor Dawn Bennett

In Ontario the Ministry for Education has created an educational and career/life planning program for Ontario schools (K-12) called: Creating pathways to success (2013) to assist all students with career development for the 21st century.

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