Skilling and Staying Relevant : The Only Way to Survive in the Age of Automation It is essential that students of today are IT fluent and able to exercise their creativity and critical-thinking skills

By Beas Dev Ralhan

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

You're reading Entrepreneur India, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.

Technology is evolving at a very fast pace. Cutting-edge technologies of today would either become outdated or evolve into unrecognizably advanced forms 15 years from now. To add to this, there is the fear that Artificial Intelligence (AI) would outsmart humans and replace manual labor. Therefore, today's software and programming languages will be rendered obsolete by the time today's students join the future workforce. In such a scenario, skilling and up-skilling become the need of the hour to stay relevant at the workplace. Corporates are training their mid-level employees so that they can keep pace with evolving technology. However, the most important question to address right now is how we train students of the present generation to cope with changing technology when they enter professional life.

The present gap in education

For instance, let's take the case of computer science as a subject and its relevance at the workplace for students in the future. The current teaching methods focus on making students IT literate by equipping them with skills required to use today's technology in different fields. Students become adept at using a word processor to write and format documents or create presentations using slides. However, when new versions of software are developed and applications change, their knowledge becomes obsolete. IT literacy skills focus mainly on learning software rather than enhancing skills. Similarly, besides just gaining subject matter knowledge, students must also be equipped with 21st-century skills to be future-ready.

21st-century skills

21st-century skills help students to make sense of complex situations, solve problems, conduct investigations and communicate ideas. Educators recognise 21st-century skills as higher-order thinking skills and abilities essential for a student to prosper and succeed in today's world. Critical-thinking is the ability to understand the connection between ideas and construct and evaluate arguments to solve problems systematically. Creativity is essential to make something new, be it in the field of science or humanities. The ability to collaborate with others and communicate your thoughts and ideas is another 21st-century skill. The purpose of helping a student develop these skills is to help them become future innovators. Adaptability, another 21st-century skill, helps students become adaptable to new challenges and situations.

Rote learning, which has its own benefits, is not enough to help students attain 21st-century skills.

How can students attain 21st-century skills?

Active learning needs to take place to put students at the helm of the learning process. They can no longer be passive recipients of information. Activity-based learning with an emphasis on hands-on experience and group interaction can help students remember concepts for a long time. Enquiry-based learning begins by posing problems and scenarios rather than presenting solutions. It involves self-directed research and enhances their problem-solving skills. A grade-appropriate curriculum catering to the different needs of different students in a classroom is the way to help students tap into their capabilities.

It was once perceived that automation would not impact cognitive routine tasks. However, research has shown that the perception is false. A curriculum ought to be designed such that students of today are innovative thinkers of tomorrow. Research suggests that soon collaboration and communication will happen through apps. Thus, it is essential that today's students are IT fluent and able to exercise their creativity and critical-thinking skills.

Beas Dev Ralhan

Co-Founder & CEO - Next Education India Pvt. Ltd.

Related Topics


If You Want People to Follow You, Stop Being a Boss — 8 Steps to Truly Effective Leadership

Understand the key differences and embark on the journey from boss to leader with these eight vital steps. This article unveils how to inspire and lead teams with passion and purpose.

Business News

This Influencer Has Nearly 150,000 Instagram Followers and Makes Over $10,000 a Month. There's Just One Catch—She's Not Real.

Aitana López has over 149,000 Instagram followers and brands love her. Is she the future of social media marketing?

Money & Finance

How to Make Money Fast: 10 Real Ways to Make Money Quickly

Want to make extra money ASAP? Check out this breakdown of 10 ways to make money fast to get inspired and start earning quickly.


What Should You Value More — An Investor's Money or Their Experience?

On this episode of "Entrepreneur Elevator Pitch," a contestant has a very tough decision to make: Take the big money now, or gamble on bigger money later.

Business News

Photos Leak of McDonald's New Space Age Spinoff Restaurant 'CosMc's'

The mega fast food chain is experimenting with a galactic-themed restaurant, drawing inspiration from an alien character featured in its 1980s commercials.

Business Ideas

55 Small Business Ideas to Start in 2023

We put together a list of the best, most profitable small business ideas for entrepreneurs to pursue in 2023.