The global economy has been transformed by the Internet in the last two decades. In the developed world, the economic engine has shifted toward a post-industrial model of employment, where factory work and routine office work is routinely outsourced or automated by robots and software.

The pace of change is set to dramatically accelerate in the next decade and we’re going to see entire industries and occupations rendered obsolete. To survive and thrive in this rapidly changing economic environment, you need to be relentless focused on improving your skills and talents through self-directed learning.

The rapid evolution of mobile connectivity and cloud-based office technology now makes it easy for anyone to own the means of digital production that are required to work from anywhere and profit from skills and labor.

The career path of a 21st-century careers allows us to create our own job opportunities by freelancing, testing out our ideas by building our digital brands, getting creative with our talent development and how we create value for other people.

New Skills For The Knowledge-Based Digital Economy

“The world economy no longer pays you for what you know; Google knows everything. The world economy pays you for what you can do with what you know.” – Andrea Schleicher, Director for Education and Skills for the OECD

A recent study found that 65% of today’s grade-school kids will do jobs that haven’t been invented yet. We have never seen such a rapid pace of accelerated change. The only competitive advantage in this new economic landscape is our ability to learn and adapt, which necessitates we have a self-education plan to be continually upgrading our skills.

To navigate this challenging job market, the Partnership for 21st Century Skills has identified three types of skills that we all need to be continually working at developing, which they call 21st-century skills:

Learning Skills:

Learning skills involve how we process information and connect the dots between different subjects. It also involves developing our ability to collaborate and communicate the values of our ideas in a clear and concise way.

  1. Critical Thinking
  2. Creative Thinking
  3. Collaboration
  4. Communication

 

Literacy Skills:

Literacy skills involve how we recognize truth from fiction on social media networks on the web. It also involves knowing how to use information technology to share your stories and inspire people.

  1. Information Literacy
  2. Media Literacy
  3. Technology Literacy

 

Life Skills:

Life skills are all about taking initiative, creating a vision for our career and developing our personal brand. We all need to work on being more confident leaders who get things done.

  1. Flexibility
  2. Initiative
  3. Social Skills
  4. Productivity
  5. Leadership

 

21st Century Skills = 21st Century Careers

In today’s job market, employers want to hire and work with versatile people who have a variety of these 21st century skillsets. They also want to see a record of continual learning achievement and a digital portfolio that demonstrates their competence, creativity and forward-thinking.

I believe there is no better way to develop a 21st-century career than by harness the incredible power of self-directed online learning. When you can learn independently and apply what you learn by building your own creative projects, you thrive in a world of accelerating change.

To create a social element for your self-directed learning, I highly recommend seeking out other self-directed learners in your area and organizing study groups and mastermind groups where you can schedule weekly virtual meeting using online collaboration tools like Google Hangouts, together at local coffee shops, or join a co-working space.

I created DIY Genius because I strongly believe that the most fundamental skills for 21st-century careers are how you tell your story and turn your ideas into reality. You have everything you need at our fingertips to actively develop your knowledge and skills through self-directed learning and that’s what makes the future so exciting and full of possibilities.