The ability to learn how to learn is especially crucial for the generation of young people growing up with the digital revolution and changing economy.
For the next generation, the future of work is not a far-off horizon where machines, algorithms and artificial intelligence take their jobs. Instead, the age of automation means those entering the workforce in the coming years will enter a Skills Revolution where people work alongside robots and automation augments human labor.
The key to unlocking value for this generation will be Learnability. Youth skills that will be most prized are the ability to keep developing skills. Learnability is “the desire and ability to quickly grow and adapt one's skill set to remain employable throughout their working life.”
If you are part of this generation or mentoring someone who is, here are steps to cultivate Learnability from a young age – creating the building blocks to keep advancing.
Recognize current limitations
There is a half-life that is growing shorter and shorter for all skills. That’s why it’s increasingly important to learn how to learn, and have an aptitude toward growth. As history shows, each workforce revolution spawns an education revolution to provide a more skilled workforce to take advantage of the new jobs created. For young people, Learnability will provide the bridge between those that have the necessary skills and those who do not.
Understand there are different learners
Not all learners are created equally. Young people need to understand what kind of learners they are – their Learnability Quotient – to match with opportunities to continuously develop skills. The Learnability Quotient creates a way to assess learning styles and receive recommendations for how to develop and learn with data-driven insights.
View learning in cycles
In the past, education was seen as an upward trajectory that ended – at least formally – by starting a full-time job. Today, learning continues after graduation. The straight line of learning, working and retiring has been replaced by living longer, working longer and changing jobs throughout more often. This means that young people should plan from a young age to learn in cycles – education mixed in with application – to learn more and earn more throughout their careers.
Overall, tomorrow’s workforce needs a complete mindset shift. Learning doesn’t end with getting a job. It starts with Learnability.