Roshan Jariwala

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What skills should future graduates possess ?

Revolutionizing higher education system, changing the paradigm, graduate skills gap, no doubt uber minds of this world are in Financial sector and responsible for GFC - moralizing, multiculturalism, technology, sustainability, et cetera, these are some of the hot topics. So how about we ask the same question that was asked in 19th Century during which the schooling system was build: What skills should future graduates posses as a responsible citizen and also as a drivers of the economy ? Answering this question might help us design the next generation of education system, what do you think ?

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    Sep 16 2011: A partial list:
    Playing
    Thinking
    Communication
    Acceptance
    Reading
    Writing
    Math
    Science
    History (of ideas, not war)
    Art
    Any practical skill (making something ... anything)
    "Life Skills" - budgeting, diet, exercise.
    Professional Skills (How to do a job.)

    Perhaps most importantly:

    Learning how to learn.
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    Sep 13 2011: The ability to ask good questions.
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      Sep 16 2011: What do you mean by that?
    • Sep 17 2011: I think more important that asking good questions is the ability to recognize and understand good questions, to make sure you're solving the real problem, to know how or where to look for the answers, and how to explain your solution.
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        Sep 19 2011: How can anyone determine whether a question is good or bad? a question might make a very much sense to someone but for other could be senseless. Each and every question is important according to individual perspective and level of curosity.
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          Sep 19 2011: Well said.....there is saying like below"

          There is no dumb questions only answer can be dumb..."
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          Sep 19 2011: There are such things as bad questions.

          Loaded questions
          asking polar questions when more explanation is needed.

          Think about Math class.

          "What's the answer to number one?"
          as opposed to
          "How do you do number one?"
        • Sep 20 2011: "How can anyone determine whether a question is good or bad?"

          Good question! :-) Sorry, I couldn't resist.

          Some questions present false dichotomies: "Should I choose A or B?" The correct solution may be both or neither. Some questions are red herrings. Determining their answer many not have any influence on the next step to take. Some questions fail to get to the root of the problem: "How do I fix X?" It may be better to ask, "Why did X happen?" And sometimes a question is ambiguous so that you answer what was asked, but not what was intended.
        • Sep 24 2011: The examples of "bad questions" given above seem fall into the category of various "logical fallacies". "Loaded question" or "questions with false dichotomies" are examples of lack of understanding in logic and/or argument. Asking good question implies understanding the context, knowing what should have been known in the context (and hence would not ask question with obvious answer) and genuinely asking a question from an angle previously has not been taken.

          Not all questions are good question. But is the ability to ask good questions THE most important attribute of future citizens? While asking a good question is a good step, the ability to solve problem is more important - just my opinion.
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      Sep 19 2011: Yes I agree, ability to constantly ask questions and creative and analytical thinking skills.
    • Sep 19 2011: How do you qualify a "good" question?

      The definition of a question is an interrogative statement intended to obtain knowledge. To me, a "good" question is one which not only enhances an individual's understanding of any subject, but triggers a chain reaction of exploratory thoughts in the minds of others, leading to higher dimensions of thought, information exchange, and problem solving strategies within a collective.

      One of my favorite quotes, origin long forgotten, is the only "bad" or "foolish" question is the one NOT asked.....
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        Sep 19 2011: I was in argumentation class the other day and during a lecture a student raised his hand, the professor paused and said "question?"
        The kid replies "No it's a dumb question never mind."
        The professor said, "no such thing as a dumb question"
        The kid said "how do you draw a seahorse?"


        Not a good question.
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          Sep 19 2011: Here the things are going out of the way a bit, we are talking about GRADUATES and the skills what they need to possess as a responsible citizen and also as a drivers of the economy, in that case it can be assumed they will be having enough maturity level to ask questions that actaually makes sense!!!
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          Sep 20 2011: @Christopher agree with you. Usually kids with their all beautiful curiosity comes up with brilliant questions, diffficult question for us as adult to answer. But as they grow up or we grew up to our adulthood lost that questioning skill because different socio-psychological reason....

          That's why to encourage adults (as up to some age kids automatically ask) to ask questions that saying came "All questions are good"In my professional life I do encourage my team to do so.....doing so definitely every now and then come across question which are really not good some are just question for question sake ,some are irrelavant to the topic etc....

          Just sharing an age old folk joke of my culture & country

          Once one very shy guy got married. He was very shy to talk anyone. Well after marriage as custom he was going to his in law place, where again as part of custom he was supposed to had dinner with his father in law every night.The mother of the groom was a bit nervous that her son could be percieved as dumb or not smart enough as he does not talk being shy which a mother would never can accept her kid to be a dumb.

          Mother repeatedly told her son before the travel that he should talk at dinner table with his father in law. The guy asked his mother how can I start a talk, what to talk? Mother thought a bit then gave a tip "ok you find any subject to talk then start by asking question".

          At dinner table , the shy guy in front of his father in law got more nervous. Remembering his mother's repeated advice .......so finally he asked his father in law his first question....."Are you married?"

          Note : In our culture still today no one can have a socially accepte kid without marriage for whom they can arrange marraige in a socially accepted way

          How was that question then ? Irrelavent ? Good? Bad? Dumb? any thoughts from anyone is welcome
        • Sep 21 2011: Thats a great story! Brings to light a key element: an atmosphere of humor dramatically enhances the effectiveness, involvement, and engages interest in any group discussing any subject.

          There are several brilliant anecdotes like this incorporated in Sir Ken Robinson's TED talks, I strongly encourage everyone to view his outstanding TED talks here.
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          Sep 24 2011: Hi Steve , thanks for your compliment. Agree with you humor, wit, story in the right frequency etc not only facilitate immediate effective communication but also ensure longer storage in memory for future application of learning , if there was any. Well that's my feeling only.
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        Sep 19 2011: agree!!!
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        Sep 22 2011: One I don't know the answer to :)
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      Sep 23 2011: I cannot emphasize this enough. Being a student myself, I find that too many of my peers fail to articulate their questions in efficient ways. In fact, most of them don't even want to ask questions. Willfull ignorance is a poisonous evil that, unfortunately, is alarmingly common among todays youth.
  • Sep 19 2011: The answer to your question is EXTREMELY well articulated by Sir Ken Robinson, and one need go further than his TED talks or outstanding literary achievement in his ground-breaking book, The Element. Sir Robinson's ideas represent the high watermark for me as the most gifted, insightful, and inspired thinking on this subject. I encourage all to review his work, as well as that of Jamais Cascio, whose own website contains an awe inspiring array of insights addressing this issue. Their work and ideas are astonishingly important and articulate, and offer manifold ways of utterly revolutionizing and improving all levels of education WITHOUT spending billions of dollars, wasting time and human talent taking years to implement. My friend and colleague Namit Yadev (www.namityadev.com) has already launched components of achieving things like this, exemplified by his theory of teaching high level mathematics to Kindergarten through fifth grade level students (who arent yet conditioned to be self-limiting by fear of failure by the industrial revolution modeled production assembly line batch method of American public education, which can serve best as a perfect model of disgraceful failure and waste of (human) resources and potential) with his web site www.mathzee.com.

    There is so much hope for the future IF we expedite the rendering of failing current models of public education into the fossil record as expediently as possible, and I maintain a very strong optimistic view for the future IF everyone focuses on methods to cultivate the diverse multifaceted talents of individual human beings, instead of churning out "batches" of children, where those with exceptional talents go undeveloped because of lack of challenge and those others on the other side of the bell curve who deserve much more encouragement and attention to develop their skills, instead of lowering standards just to pass them along. I hope many others begin to see it from a humanistic, not a fiscal, perspective.
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    Sep 17 2011: Computer skills!
    • Sep 19 2011: Suggest a rephrase: "technological literacy"...

      Given the exponential growth factor in computer power, and the just-around-the-corner explosive potential of the maturation of the presently embryonic brain-computer interfacing technologies, artificial intelligence (virtual sentience), and the limitless possibilities occuring from the advent of nanotechnologies and biomimemics, a new paradigm of human capacity is mandatory to exploit these things for the collective betterment of humankind.


      The current trend of apathy generated by a society dominated by smartphone owners that make pancakes for them is a giant red flag, as is a youth obsessed with destruction-obsessed first person "shooter" games, technology debased into brain-stem thinkers obsessed with the current status quo trend of mindless product peddling, gadget and profit infatuation, and worst of all the continuance (and evolution) of us versus them thinking, xenophobia, aggression, war, violence,etc.
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        Sep 19 2011: limitless indulgence in anything leads to dangerous consequences. in this case its technological literacy.... smartphones, tablets, twitter, fb...... list is never ending. its a vicious circle
  • Sep 16 2011: Two critical skills:
    1. Critical Thinking (students simply accept internet content and media content as factual...they don't know how to think)
    2. Problem Solving (it is amazing how few graduates have been taught ANY problem solving methodology)
    • Sep 20 2011: Agreed, and to add to that, the ability to know and want to know why something is the way it is rather than simply accepting that it is.
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      Sep 20 2011: True. Critical thinking is an art: how to probe at problems and derive your own conclusions to test, rather than accepting "textbook" answers as there are.
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    Sep 22 2011: Mandarin
    • Sep 24 2011: I would argue that future citizen should be fluent in at least 3 natural languages (human languages) and at least one artificial language (computer language).
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    Sep 21 2011: i think the ability to ask questions is more important than ability to ask good questions.
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      Sep 23 2011: agree!!! :)
    • Sep 24 2011: I would have to disagree.

      The ability to ask GOOD question is MORE important than just ask questions. One needs to learn to ask good questions. Stupid questions can be a time-waster for the team trying to solve a problem. There are obvious stupid questions which should not be asked - "can I go to the toilet?" is just one of example. :-)
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        Sep 24 2011: i would elaborate little more. what my point says is that the ability is required to ask questions to oneself. which i think is very much a necessity for any person ready to explore the opportunities around the world. thus if some one keep questioning one self (be it about his/her limitations or capabilities or faith etc. etc.) he/she will be more confidant & clear of the ideas in his/her mind. thus also the chances of failure in any endeavor decreases.
        in short - thoughtfulness & self inquisition should be the skills posses d by graduates.
        • Sep 25 2011: @ASHISH V, thank you for your clarification.

          However, my point still stands. We have to learn to ask good and relevant questions, to the team or to oneself. Irrelevant and stupid questions are waste of time whether it is asked to a group or to oneself.

          As I have pointed out earlier, good questions imply several characteristics:
          1. one has done sufficient research in the problem to know what questions have already been asked and what are the answers to those questions
          2. understand the context in order to ask relevant questions
          3. ability to think "outside the box" to ask questions from angles which have not been tried before.
          4. questions which imply logical fallacies are irrelevant questions and should not be asked.

          The above list may be extended further.

          The point is that asking question involves a cost - to the group or to oneself. We do not have unlimited time (at least we are still limited to our life span) and we should learn to ask good and relevant questions. Not ANY question.
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        Sep 26 2011: a graduate suppose to be mature enough to ask sensible questions, i guess! well! would any sensible graduate ask about going to the toilet if he is in the middle of interview, important lecture, seminar, conference, meeting etc. the whole discussion is about mature undergraduate guys, not kindergarten students.... who keep on asking about going to toilet. we are talking about the guys who are going to stand on their own feet, going to make their career, going to be responsible n civilized civilians, thts the question dear - What skills should future graduates posses as a responsible citizen and also as a drivers of the economy ?
        • Sep 26 2011: Now, we are getting somewhere. ;-)

          "Responsible" - an important quality for our future citizens. A responsibility for "whom"?

          Making tons of money for oneself and leaving the planet in deep trouble for the coming generation is not responsible and we have seen lots of "graduates" doing just that in the past decades. Should good moral be part of the essential requirement of graduates? I would hope so.

          You may have missed my point when I quoted the obviously irrelevant question as a counter-example to demonstrate the invalid assertion that asking question is MORE important than asking GOOD question. I think I have made the point across too strongly. :-)
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          Sep 27 2011: Hi Albert,

          QUOTE: "... a blanket statement for asking questions irrespectively of whether the question is good or relevant [is not good.] ... stupid questions are stupid questions when the circumstance does not call for it.

          I understand. And intellectually, this makes perfect sense, but the thing is, we cannot really be sure what questions are good or relevant until after we ask and answer them.

          And I agree, we should try to be appropriate as to when we ask, who we ask, how we ask and so on. (For example, in our company, we set up sessions for asking "stupid" questions.)

          QUOTE: "Graduates should be 'mature' enough to understand this and not make a blanket statement as the first post in this thread."

          I respectfully disagree. I think they should be mature enough to ask stupid questions. (And the fact that the original post does not explicitly state a contextual domain does not mean one is not implied.)

          From personal experience, I have learned some very useful things because someone asked me a "stupid" question (at the wrong time, in the wrong venue, etc) and it forced me to look at things differently - and profitably.

          So while I understand and accept your position, I would prefer to err on the side of the stupid question, rather than on the side of propriety.

          I would also like the people I hire to do the same.

          Personally, I like stupid questions.

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        Sep 26 2011: Hi Albert,

        Asking "stupid" questions can be quite useful. And the idea that we have to ask "good" question causes us to self-edit (so we don't look stupid) and, as a result, we miss lots of possible creative discoveries and insights simply because we limit ourselves to smart questions.

        Edward de Bono's lateral thinking is based, in part, on the act of asking "dumb" questions. For example, asking what would happen if cars had square wheels, led to the development of modern suspension systems.
        • Sep 27 2011: I fully understand the need (under some situations) to ask questions without evaluating whether the question is relevant or contextual - as per de Bono. However, it is not the same as a blanket statement for asking questions irrespectively of whether the question is good or relevant.

          When we are looking for creative ideas, any questions should be asked - that's a methodology rather than an attribute of responsible graduates.

          Thinking skills - logical, lateral, creative - are essential for success in the future economy - but still a blanket statement for any question under ALL situations missed the point. When the situation calls for it, we can use methodologies as suggested by de Bono and others. But stupid questions are stupid questions when the circumstance does not call for it. Graduates should be "mature" enough to understand this and not make a blanket statement as the first post in this thread.
      • Sep 27 2011: I think its okay to even ask "stupid questions" sometimes! not the "may i go to the toilet kind" but you know...Well, because what may seem to be a silly question may as well turn out to be hitting the nail of the issue...I think no question is ever too silly to be asked given the maturity of working people...Sometimes these seemingly "silly" questions challenge assumptions behind and makes one rethink about the basis of the arguments or issues at heart..In fact, i think it is a part of critical thinking by not accepting whatever there is and taking it as the truth....Even then, if silly questions are really asked, its perfectly fine...Because sometimes after asking silly questions, it sharpens the thoughts and makes one realise the fallacies in it and from there, the person would learn to ask better questions..
        • Sep 27 2011: If you can just cite an example, I will be convinced. Before that, I still do not agree ANY question is appropriate in ALL situations.
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        Sep 27 2011: @Albert lp most of the people over here disagree with "good question" statement so i do. for me it requires a great deal of courage to ask question first, then comes the stuff whether the question is good or bad? In teacher's perspective - if student is not asking question then he is not able to understand. on understanding stuff only, question pops up in our mind out of curosity, so behind even the silly question there is always being a thought process, in order to think you need to use your mind.
        "TO FIND ANSWERS TO THE TOUGHEST QUESTIONS, WE NEED OPEN-MINDED AND CURIOUS PEOPLE WHO DARE TO ASK THEM"
        • Sep 27 2011: Open-minded is not the same as being totally ignorance about the context and the problem at hand. Questions which help clarify context and issues have their places at the beginning. If someone keeps coming back to the same context and issues without suggesting any further insight, I would be quite upset especially when time to solve the problem is running out.

          Allowing students to ask question is again, not the same as asking questions as a graduate at work. Encouraging students to ask questions is not the same as encouraging graduates in working situation to ask stupid question.

          There is stupid question. I have given an example already. The example I gave would be inappropriate in ANY standard. So, asking question (including stupid question) is NOT what we would want from graduates. However, I do not deny the need and ability to ask GOOD questions and I also support suspension of judgement during brain-storming. But this is a technique for brain storming. After the brain-storming, good questions count and stupid questions are waste of time.

          Once upon a time, almost everyone on Earth would say Earth was flat. Knowledge is not a popularity contest. I respect people's disagreement with my view, but I still have not seen a compelling argument as to why asking ANY question is a good graduate attribute.
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      Sep 27 2011: Hey Albert,

      I think we take your point: There are "stupid" questions; and then there are "idiotic" questions.

      A stupid question might be: "Why is the computer beige?" When all computers where beige. Or: "Why are the wheels on the bottom of the car?" Or: "Why do we build buildings from the bottom up?" Or: "Could we give our product or service away for free?"

      [Those are all "good" stupid questions.]

      An idiotic question might be: "Did you dye your hair?" Or: "Have you put on a little weight?" Or: "How many cents in a dollar? (Unless it's from someone familiar only with Yuan.)

      The point I am making is: If we worry too much about asking "good" questions, we won't ask enough questions.

      By the way, I am not talking about this from an academic perspective. I train managers. And one of the hardest things for me to train them to do is ask questions. They are terrified of looking stupid. They are also terrified of making their bosses look stupid. So they don't ask any questions just in case the question they actually want to ask are seen as stupid questions.
      • Sep 27 2011: Hi Thomas,

        I can understand the position you are coming from.

        Here is a point for your consideration.

        Consider the following two situations; playing golf with your boss and with your best mates. Are these the same situations?

        In work place, no matter how we "train" workers to ask questions, they won't ask questions - because of the same situation illustrated in the above scenarios.

        To get workers to ask questions, we need to ensure the identity of the workers are saved and hence questions will NOT jeopardize their jobs or careers. There is only so much that we can suspense judgement and suspense judgement of questions' validity and usefulness. Asking stupid questions or smart questions are not good for office politics.

        But as a discussion of graduate quality, I am still waiting for an example of how a stupid question can help. The de Bono example was for brain storming. I like an example in a group process in which a stupid question actually helps in solving a problem.
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          Sep 27 2011: "The more comfortable we become with being stupid, the deeper we will wade into the unknown and the more likely we are to make big discoveries." - Martin A. Schwartz, Journal of Cell Science, June 2008

          Hi Albert,

          If you understand the benefits of being able to ask stupid questions (because you will not be ridiculed for doing so) then you understand my point. Anonymity is one way to make that possible but a better way is simply a change in attitude - making it okay to ask ANY question.

          Examples are not necessary (although I have provided one or two - without transcribing the actual questions.)

          "Does the earth move?" was considered a stupid question when it was first asked.

          Einstein did not ask "smart" questions, he asked "simple" questions. (Jacob Bronowski)

          You can probably think of some examples on your own; a time when a stupid question led to an insight.

          I understand your point. You understand my point. I think we're good.
      • Sep 27 2011: Yes,we are.
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    Sep 19 2011: A degree on a subject they are passionate about. I went to university and studied a subject which I liked at school (because of the excellent teachers). I was about 16 or 17 when I chose my degree. By the time I finished my degree I had realised that it wasn't where my heart was. My career has taken me in steps towards what I am truly interested in. I wish I had the head start that all my friends at school who always dreamed of being a vet or artist had.
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      Sep 19 2011: i have been into same kind of situation, i know very well what you are trying to convey, Till school we dont see world from our perspective we keep on lookin at it by others (teachers, friends, parent) and like it very much that way. On attaining a maturity level with sound logical and conceptual thinking, we came to realize this is what i am? this is what i am good at? this is what i can do for lifetime? this is something what i can choose as my love my passion, my profession not as a work or any kind of burden......
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      Sep 19 2011: Hey Neil,

      I'll bet most of your friends still don't know what they want to do when they grow up. Figuring it out as we go along is standard operating procedure for humans.

      My brother-in-law got a degree in business admin, became a CPA, worked for a few years and realized he would rather teach music ... he went back to school, got a degree in music and now he teaches cello.
  • Sep 27 2011: well stupid questions like "Why is there 24 hours, and not 25 hours in a day? " i think asking such questions challenge the well known but often least understood fact of why that is the case...and the answer would be due to the earth's rotation and a follow up would be why does the Earth rotate at this speed? What factors cause it to rotate at this speed? asking such questions in fact unravel even more scientific knowledge and facts which would enhance our understanding of the subject
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    Sep 27 2011: The ability to change & improve the existing.
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    Sep 26 2011: The exact opposite of which we are being equipped. The ability to think deeply, creatively, and ultimately solve current problems.
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    Sep 22 2011: Future grads will need to work collaboratively with people of different cultures from across the world. The traditional work "landscape" is changing and you may be working on a project with people on three or four different continents. I think, too, that they will all need to be multi-lingual. The U.S. has fallen far behind in that area and it puts us at a great disadvantage in the world. They all need to be creative problem solvers as well. There is a wonderful book by Charles Fadel and Bernie Trilling about 21st Century Skills that addresses just this topic. I highly recommend it.
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    Sep 22 2011: Flexibility, patience, and clear communication. Yes, the traditional writing, research, and math skills are important. Without the first three, however, your ability to impact the world in a meaningful way is very limited.
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    Sep 20 2011: I agree with the many others who talk about creative and critical thinking skills. Working in higher education, I know that these are important for my students to understand.

    Student also need to know how to connect and synthesize what they've learned. A true learner can put information that may not be coming from the place source. In the work world, these former students will need to be able to synthesize all kinds of knowledge to do their job effectively.

    Eventually if we shift our education systems to be more focused on the thinking instead and less on the exact pieces of knowledge, our students can go into any job and learn it along the way.
  • Sep 19 2011: @Roshan J in regards to your previous comment: "passion" is not a "skill". I am fundamentally self educated, lack any credentials, nonetheless believe that the key lies in unleashing, catalytically, every students potential to encourage and foster development of a lifelong love of the acquisition of knowledge, the relentless pursuit of understanding and discovering truths behind the endless universes through the process of learning and questioning everything.

    to quote Plutarch, as astronaut Dave Scott, one of the twelve to walk on the lunar surface, did: "the mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be lighted"

    EX LUNA SCIENTIA, from the Moon, knowledge... the motto of James Lovell of Apollo 8 and 13, the first human to witness the Earth rising over the lunar horizon, and capturing on film the first view of the Earth from that perspective, the first one to witness this Earthrise over the surface of the moon in the dawn of discovery of such human knowledge, resulting in the most world famous photographic images of all human history... December 24th, 1968.

    No one had ever seen the Earth from space from that perspective until that moment, and now it has become a modern cultural archetype... EVERY Earthling now recognizes imagery from the Earth from distant space after that stunning achievement. Just one example of how human imagination, dreams manifest in reality through massive peaceful collaboration (400,000 people who contributed their lives to the dream of Apollo, utilizing a rich array of STEM disciplines and imagination... diverse human talent making the hitherto impossible a reality) present a model to create new possibilities and solve otherwise intractable problems... within this and future generations. We must embrace this new paradigm of possibility, or risk extinction by maintaining the status quo.
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    Sep 19 2011: First thing what I feel is not only applicable to future graduates but also to current & past graduates, if one wants to succeed one need to realize that Graduation means certification only & it's not end of learning.
    And the fallacy is, that certificate never could say how much actually the graduate learned even.

    So staying curious is key, expression of which @ Christopher posted below.......
  • Sep 18 2011: There are knowledge we all need to be part of. We all need experts in all kind of professions. But what we need most are people how believe in them self, people who can cooperate, people who see possibilities and get things done. Give all the students a good portion of self esteem, wide open minds and a warm hart.
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    Sep 17 2011: future graduate should posess a balanced combination of Hard Skills + Soft skills, which include all the mandatory set of technical knowledge as well as complimenary skills like leadership skills, effective communication, stress management, time management, coordination, positive attitude, logical thinking etc... skills cant be generalized specifically for anyone as everyone plays unique and distinct role according to respective profession, a fine arts graduate CAN afford to be introvert as his potraits or some other artistic establishment can explain his talent more than the words, but a marketing graduate CAN'T afford to be introvert at any cost. Agree???
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      Sep 20 2011: Absolutely. In addition to the Hard skills + soft skills, I would also add Ethical skills/values and then this would be the perfect combination.
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        Sep 20 2011: ultimately the perfect combination.... :) thanks for contribution!!! i completely agree with you, without ethical and moral values we cant consider any human being civilized, successful in real terms and beautiful at heart and soul....
  • Sep 17 2011: To be confident, and to strive to achieve their goals regardless of what others say, or their social position. That first step, is or might be the longest stride.
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    • Sep 19 2011: Suggested reading material addressing practical means of accomplishing this for the business/economy sector: "Executive Thinking: from Brightness to Brilliance" by Dr. Kevin Baize and Dr. Morris Graham, PhD.

      My personal theory is developing lateral thinking skills at a very early age, K-5, when the physiological development of the neocortex is many orders of magnitude greater than later in life, and likewise the trend in establishing far more multidimensional reasoning and creative problem solving is directly proportional to the exponentially higher creation of neural pathways, especially synesthesia between the fusiform gyrus and amygdala. Neuroplasticity is an embryonic science in relative terms (refer to Doidge's book, "the Brain that changes Itself"), but it represents explosive potential in unleashing untapped potential in every person, regardless of conventional pidgeonholeing as widespread practiced in society today.
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    Sep 16 2011: Let me share my current experience, I am studying in Australia at a very well reputed university. As a part of my curriculum I am working with one of the BIG4 accounting firm on business innovation. Students are divided into groups and are allocated mentors from that company to provide you feedback.

    What surprises me, my colleagues are not driven by passion but they are still "manipulating" things to score marks. They are designing the "innovative" project based on the criteria that we will be marked upon and not on making project work as a whole. Issue that arises is, even though you might get "good" score on the written report but you would have certainly left some of the black-holes/black-boxes unanswered because these would be areas that might not have been covered by the marking criteria but are very important for the project that you are working on. They don't understand that in the interim reports they may get good marks but you will fail once you would be required to present the final project in front of the directors because they are certainly smart enough to figure out what is wrong with the project.

    Bottom line: Graduates are not driven by passion but by marks (they should certainly see the movie 'Paper Chase'). I know passion is not a skill but a very valuable quality that a graduate should posses.
    • Sep 16 2011: A good movie I would definitely recommend is "3 Idiots" , an Indian comedy film because it really sounds like what you're talking about .
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      Sep 16 2011: You have just provided a very good description of what Edward de Bono calls "ludecy" - the ability to play by the rules of the system for maximum personal gain.

      In his book, Out of The Crisis, W. Edwards Deming quotes Dr Yoshi Tsurumi:

      "Part of America’s industrial problems is the aims of its corporate managers. Most American executives think they are in the business to make money, rather than products or service. … The Japanese corporate credo on the other hand, is that the company should become the world’s most effeicient provider of whatever product and service it offers. Once it becomes the world leader and continues to offer good products, profits follow."

      Substitute the words "Australia" for "America," "marks" for "money" and "students" for "managers" and I think the sentiment fits.
      • Sep 16 2011: That is so true. However, from the way I see things, with so much choice available employers have to be as empirical as possible. What are you going to say in an interview-" I want the job because I am passionate about it"? Sure, anyone can say that.

        That is the problem: there is no way to measure passion without ticking boxes which will then be discovered by the applicants and then the game is back on.

        Hence my opinion stated lower down.
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      Sep 16 2011: Is it passion or is it freedom - should you be judged on an outcome, or on the process or on your abilty to prodece and outcome and develop a process. Maybe Freedom is the key that unlocks innovation, that and necessity ?

      If Necessity is the mother of invention, innovation is her Child from the second Marraige...
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    Sep 16 2011: Adaptability and openmindedness. I can't help but wonder how a 12-year-old craves for answers to questions they keep coming up with about everything around them, and 25 year-old graduates know everything better and keep digging single topics. I stiil haven't found the breaking point in between.... but I keep searching! I teach 15-18 year-olds and strive to keep their curiosity as alive and wide as possible.
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      Sep 16 2011: I suggest one reason we lose our open-mindedness is because we are evaluated on a Right/Wrong basis.

      We are rewarded for providing a "right" answer; punished for providing a "wrong" answer; and worse: ridiculed for providing a creative answer. Like this ....

      Q: What causes the tides in the oceans?
      A: The tides are a fight between the Earth and the Moon. All water tends to flow towards the moon, because there is no water on the moon, and nature abhors a vacuum. I forget where the sun joins in this fight.

      Or this:

      Q: How can you delay milk turning sour?
      A: Keep it in the cow.

      Or this:

      Q: What does the word "benign" mean?
      A : Benign is what you will be after you be eight.

      ----
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    Sep 16 2011: self-reliance skills such as; Entrepreneurial skills, problem solving, creative thinking, critical thinking,
    Inter-reliance skills such as team building, earning trust, earning respect.
  • Sep 14 2011: I was about to write something very similar to what others have written below, but I felt something was wrong. I realized that I was being far too idealistic and not realistic at all. So I thought about this:

    The Situation.

    Today it doesn't matter how intelligent you are. That is not going to get you the job. Not because you can't think for yourself. The people who get the job nowadays are rarely those who are actually the best, but the ones who are the best competitors. In other words, unless you are willing to fight, claw, stab and be ruthlessly selfish you aren't going to get anywhere. These types of personality traits are rarely found in those who are "in it (the job) for the right reason".

    Employers have to be as empirical as possible when choosing who to hire since the competition is so high and they are so spoiled for choice that choosing is almost impossible. So they look at CVs and Cover Letters and references and tick the boxes. The people who know what boxes are being ticked just present their application that ticks the boxes- so no matter how intelligent you are,unless you know what boxes to tick for each employer you are not going to get anywhere with them.Not to mention the fact that you must also be aware of how the employer perceives things.

    What I think:

    I think graduates should be trained in how to play the politics in their industry, be given plenty of contacts, introduced to prospective employers, arrange a political base of people they can trust, and be taught how to research their prospective employers properly. All this so that in the end the best person can get the job and is not left by the waste side because of a personality issue like shyness. All the suggestions made below are useless if the chance to use them never comes along. I look around and all I see is a huge waste of potential in this world and it's all "the system"'s fault.
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      Sep 15 2011: Yes teach children how to play the game, but it seems that is all a lot of education is now anyways. What type of civilization will this lead to when the emphasis is on teaching to be competitive rather than productive. The major source of success for our species is our high level of cooperation we have as a species. There is nothing intrinsic in our current job market, rather it is a social constructed one that can and should be changed.
      • Sep 15 2011: Agreed. The status quo will lead, or rather has lead, to having too many corrupt people at the top because they all felt they had to be corrupt. The system today has given us the situation today. I say bring down the bullies with more balls than brains and get the best people working!
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          Sep 20 2011: Agreed. @Edward: "Today it doesn't matter how intelligent you are. That is not going to get you the job.", definitely agree with the point but Could it be because there is a gap between the skills acquired at university and the skills required in the workplace ? Additionally, supporting @Anthony & @Edwards's point, instead of teaching them politics, I say how about higher education provides opportunity to discover themselves, provides opportunity to get experience and acquire various skills. So if a person is studying marketing and is shy, then he/she can develop public speaking skills if university provides different opportunities. The question that now needs to be answered is, how can university provide such opportunities, which leads us to the main question - revolutionizing the Education system. Lastly, if a student has acquired the skills necessary to be successful in the career he/she is applying for, then there is no need to play politics, no need to deceive somebody, @Ed Schulte (above) no need to manipulate the system but rather give your best shot, show your enthusiasm and passion and you will definitely stand out.
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    Sep 14 2011: Being able to think for one's self.... not having to be spoon fed. Too many people these days have to be told how to think, how to act, what to do, etc. In order to truly use the knowledge gained in one's school years they need to learn how to apply, think and question. Beyond this I feel what you need to have is fairly open.
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    Sep 14 2011: The ability to learn efficiently on their own without the aid of professional educators.
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    Sep 13 2011: Oratory, argument, debate, advocacy, presentation skills etc.
    Why? Because these will be the hardest skills to automate, and/or to de-kill, to off-shore etc.
    These are skills that leaders will always need.
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    Sep 27 2011: I sometimes think the ability to ANSWER a question without being condescending is better than asking the 'good' question.

    I've asked questions in my workplace on technology I'm not familiar with or don't completely understand. Sometimes the answers I get are - "Go look it up - the info is out there.' (I found information, but need clarification or an explanation on how it fits into the current situation.) "That's something you should know already" (If I knew the answer, I wouldn't be asking you) or "You know how to do that." (No, I don't, that is why I'm asking.)

    Given these type of answers to what someone may consider a 'stupid/dumb' question will sometimes stop the person trying to gain the knowledge from asking more questions.

    When someone tells me they are going to ask me a stupid question, I give them the response my father always did - the only stupid question is the one not asked.
  • Sep 26 2011: 1. "Common Sense": It has long been assumed that a person is born with this ability & builds on it as they get older. I don't believe that is so. It can be taught to children so why not adults?
    When a person has common sense they have the ability to see a problem from many angles, ask informed questions & enlist the aid of others for more informed perspectives.
    Too many people today have little or no common sense & it shows.
    How you would teach this skill to college students is the million dollar question.
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    Sep 25 2011: The ability to independently acquire and self-assess new knowledge and new skills, in a world where information is plentiful and critical thinking is scarce. Furthermore, this should begin as early as possible in primary education.
  • Sep 24 2011: What is Learning?
    A cocktail of tastes, colors, smells, textures and sounds.
    Learning is curiosity, excitement, doing, researching, investigating, erring, dreaming, a sparkle in the eyes, a struggle, motivation, potency, vision, feelings of failure, "Eureka".
  • Sep 24 2011: Educational goals
    The objectives of education can be expressed as how we would like to see the future adult in the 21st Century. What skills and qualities should he ideally convey with him into a variety of life-fields: at work, in the family, the community, society, his personal development and in his relationship with himself? What qualities would we expect to find in a graduate of the "Educational -Hive."?
    a. A person who strives for excellence.
    b. An adult in whom human values are securely rooted: moral/ethical values, empathy for others, honesty, general social awareness.
    c. An entrepreneur, a member of a work-team, one who sees the "greater picture", one capable of working with teams from anywhere in the world, (beyond borders, multi-cultural, multi-lingual, multi-conceptual).
    d. A person with a wide variety of interests, able to gather and process information from different fields in order to create new information and, concurrently, able to delve deeply into matters…. (" T-shaped person" – Daniel Pink.)
    e. A graduate equipped with the ability to make reasonable decisions at significant turning-points, both from a personal angle and regarding any future role he may undertake. Showing capability of handling stressful or uncertain situations, a person who does not recoil before difficulties – whatever they might be – who regards every obstacle as a challenge and a fresh opportunity.
    f. A person with wide theoretical and practical experience in his own interest-fields and those related to them.
    g. A person who throughout life continues to deal and delve into his professionalism and interest-fields.
    h. An individual capable of analyzing and delving into the three familiar domains: Natural Science, Social Science and the Humanities
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    Sep 23 2011: May I suggest that we design the future educational system on three things above the facts. Creativity, Imagination, and
    Compassion. I think if we teach these things as well as the facts, history, and mathmatics we could have a generation of children that could change the world in a positive way?
    • Sep 24 2011: Facts are just a few stokes away via google. I doubt the role of facts (as in memorizing them) in graduate qualities. Of course, as an expert (to-be-expert) / worker in a field, many facts are required.

      Compassion is a moral quality. I doubt if we can 'teach" that.

      Creativity and imagination are notoriously difficult to teach because it is difficult to measure it. The current education system is broken because it is modeled on "academic" performance. To graduate, one needs to take some examinations and there is only recalls in examination. Creation and imagination are products which cannot be produced within defined time limits - and examination does have time limit.

      To produce future citizen, the whole education system will need a complete change - do away with examination to start with.
  • Sep 23 2011: 1. How to do hard work.
    2. How to learn on their own. Set their own ciriculum and plan for learning. Then execute it.
    3. How to overcome adversity.
    4. How to find solutions and answers for themselves.
    5. An understanding that they should expect only what they earn
    6. The ability to adapt to circumstances, determine what needs to be done, then get it done.
    7. How to effectively communicate ideas, argue points and positions, employ critical thinking skills and then take action.
    8. Maintain a positive attitude even in trying circumstances.
    9. Look for opportunities to apply lessons learned in one area of life or a career to another area.
    10. Take pride in the quality, thoroughness, and follow-thru on work assignments.
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    Sep 22 2011: I believe a lot of the skills highlighted in this discussion can be encapsulated in students possessing critical thinking skills. In the younger years, we need to allow them time to figure out problems and use their imagination. They need to have opportunities to decide how to spend their time. As young folks grow into teen agers, giving them chances to be responsible for themselves, with natural consequences and accountability, will help them learn as they go, from taking risks and making mistakes. If we allow people to develop in a way that forces thinking, they will naturally be ready to tackle the problems of the world and offer up creative solutions. Additionally, having time for all of this thinking also fosters collaboration and community. Kids building a fort together understand what I mean.
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      Sep 23 2011: Hi Susannah,

      If you study thinking, there are distinctions made between different types of thinking. Critical thinking is one type and is considered to be, more or less, the foundation of "Western-style" thinking. It can be traced back to Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle. It's useful but lacks a creative element.

      In colloquial speech, critical thinking is often used as a general phrase for "better" or "more effective" thinking.

      So, if that's how you are using the phrase, then, yes, it makes sense to become more effective at thinking.

      Edward de Bono is generally considered the foremost authority on teaching thinking as a skill, he emphasizes the need for creative thinking, lateral thinking, parallel thinking, and so on (he coined the phrase "lateral thinking.") These other thinking skills tend to be more constructive than critical thinking which is primarily, well, critical.

      There is a lot of material available for teaching thinking as a skill (a lot of it developed by de Bono) and, as you imply, learning to think it is well worth the effort.
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    Sep 22 2011: i agree with Steve Rosos!!! so..questions can be put without caring much about whether its a good question or a bad question, whether it would be related to positive thinking or a negative thinking.
    a good question led to the invention of air planes (positive thinking) but at the same time
    a bad question led to the discovery of parachute (negative thinking)
    sometimes BAD questions are also important......... for survival :)
  • Sep 22 2011: Remember: subjective answers to questions are by by nature predominantly colored and influenced by the answerer's experience, relative objectivity, subjective bias and point of view. THAT is why it is always best to seek your OWN answers, and the greater the diversity of those asked the expoenetially greater value of contrast (and similarity) of the diversity of those questioned can lead to an infinitely more valuable source of information from which you can divine your own truths. This is a key strategy for self learning in the never ending quest for knowledge despite the transient nature of individual human knowledge. REMEMBER: question everything, often as possible, never give up your own search for answers nor let merely one source be the definitive source. Keep searching, and NEVER be afraid to ask.
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    Sep 22 2011: Compassion, empathy, initiative and last but not least, knowledge.
  • Sep 22 2011: In my opinion, future graduates should be flexible enough to cope with any situation that comes up in the future. Also they need to think freely and be creative in everything they do since it helps them to master in whatever they
    do.
  • Sep 22 2011: It's considerable situation to suggestion for the future. In my opinion, traditional eduaction system need to add more progress to make students more creative. Balancing each might be the best solution for that.
  • Sep 22 2011: I believe future graduates should possess many different skills. By this i mean they should possess skills that involve math, science and languages but at the same time have the equal opportunity to possess skills of the arts. That way our future generation knows the commen knowledge they need but also can be creative and have there own thoughts and ideas.
    • Sep 24 2011: I agree.

      As I am reading through the discussion from top to here, the focus has been on 'soft knowledge' - the ability to communicate, be compassionate, be patient and so on.

      Science and mathematics are not easy subjects. If you compare the number of hours of lectures and/or experiment and/or tutorial of a hard science undergraduate major to social sciences and/or art major, the difference should tell an important point. Productivity - driver of economy - is based on science.

      As a side point, R&D should stand for first "repeat & duplicate". Before anyone can make an improvement, one must master the best current practice. There are lots of hard work involved.
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        Sep 27 2011: @Albert lp 'soft knowledge' is not the thing, it is "soft skills" and you are completely misinterpretting it, these are the skills meant to be for technical persons only - a hard core science graduate.(i am also computer science engineering graduate).
        Soft skills refer to the cluster of personality traits, social graces, facility with language, personal habits, friendliness, and optimism that mark people to varying degrees. Soft skills complement hard skills, which are the technical requirements to excel professionally and have a successful career ahead.”
        Soft skills fulfil an important role in shaping an individual’s personality. It is of high importance for every student to acquire adequate skills beyond academic or technical knowledge. For decades college professors as well as educators frequently complain about a lack in soft skills among students from tertiary education institution. A recent outcry in this regard came from the British Association of Graduate Recruiters (AGR)“They go on to explain that candidates are normally academically proficient but lacking in soft skills such as communication as well as verbal and numerical reasoning.” (AGR, 2007) Already more than 40 years ago the German Engineering Association (VDI) recommended that 20% of courses of the educational curricula should be soft skills.
        ok ans me one thing can anyone even with the brilliant set of mind and thoughts could ever become a successful leader without being connected to the people who could actually consider him as a leader. in order to connect to the people you need to have effective communication skills, don't you? you need to convey what you think, what you mean, what you aspire, what positive change you gonna bring as a leader etc... if you wont be able to connect with the people, would they ever feel to be leaded by you? communication bridges the gap between people even in worst situations. a good leader needs to motivate, coordinate, communicate etc. alongwith technical stuff.
        • Sep 27 2011: Sorry, I did mix up soft skill with soft knowledge. People here focused more on soft skill than hard knowledge.

          How many leaders do we need in a team of five or six? Was G. W. Bush a good leader, committing USA (and sadly my country Australia) into an illegal war?

          I guess it all depends on how one measures success. If the sole objective of getting an education is to lead, to earn more money - which is quite a common objective these days, yes, focusing on soft skills will help one achieve the the "success" objective easier and faster.

          20% of the whole curriculum on soft skills is hardly a major fraction (80% is) or a major attribute. You mention that you are a computer science graduate. You may know that to write a program, you need to sit down and write codes. If that's your job, your soft skills of befriending your co-workers may not be the best skills the project manager would appreciate. Of course, the ability to communicate, to collaborate and solve problem together are essential skills. But at the end of the day, a programmer is paid to write codes. That's why 20% focus on soft skill is appropriate - not a major fraction and definitely not the only quality we should be producing our graduates.
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        Sep 27 2011: perfect example - Steve jobs is as amazing in giving presentations while launching new apple products as with all the incredible technical knowledge. thats why people believe in Apple because they believe in their leader. they feel connected to their leader.......
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        Sep 27 2011: albert again you are getting me worng, i have always talked about balanced combination of hard skills + soft skills. you can check it right from the very first comment posted by me over here. if i am working in an infrastructure i need to be social, its like that i will get my eyes turn away from computer screen or would turn up to my colleagues only when i need something, things just doesnt work that way. do they? then will ever wish you birthday, congratulate you on your promotion, nopes!!! i am afraid.everything doesnt revolve aroud money, at the end of the day you just dont want to work , you want to do quality work where you could praise yourself(forget about others praising you) and always feel proud for being an integral part of organization network. would you feel good if your boss pays you very well but didnt give the kind of respect you expect. do you work in an organization, only for money? a good employee is that which considers himself to be an important and precious asset of an organization, who considers himself to be family not the solitary money considering being.
        • Sep 27 2011: I joined the discussion late and am sorry to get you wrong.

          Yes, education is more than just professional training. Moral and ethnic are important if not more important.
  • Sep 22 2011: I believe that future graduates should possess creativity, that we so easily tend to lose though our journey of education.
  • Sep 22 2011: What skils should future graduates posses? I belive that future graduates should posses the ability to thing out of the box. Meaning that if a situation comes up that they need to solve on their own, they should come up with more than one solution to the problem.
  • Sep 22 2011: I guess there's nothing to be changed with the kind of skills that our graduates are getting at after schooling. In fact, we have been continually advancing our technology and was able to change the social landscape. What i think is the problem is how this learnings could be applied to the very basic terms such as our relationship to our fellowmen, how do we go with our differences. the more educated we are , the more detached we are from the ground. I guess this cannot be learned in the four walls of our schools. This has to be experienced.
  • Sep 21 2011: I think simple and basic things......such as: humbleness, appreciation for hard-work, common sense, basic awareness of other peoples feelings and a sense of un-entitlement. Home-ec, wood shop, electrical and other basic skills that could help carry them through in the real world.
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      Sep 23 2011: we are not talking about only BS graduates having the technical skills like programming in various languages such as c, c++, java, dotnet etc. We are talking about all the graduates as a whole, u must be programming or coding genius, i guess!!!
  • Sep 21 2011: I believe that graduates need to possess creativity and keeep that creativity throughout their whole life. If they don't than they will never be able to advance themselves in today's era. Most companies not only look at how they did in school, but what they can create and come up with that will help them learn and succeed in the work enviroment.
  • Sep 21 2011: Creativity and critical thinking are important to people when they get older because they use it in their everyday life. There are more people that can work together and collaborate ideas better then working alone like expected in schools. When they get into a job it is usually expected for the workers to collaborate ideas to come up with new ideas to help the company. I do also think that there are more kids getting medicated then there should be.
  • Sep 21 2011: Though they may not seem like skills, I'd say trust, medium-term adaptability, all around motivation and effort and a critical eye. Trust, because it is not easy to believe in the value of others when you are competing, and the future must shift towards collaboration. medium term adaptability because the world is shifting constantly but has latency, motivation and effort, sort of together as not everything will be down the lane of what one expects and it has become easy to say if it is not what I want then I do not work hard at it. A critical eye to know how to choose from among all the options. I guess that creativity can help but not necessarily sort all of these.
  • Sep 21 2011: People need creative and critical thinking because if they don’t they won’t have the right skills for everyday life when they graduate college. They also need to take everything they have learned in the past and keep updated with what they have learned.
  • Sep 20 2011: Future graduates should posses critical thinking skills, because that can get a person through any situation they are up against. Students use critical thinking every day of their lives.

    Bringing up ADHD is a good point. I think too many children are medicated and are becoming someone they are not. The medicine makes them extremely different and they are calm, but they are not being a true kid. TVs, video games, computers and phones get them excited, there is no reason to medicate them and make them seem like they are completely "out of it" all the time just because they are a little loud. I believe children are fully capable of focusing in school.
  • Sep 20 2011: problem solving. ability to get along with people. passion for their future.
  • Sep 20 2011: I think course should involve Creative Writing and Critical Thinking. Students use critical thinking in everyday life in almost every situation or problem they approach. So they need to be able to think on their own to solve through problems. Creative writing is also important because it keeps people digging into their imagination. The basics are also important like Math, Science, Grammar, and History.
  • Sep 20 2011: I wish I would have been able to tell the whole world, what is the weakest point in our today education system?

    Lets keep it simple and be straight, by starting it from the very beginging...

    A human is naturally a powerful thinker, and a creative creature, who is able to solve problems

    But when we go to school, college or university. Every thing there from teachers to the environment limits us. They want to keep us according to the rules. Rules are good, but they does have side effects.
    One of the very critical problem with them is, they kill our CREATIVE POWER.
    An obedient student who gets best marks in every subject Math, science, geography, literature etc. Its good. But when he finishes the school he comes out with alot of confidence, usually i will call it over confidence. In outside world he meets some problems, which he never met before, but the problem is that now he don’t have a teacher to ask how to solve it. He get stuck in that. And this is beacuse of he was not allowed for years to use his creative power, how to solve new problems which need creative thinking rather that saying in the old books.

    Simply i want to say is that a student should be taught how to live your life practically, beside school subjects its also very important to teach a student how to live your life in easier way. How to deal with hard times, how to live successfully within your society, how to have control of your emotions, what to do when you don’t have anybody to help you, how to have confidence in you, how to motivate yourself when your are failed and failed again and again, what you should do if you are thinking about suicide, how to come back to right track if you are getting addicted to wrong things.

    All the above problems are never thaught in school, but they are vey important, and all these need CRITICAL AND CREATIVE THINKING SKILLs , at the above situation they dont have their teachers to help them. Actually all they need is skills which can be taught

    que r welcome
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    Sep 20 2011: As a responsible citizen and drivers of economy, future graduates should possess 'self-confidence' and 'courage'. Whatever subjects they have studied can then be put to best of its use...
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    Sep 19 2011: Earth Sciences (Geology for example), Astronomy, Physics, General Mathematics, Engineering, History, Medicine, Neuroscience, just to name a few.
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    Sep 19 2011: The ability to communicate with confidence and grace.

    This is a lovely question. It's admirable to have the powers of observation, oratory and argument, but young'uns may first benefit from the crux of all that: just knowing how to communicate, whether great ideas that deserve the stage, or an idea about themselves.

    Grace, because not only should innovative ideas be delivered gracefully, but they should also welcome gracefully the light of scrutiny. No one is privileged just because they have a great idea. People will probe and challenge. It takes community to bring forth good ideas, but it takes character to accept that sometimes their ideas need just a little refinement and feedback from others.

    Besides, people drive ideas to fruition. Shouldn't great and inspiring communication drive the manifestation of an idea?
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    Sep 18 2011: Nice question really...
    I personally believe that a person should be well aware of recent trends, no matter to which field of life he/she belong. Current trends are shifting so abruptly that sometimes Darwins law of Survival of the Fittest become so true and concrete that you can feel it around you. In the near future, that person is not successful which have money now or tricks to cheat its teachers or boss. Successful is the person who is getting some skill today keeping future scenario in mind.
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      Sep 20 2011: I definitely agree with you. 'Survival of the fittest' particularly hold true in the developing countries. I would say, one of the many important skills required by students in developing countries is 'persistence' and thus in order to develop this value/skill, they need support from their teacher/mentor.
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    Sep 17 2011: activism!
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    Sep 16 2011: Forgiveness and openess.
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      Sep 20 2011: Definitely agree with openness, the world is coming together, people are collaborating over the net, students are flying overseas to study; multiculturalism.

      John Locke, leading philosopher of British Empiricism. Empiricists' as opposed to rationalists' believe that knowledge comes form experience, thus people from different culture have different experience, people from different countries have different experience and so thus some of the students in the class would have different ideas or sometimes completely radical. Thus it is necessary that students, in fact humanity as a whole have a open-mind, open to what the other person is saying and to the degree that they are open to actually also try out if what the other person is saying actually works.
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    Sep 16 2011: Future graduates should be taught entrepreneurial skills, how to conceive of/run/grow their own business, for the only jobs that will be available will be the ones they make for themselves.
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      Sep 20 2011: I absolutely agree, because then they would be doing what they actually like, what they love, what they are passionate about. This could also lead to creative and innovative business model, because every individual is different, different character traits, different skills, et cetera. Now, in order to deploy their respective skills they will have to be creative and think of something that suits them the best.

      The role of higher education in this case would be 'moralising' students, even though they are doing whatever they are good at, education is providing guideline to be ethical.
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    Sep 15 2011: Q:What skills should future graduates possess ?
    A: The rare talent of being able to drop fries without the grease splashing up and burning your wrist. :)
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    Sep 15 2011: While in college, I asked a retired professor a similar question. The answer not only surprised me but has stuck with me for ten years. The answer I received is to learn both quantitative and communication skills.
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    Sep 13 2011: the ability to use common sense with what they have learnt, so ideas are practical
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    Sep 13 2011: That's a great question -- but maybe another Talk is already providing some of the answers you seek? Did you see it yet? http://www.ted.com/conversations/5467/what_subjects_do_you_think_you.html