10 Critical Skills: Formal Education Won’t Provide

The hard truth is that your piece of paper isn’t enough in today’s world. You have got to be proactive to get ahead in the working world.

The very nature of the current educational system amidst the digital disruption that the world is facing is a highly controversial one.

For years questions have been raised regarding the relevance of an outdated educational system in a fast-changing world that we live in.

Now whilst the educational system won’t be changing anytime soon, that doesn’t mean that we, as students, shouldn’t be aligning ourselves with the demands of tomorrow’s world.

The only thing over which we do have influence is how proactive we are in our preparation for the 4th industrial revolution.

We’ve all pointed out numerous flaws within the education system from time to time.

So let’s change the approach of that conversation and look at the things which we can focus on to make ourselves sought after, qualified professionals in the world of tomorrow.

First up on the list, is a point that ties into your mindset


The very nature of the structure of the educational system has been set to create a complete dependence upon it.

It creates an ‘employee mentality’ from our first day of school.

At such an impressionable age in our lives, we have a ‘toxic reliance’ imposed upon us by the educational system.

How is this so?

Simply put, the educational system is nothing more than an outdated business model.
So what can we do to solve this problem?

It’s true, likely neither you nor I will likely see any tangible change to the system in our student lives, but the system will inevitably be altered and changed.

Because of this fact, we must begin to look ahead and begin to sync the trends of the future with that of the educational resources that will need to be implemented.

leashes hooked onto fence

Piggybacking off of the last point is


As I am sure we all know, the content of our various courses can at times seem very mundane and dull.

And because the syllabus is concrete, it means that there is very little room to think outside of the box.

The flexibility of a formal education is limiting.

There is only so much room to wander before you get reigned back in and told to re-calibrate to the content of your course.

The solution to this problem is as simple as it can possibly get:
The Internet.

The vast array of free resources to consume and digest have catalyzed the speed at which we as students can process information is remarkable.

lightbulb of colouful building blocks as persons brain

The internet is a futuristic asset and so it only makes sense that we now cover the topic of


Human beings, we are curious creatures.

There is an innate magnetism from deep inside us that draws us towards asking questions.

But sadly – as mentioned earlier – the modern-day educational system doesn’t accommodate this common trait of ours.

The lack of attention that is paid towards the development of complex problem-solving skills is rather alarming.

lightbulbs on stairs

The only way to gain those problem-solving skills is through


A massive shortfall in a formal education is the lack of doing.

Hands-on experience is the most valuable experience a person can ever wish to be subject to.

There is worth in studying case-studies for the sake of understanding the application of various concepts, but Id imagine that it’d be of far more relevance if students could actually live through their own case-studies.

action changes things

In terms of theory though we now need to look at


Whatever your career path might look like, there is always going to be the need for strategy.

A formal education certainly gives a student an upper-hand when it comes to foundational knowledge, however a real-life strategy is rarely ever is as simple as ABC.

chess board with knight facing row of pawns

Speaking of careers, don’t you think its funny how we are brought up in a system that trains us up to be employees, yet rarely ever helps us to successfully


If this isn’t a red flag then I don’t know what is.

Hypocritical by nature, through and through.

Once again the point of potent dependence has to be emphasized.

This is how the system maintains it’s leash on us as supposedly independent, and qualified working professionals.

To solve this problem, we must have a heightened urgency to begin cultivating our networks yesterday!

resume on blue desk with glasses keyboard and pencil

On the topic of engaging and interacting with people, we need to look at


Human beings as a whole – let alone students – are social creatures.

We like to mix & mingle with each. By doing so, we build relationships with one another.

The shortfall in this regard with the educational system is that there is absolute focus placed on developing ‘hard skills’ yet none placed on ‘soft skills’.

And this is alarming because with the ‘technological revolution arrival‘ nearing, many ‘hard skills’ are going to be taken over by AI.

The need for human to human interaction in our society will never cease to exist.
Though the form in which it takes place will likely change.

two hands toucing fingertips

We’ve spoken about a lot of things that are going to change in the coming years, but we haven’t mentioned one thing that ‘isn’tgoing to change


Yes, there is the whole new-age concept and discussion about cryptocurrencies and so on, but the fundamental skills and concepts behind managing finances will remain true.

Firstly, being able to know how to manage your money is an imperative life-skill.

And secondly, everyone should be able to have a general knowledge of accounting principles so that they can get the high-level-overview when they talk to their accountants.

And yes obviously if you are studying a commerce degree this skill is thrown into the mix of things, but business degrees make up only a fragment of the other fields on offer for studies.

pink piggybank

Tying into business and working with people,


This is the foundation of any business out there.

Without sales, a company will have zero revenue and subsequently go under.

So why is this crucial skill not being taught?

But sales extends way past its literal application in the business world and dives into our personal lives as well:

  • Dating
  • Watching a movie with a group of friends
  • Deciding on which restaurant to eat at

The art of persuasion and negotiation are quite simply survival skills.

4 business people in suits

On the topic of food though


A slightly more fun and interesting one to mention.

I’m not saying that we should all come out of school in confidence that we can become the next Master Chef, but a person’s got to eat to live.

So why are there not some cooking classes or that thrown into the curriculums at school?

Related: 8 Easy Vegan Recipes To Try For Yourself

pasta, tomatoes, oil, and salt on a table


I hope this gave you some food for thought to think about and open up your perspective on the way forward in this evolving world of ours.

University is here to stay for a significant while longer so the only thing we can do for now is to try and be as proactive as we possibly can.


What else do you think should be added to this list?

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