It’s common knowledge that the growth jobs of the future will require, at minimum, constant learning and skill upgrading, plus at least an associate’s degree or higher.  As a result, the push is on to increase postsecondary graduation rates.

But the issue runs deeper than obtaining a postsecondary degree.

In the New York Times, columnist and author Thomas Friedman describes the life challenge for today’s students as  “owning their own future”.  He notes that technology has disrupted the traditional workplace and the nature of work, such that “the notion that we can go to college for four years and then spend that knowledge over the next 30 years is over.”   

So, “owning their own future” will require graduates to change the expectations they bring to the workplace.  Success in the future will be more about personal initiative than ever before, including:

  • Taking personal responsibility for developing the skills and attitudes to support lifelong learning.
  • Understanding how an individual’s unique blend of personality, skills, talents, preferences and knowledge can be constantly adapted to take advantage of new opportunities.
  • Taking the initiative to update knowledge and skills through training or further education throughout life.

Simply put, learning — and the self-motivation to keep learning — will be the most important life skill.

It is our fundamental belief that the foundation of lifelong learning is built through giving students deep insight into their personality and an understanding of their emotional intelligence and other intelligences, along with their learning and productivity preferences.

We all know that putting your innate skills and talents to work in areas where you are more comfortable and adept results in more satisfaction at work and in life. Using this personal insight as a compass in navigating a turbulent, challenging future is more important now than ever before.

The ancient Greeks had it right:  Know thyself.

Owning the future will require not just knowing thyself, but a constant appetite for learning as well.