EntreEd - The National Consortium for Entrepreneurship Education


Here is where we write about all things entrepreneurship education, teacher professional development, and inspiring stories from our schools and network.

Entrepreneurial Skills that Prepare Students for the Future of Work

What skills do students really need to be successful and prepared for their future careers? According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Sixty- five percent of children starting school today will need skills for jobs that don’t exist yet. In a world that is advancing faster than ever before, students must be equipped with an imperative and non traditional skill set in order to keep up and rise above. A recent NBC News statistic stated that “As emerging technologies rapidly and thoroughly transform the workplace, some experts predict that by 2030 400 million to 800 million people worldwide could be displaced and need to find new jobs. The ability to adapt and quickly acquire new skills will become a necessity for survival”. No matter the career path chosen, these skills are truly necessary for students of the future workforce. The fundamentals of entrepreneurship are intertwined in these skills. The basic and beneficial aptitudes include: creativity, innovation, failing forward, drive, communication, and empathy.

Creativity and entrepreneurship go hand in hand. Creativity is something that everyone possesses. It provides students with the ability to create their own futures and potentially their own jobs or businesses. It is the fuel behind original ideas, which the world could always use more of. It allows students to see multiple perspectives and solutions driven by imagination. Creativity aids in recognizing opportunities when it may not seem like there are any.

Innovation catalyzes growth and is a non linear entrepreneurial process. The ability to think outside the box will always be important. There are endless ways that innovation can be used for problem solving and critical thinking. Design thinking is a crucial component of innovation and equips students to challenge constraints and premises when finding solutions. It also helps generate multiple solutions to a problem and leads to effective implementation.

Failing forward is something that all entrepreneurs have experienced at some point in their lives, but it is not a traditional classroom concept by any means. For students, test scores and grades can sometimes make it seem like failure is final, but in reality they are capable of determining their own destiny and attitudes. You must be willing and capable of change in any career. Adaptability is important when obstacles and unexpected situations arise. Optimism is another important part of learning to have smart failures. There is always a lesson to be learned and it is ok to start from scratch. More students need to be taught that so that they never give up and keep moving forward.

Drive keeps entrepreneurs moving forward and helps push limits to achieve goals. When the path may not be clear, a student’s initiative can be the driving force to take a risk. This can lead to reward, whether it be some form of gain or a learning opportunity. Risk taking can also lead to advantage over competition. Competition will always be existent in many forms, but the way that we teach students to handle it can change the outcome. Students must be motivated to stay persistent and tenacious. Being engaged in what they are learning helps reinforce this.

Communication is necessary to be an effective entrepreneur. Learning is a lifelong process, and a lot of what students will learn in their future careers will come from the people around them, so they must be prepared and be willing to invest in their teammates in order to grow. It is important to be able to work and problem solve in a team setting. You must be able to communicate ideas to others and be able to share your vision in an articulate way. At the same time, it is also vital to be able to listen to others, accept criticism, and receive feedback.

Empathy is a very important entrepreneurial skill for relationships and effective connections. It relates back to emotional intelligence. Empathy is a key component in building a network, as students need to be able to understand the people that they are around and are working with in order to create strong professional relationships. Who students know in the world can have a large impact on their future careers. Empathy also helps embrace diversity, share experiences, and develop respect.

There are many ways that students can learn these entrepreneurial skills in the classroom to be better prepared for their futures. These skills are useful in many situations, even if a student doesn’t decide to become an entrepreneur. It creates the development of a powerful new mindset for students of all backgrounds and allows them to grow. Entrepreneurship is important to prepare the students of today for their careers of tomorrow.

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