The most important skill


College programs equip you with a variety of skills that you can apply in your chosen career.

What’s the most important skill? Topographical drafting? Project management? Assessing client health needs?

While all of these (and others) are required for you to successfully perform your job, they are not the most important skill.

Jim Carroll, a well know futurist, has said that half of what a student learns in their first year of college will be obsolete by the time they graduate.

Whether you agree with that prediction or not, the reality is that throughout your career, you will be required to adapt and learn new skills.

The ability to learn is critical. It may seem obvious that you’ll gain that skill in college, but it will really be put to the test in your career when you need to teach yourself new concepts or skills to stay relevant.

I graduated from the Multimedia Production program in 1999.  You can imagine the changes that have occurred over the years in this area.  I had to adapt and teach myself several new skills along the way.

I often tell people that the skill I use most from my college education is my ability to learn.

Technologies have changed. Concepts have evolved. But my ability and passion for learning remains constant.

When you’re in your career, you won’t have the external forces (good grades, instructors, etc.) motivating you to learn.  Your desire to learn will be completely from within.

So, during your time at college (or high school), make sure you foster the love of learning. Your future self will thank you.

In what ways do you foster your love of learning? Please share below.

Image from pfv. via Flickr

  • Jcarroll

    Nice post. I often explain by saying that “learning is what most adults will do for a living in the 21st century!”

    • Anonymous

      That’s a great quote and so accurate. Thanks for sharing it and thanks for your valuable insight.