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College of Computing, Engineering and Construction
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21st Century Skill Building

What are the 21st Century Skills?
21st Century Skills Description
Digital Age Literacy -Today's Basics

Basic, Scientific, and Technological Literacy: These are no longer limited only to reading, writing, and arithmetic, but now include reading critically, writing persuasively, and thinking and reasoning logically.


Visual and Information Literacy: Students need good visualization skills to interpret visual information and communicate using imagery.


Cultural Literacy and Global Awareness: Globalization of commerce and trade results in the need for cultural literacy. There is a greater need for knowing, understanding, and appreciating other cultures.

Inventive Thinking -

Intellectual Capital

Adaptability/Managing Complexity and Self-Direction: Individuals must become self-directed learners who can analyze and adapt to new conditions as they arise and respond to these changes independently.


Curiosity, Creativity, and Risk-Taking: Curiosity fuels lifelong learning and contributes to quality of life. Risk-taking is necessary to make leaps in discoveries and learning.


Higher-Order Thinking and Sound Reasoning: Students must learn how to think creatively, solve problems, and plan, design, execute and evaluate solutions

Effective Communication -

Social and Personal Skills

Teaming and Collaboration: The complexity of today's world requires a high degree of specialization by decision makers, who must then team with other specialists to accomplish complex tasks.


Personal and Social Responsibility: Emerging technologies often present ethical dilemmas. Students must grasp this responsibility and contribute as informed citizens.


Interactive Communication: Students must understand how to communicate using technology and its associated problems such as scheduling over time zones and language issues.

Florida Labor Market Information

The Hanover Research reports also states that: "In addition to these essential skills, aptitude with technology is a new "basic" for those who live in the 21st century. Students must be able to use technology effectively, which means better equipping schools to ensure equal access.

"The Connecticut Plan," Developed by the Connecticut State Department of Education, identifies the three concepts of engagement, 21st century learning, and rigor, as essential to student success. The first element, engagement, connects students to learning and provides a foundation for student achievement and development of lifelong learners. The following five components are directly related to high quality student engagement in the context of high school reform:

  • Provide an Individual Success Plan for every student
  • Require a Capstone Experience for every student
  • Implement best intervention practices
  • Place greater attention on an expanded range (grades 6 -14)
  • Expand external partnerships

Second, 21st century skills must be immersed in the traditional academic curriculum standards to provide students with the ability to locate, analyze, interpret, and communicate information. Characteristics such as leadership, collaboration, social responsibility, and adaptability to change are essential to competing in and contributing to the global economy and society of the 21st century.

Finally, academic rigor challenges students to achieve beyond their expectations and develop a deep understanding of the curriculum content."

STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics)

Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) are key elements in an innovation economy. These disciplines are foundational to the continued growth of high-skill, high-wage industries in Florida and they offer numerous career opportunities for Florida's citizens.

Florida is the first state to develop a state-specific list of the occupations that define STEM. Developing a Florida-specific definition of STEM occupations supports the strategic economic development priorities of the state and assists our education partners in preparing the talent needed to grow STEM industries. Click on the link below to view Florida's STEM occupations.