Posted on 09/21/2017 at 11:27 AM by Blog Experts

"Entrepreneurship Empowers Students with Career Readiness"
By K.A. Smith, May 2017, Techniques 92(5), pp.23-24.

“Entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial thinking are essential for economic survival as innovation and technological advancements continue to replace basic, entry-level employment opportunities.  The global economy as a whole will benefit from the development of entrepreneurial skills in youth to address such critical issues as the nearly 75 million unemployed youth around the world (ILO, Global Employment Trends for Youth, 2012), and the oft-noted misalignment between education and employers’ needs (UNESCO, Youth and Skills: Putting Education to Work, 2012).  Entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial thinkers are seen as the critical components to jump-start local and entrepreneurial citizenry will have wide impacts on communities and the global economy by fostering business creation and developing a strong, engaged workforce, more fiscally responsible citizens and more committed individuals who take ownership in solving community challenges.   

It is increasingly important for youth to acquire entrepreneurial skills to address both the needs of business startups and the employment gap.  Students must learn how to incorporate innovation, design thinking and lean startup practices into their skills portfolio to compete in a constantly changing workforce.  The ability to adapt, to be flexible and to take smart risks, are no longer exclusive to the Mark Zuckerbergs of the world.  To lead successful lives, every student needs to acquire entrepreneurial skills and behaviors to navigate the future.”  Smith (2017) identified the following eight characteristics our students will need to compete in the global workforce:

  • Future Orientation:  An optimistic disposition with a focus on obtaining the skills and knowledge required to transition into a career.
  • Comfort with Risk:  The capacity to move forward with a decision despite inevitable uncertainty and challenges.
  • Opportunity Recognition:  The practice of seeing and experiencing problems as opportunities to create solutions.
  • Initiative and Self-Reliance:  The power to take ownership of a project without input or guidance and work through obstacles independently.
  • Communication and Collaboration:  The ability to clearly express ideas to an intended audience, including persuading others to work toward a common goal.
  • Creativity and Innovation:  The ability to think of ideas and create solutions to problems without clearly defined structures.
  • Critical Thinking and Problem:  The capacity to apply higher-level, process-oriented thinking, consider an issue from a range of possible perspectives, and use that reasoning to make decisions.
  • Flexibility and Adaptability:  The ability and willingness to change actions and plans to overcome present and future challenges. (p. 24)

Where are we building these skills in the curriculum and skills critical for our students to graduate having mastered?

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