Why Learning Agility is a Key Skill for New Graduates
As today’s graduates enter the volatile working world, how can we prepare them for success? With expectations and technologies rapidly changing, it can be hard to know which skills graduates need to succeed.
Thankfully, we’ve identified one key skill educators can focus on to help their students achieve success regardless of their passions, talents, or industry—learning agility.
But what exactly is learning agility, why is it so important, and how can educators develop the skill in their students? You’ll find all the answers you need in this article.
What is learning agility?
Learning agility is the ability to shift one’s thinking, behaviour, and skills in response to a changing environment.
One of the most important aspects of learning agility is learning from mistakes. A person with high levels of learning agility will assess their situation and make changes accordingly without feeling stressed or overwhelmed.
Individuals need to adapt quickly to succeed in today’s rapidly changing world, making learning agility a key trait for career and life success.
Why learning agility is an essential employability skill
The world is changing at a rapid pace. We can take guesses, but it’s impossible to pinpoint the skills workers will need in ten or even five years. Employees need to be adaptable and flexible enough to learn new skills and keep up with ever-growing changes.
That’s where learning agility comes in. Agile learners can quickly pick up new skills with passion, staying calm and collected in the face of change, making them extremely valuable to potential employers.
We can break down learning agility into the following subskills:
- Learning speed,
- Risk-taking skills,
- Collaboration skills,
- Emotional control,
- Interpersonal skills.
Learning agility in the real world
Let’s make things clearer with a real-world example.
Take an employee who has worked at a company for several years performing the same daily tasks. Suddenly, new management comes on board and starts making sweeping changes, implementing new policies and restructuring systems.
An employee without learning agility skills will struggle with the change, feeling stressed and unable to keep up with new challenges—slowing down their ability to adapt to and succeed in the new working environment.
On the other hand, an agile learner will embrace the changes with open arms, learning the new programs and policies as they’re implemented. This employee will fit right in with the new environment and continue their path to career success.
Teaching learning agility
Educators can teach their students how to be more agile learners by encouraging them to:
- Take risks and do things outside of their comfort zone,
- Learn from mistakes,
- Be mindful of their emotions and how they affect decision-making,
- Approach new tasks with curiosity and confidence,
- Know when to ask for help.
The best way to achieve these goals is to continually introduce your students to new experiences and challenges. By instilling this vital skill in your students, you’ll help them build confidence and secure a successful future in the working world.