Professional Development: 21st Century Competencies Impact

Topic: Career
Words: 601 Pages: 2

The Competency Method

The competency model means a collection of proficiencies that have to be possessed by specific individuals, such as students. Some of the competencies in the model include collaboration, critical thinking, creativity, problem-solving, communication, and leadership, among others. For example, students may require creativity, which means they must utilize their original ideas or imagination to create something more appealing (Finegold & Notabartolo, 2018). In other words, such students need to be inventive to support their academic work or extracurricular activities. In addition, a competency model enables a person to be effective in their job performance. For example, it is perceived that a person who is innovative and adaptable performs better in the workplace than someone who is not.

The 21st Century Competencies

In the 21st century, workers need some particular competencies that make them stand out in their careers. In the workplace, such competencies make a difference in economic and educational outcomes for organizations and individuals. According to Hewlett Foundation, 15 general competency areas are of focus (Finegold & Notabartolo, 2018). Such competency areas are under five broad categories: capacity for change/learning, information processing, ability to execute, interpersonal, and analytical skills. There is consensus among researchers and policymakers that the five general competency areas are relevant for all workers in the 21st century. However, there is little evidence of the correlation between such competencies and organizational or individual outcomes.

Multiplex Competency

Demands in the 21st Century

In the 21st century, the critical question is about the competencies that will enable nations, firms, and individuals to compete successfully in the international economy. Education and training are pivotal in preparing people to succeed as economic actors and citizens (Finegold & Notabartolo, 2018). In the 21st century, competency means more than just skills and knowledge that people should possess. Therefore, it also entails meeting complex demands by mobilizing psychological resources such as attitudes and abilities. For instance, effective communication is a critical competency that highlights a person’s practical IT skills, attitudes, or language knowledge. In this case, competency means more than just taught knowledge and may entail learning within a favorable environment.

Developing and Applying the


In contemporary society, some general competencies are required for work. Therefore, managers and other workers must demonstrate competence by putting knowledge to work. Thus, a five-competency framework provides some personal qualities and foundation skills for success in the workplace. The workforce should be able to productively utilize resources, technology, systems, information, and interpersonal skills (Finegold & Notabartolo, 2018). Such competencies need an underpinning of writing, reading, thinking, and problem-solving skills. In addition, competent people must have integrity, self-esteem, self-management, sociability, and individual responsibility. People need to be able to utilize various tools for interacting with the environment, such as socio-cultural parameters such as language and technology.

Other Competencies Salient in the

21st Century

One aspect that has changed the competency level in the 21st century is the concept of systems thinking. In this case, the concept has continued to grow as disciplines become more integrated. Most modern organizations are shifting from vertically integrated to more network-based. Therefore, T-shaped professionals with articulatory expertise and contributory knowledge do most of the work in cross-functional projects (Finegold & Notabartolo, 2018). Other competency concepts that have gained prominence include financial literacy, digital literacy, cross-cultural fluency, and artificial intelligence. Artificial intelligence and emotional labor have enabled people to manage their feelings to work smoothly towards common goals and objectives. For example, modern organizations need to guarantee their clients the personal touch in their service delivery. Therefore, a friendly voice on the client service line assures customers that all is well.


Finegold, D. & Notabartolo, A. (2018). 21st-century competencies and their impact: An interdisciplinary literature review. Hewlett Foundation. Web.

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