Academic Knowledge Without Life Skills Becomes Less Effective

Today, few employers would argue that a student or job applicant can have all of the academic qualifications needed to apply for a position of employment, yet it is their level of self-motivation, their ability to interact with others, their ability to think on their feet and make informed decisions, that will determine how successful they become, not only in their career, but also as a valued member of society.

It is important to appreciate and understand that these qualities and personal attributes are so often linked to a knowledge of basic Life Skills, and it is similarly important to also understand that we live in a time where so many children and students are not learning those all-important and essential Life Skills at home.

While academic knowledge might theoretically enable each student to play “The Game of Life”, it is those all-important Life Skills that will guide them as to HOW they play that game ….. and whether the way they choose to play that Game, will enable them to play it successfully. At the same time those Life Skills that will eventually determine if they become respected and valued members of the community.

Not so long ago I referred in another article I wrote for Zane’s Blog to research that has been published in recent years, that confirmed that more than 60% of employers are now complaining that while many of the new job applicants they are interviewing have all of the academic qualifications required, so many of them are inadequately prepared and ill-equipped with the Life Skills needed to fill the position.

It is reasonable to suggest that this becomes an even more important issue as we move increasingly towards a time where computers and technology are replacing people in the workplace because it is so often the quality of the human interaction a customer has with a business, that leaves the greatest impression.


Academic knowledge is in many cases, recognized as providing the potential “tools” of trade, however it is those Life Skills that determine how effectively and successfully those tools are put to work and utilized both in the work and environments.

Self motivation, the ability to think and interact effectively, and informed decision-making are three of the attributes which are essential to any student utilizing the academic knowledge learned in school or college effectively, and deploying that knowledge successfully.

Academic knowledge may play a role in identifying and providing solutions, but it is the successful human interaction in establishing and developing of a business that is often dependent on the Life Skills of the employee by providing the drive, planning, commitment and determination to bring that solution to a market, and make it a reality.

Human nature and interaction guides so many of the essential decisions that we all need to make on a daily basis … and if it were not for that, so many of today’s most successful entrepreneurs and business leaders may not have made the contributions they have. Individuals like Steve Jobs and Bill Gates are just two of many that chose not to complete their college and university studies because they understood that there is much more than academic knowledge to achieving success. Had they waited to complete their academic studies the opportunities that determined their success would have passed them by.

People interaction, human relationships and effective communication play such an important role in all of our lives that to allow academic learning to overshadow the need for effective Life Skills learning is to ignore the obvious. Life skills learning must become an essential part of any educational curriculum, particularly when that responsibility has failed to become a parental responsibility in so many homes.

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