Student Skills List – 10 Skills Students Need to Be Successful

Student skills list

India recently crossed China to become the most populous country in the world with more than 1.4 billion people. This comes as a big advantage in terms of the availability of the workforce. However, the population growth has far outpaced the growth in employment opportunities. This means that there will always be more people vying for a lesser number of opportunities. Success thus becomes an elusive commodity in India.

Let’s look at some numbers to bring this to life. There are more than 250 million school-going students in India, more than any other country in the world. Additionally, there are close to 40 million students enrolled in higher education. Most of these students compete in 300 prominent competitive exams such as UPSC, JEE, NEET, NET, NDA, CAT, IES, CLAT, CA, and AIIMS. More than 30 million candidates appear every year for these competitive exams with a dream to make a successful career in the field of engineering, medicine, commerce, defence forces, public service, etc. The success rate in many of these competitive exams is less than 1%. Growth in the startup ecosystem in India has added another spectrum for our youth looking to succeed in life. However, there is no rosy path to success. So, what are those skills that students need to be successful irrespective of the career direction they choose?

We can look at skills across three buckets: Technical skills, Life skills, and soft skills. While technical skills are field-specific, they might differ depending on whether one is looking to succeed as an engineer or as a doctor. Life skills and soft skills are agnostic of the chosen field.

As per the World Economic Forum, the following are the top 10 skills for the future:

  • Analytical thinking and innovation
  • Active learning and learning strategies
  • Complex problem-solving
  • Critical thinking and analysis
  • Creativity, originality and initiative
  • Leadership and social influence
  • Technology use, monitoring and control
  • Technology design and programming
  • Resilience, stress tolerance and flexibility
  • Reasoning, problem-solving and ideation

While these might vary depending on age and stage of career, here is a list of 10 soft skills and life skills for students which can help them succeed in life.

10 Soft Skills And Life Skills For Students

Analytical thinking

Analytical thinking is the ability to break down things into smaller parts to understand them better. This is an extremely important skill which helps in problem-solving and troubleshooting. Students with strong analytical thinking skills can break down a problem into smaller parts, collect relevant data to identify the root cause of the problem, and make suitable recommendations for solutions.

Critical thinking

Critical thinking is the ability to objectively evaluate something and form opinions, take a decision, or arrive at a sound judgement. Critical thinking is a key skill required in the decision-making process which is critical for success in any profession.


Those who can solve complex problems will always be more successful than those who cannot. Students possessing analytical and critical thinking skills are well-positioned to be good problem solvers. However, there are many more tools and techniques involved in problem-solving. Problem-solving is more of an attitude where one looks for solutions to problems, rather than only focusing on problems.

Creativity and Innovation

The pace at which the world is changing makes creativity and innovation a much-needed virtue. Being able to generate creative ideas and come up with innovative solutions to problems is a skill which can differentiate students from others and position them well for success.


The ability to lead people is scarce. Those who have it have a chance to outdo others in their growth and development. While many might have the ability to execute and get work done, or solve problems, the ability to lead people is hard to find. Leaders can drive and motivate people to give their best. We all idolise and feel inspired by great leaders such as Mahatma Gandhi, Subhash Bose, Rani Laxmi Bai, APJ Abdul Kalam, and many more.

Social skills

We live in a social world where connecting, networking, and collaboration is the key virtue for success. We may not be good at everything. However, to succeed, we need to work well with other people. Strong social skills can help students network with individuals who can help them in their journey to success. Be it any profession, social skills are critical. A doctor needs to connect with her patients, a sales professional needs to convince his clients, an entrepreneur needs to build equity with his investors, and so on.

Also Read: Encourage Social Development in Children

Communication skills

You might have great ideas, great solutions to complex problems, but it is of no use if you are not able to communicate them effectively to your audience. Most successful people and great leaders are also great communicators, for example, our current Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Command on Technology

We are living in a technological world. Most businesses are digital first. Being technologically illiterate can hugely hamper our chances to succeed in this world. Whether it is the ability to handle computers, work on tools such as Excel and PowerPoint, or just the ability to understand technology. Most students are already ahead in this aspect as they are already hooked to social media on their smartphones. However, students must develop a curiosity to know more about how technology works. E.g. technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Social Media, Digital Marketing, Augmented Reality, and Virtual Reality are things they use every day, but do we understand how they work? Even learning programming at an early stage could open up lots of career avenues for students. These are the technologies of the future. A handle on these can be a significant differentiating factor in favour of the student.

Adaptability and Flexibility

The vagaries of the highly competitive world will test us as we grow. The COVID pandemic is a live example of such scenarios where students were required to be adaptable and flexible to succeed. Excessive rigidity and intolerance to new things, ideas, or ways of working could lead to disaster. Students need to learn to be adaptive and tolerant of new things, new ideas, and new ways of doing things. It is also important for students to understand the value of managing time and relationships be it at school or at home.

Ethics and character

We live in a fast-paced competitive world. As a result, students will be faced with temptation at every juncture. A shortcut which might look like an accelerated path to success. Such shortcuts could prove to be pitfalls in the long run which need to be avoided. At such junctures, a strong work ethic and character can come in handy. We have heard of so many successful individuals who got lured into such shortcuts to success and lost all that they had achieved.

 Our curriculum at EuroSchool is designed to keep all these and more skills in perspective. Students graduating from EuroSchool possess all these skills which position them well to lead a successful life.

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