Skip main navigation

Why is creativity an important skill in the 21st century?

Tobias sharing his thoughts on the importance of creativity
4.5
We know that creativity is also something that we need to solve some of the complex challenges that we face as humans. And it’s also something we need to have fun. And I think we can conclude that it’s important for our mental health and for our well-being. But creativity is also needed for work. So we know that there’s a growing reliance on automation, artificial intelligence, robots. But all the technologies seem to struggle with creativity. It’s still a very human skill. So to be creative is important for what we call future-of-work skills. And we know that Forbes, World Economic Forum, they all place creativity as one of those key skills that you and everyone else is going to need in the future.

We have already established that creativity is a core human skill. It is foundational for our development as a species. It is also a skill that has been identified as being more and more sought after in workplaces (World Economic Forum 2020) and it is something that we all need to solve some of the more challenging problems our world is facing.

In many places across our globe, there is a growing reliance on technology, artificial intelligence, robots, and automated work processes, however creativity is still one of those skills that we humans seem to master better than machines. The ability to be creative in your workplace is also usually more fun, which suggests it can be good for our mental health and wellbeing.

There are several lists of so called 21st century of ‘future of work’ skills, and many of these include creativity as a core skill that students need to have to succeed in the future.

For example, the World Economic Forum article linked above (October 2020) identifies the top 15 skills for 2025. The four identified ‘capabilities’ students require are:

  • Critical thinking/problem solving
  • Creativity
  • Communication
  • Collaboration

Similarly, Forbes listed the follow five ‘future of work’ skills as vital for the future:

  1. Creativity
  2. EQ (Emotional intelligence)
  3. Analytical (critical) thinking
  4. Active learning with a growth mindset
  5. Judgment and decision making

Let’s discuss

Reflect on the above information and video, think about how you might demonstrate your creativity if you were applying for a new role? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

This article is from the free online

Unlocking The Creative Brain: Develop and Teach Skills For Creative Thinking

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Our purpose is to transform access to education.

We offer a diverse selection of courses from leading universities and cultural institutions from around the world. These are delivered one step at a time, and are accessible on mobile, tablet and desktop, so you can fit learning around your life.

We believe learning should be an enjoyable, social experience, so our courses offer the opportunity to discuss what you’re learning with others as you go, helping you make fresh discoveries and form new ideas.
You can unlock new opportunities with unlimited access to hundreds of online short courses for a year by subscribing to our Unlimited package. Build your knowledge with top universities and organisations.

Learn more about how FutureLearn is transforming access to education