The project Skills4Employability aims at providing an accurate mapping of soft skills that universities should include in their curricula to foster students’ employability. Moreover, it offers useful documents and tips to support higher education institutions to cope with a job market in constant transformation.
Among the skills arising from Skills4Employability analysis, for sure we can list creativity. This is not an easy concept to define, as there are many ways of being creative and to think creatively.
Indeed, as Albert Einstein said “Creativity is seeing what everyone else has seen, and thinking what no one else has thought.” This exactly means that a creative person is able to think out of the box, looking at original patterns when others just see the traditional ones.
If we start from Einstein definition, we can easily agree upon the fact that creativity is not just for artists and that we can apply it in our daily life and, of course, in our job.
In fact, creativity is closely linked with some attitudes that are particularly relevant in work environments or when we are looking for a job, such as problem solving and open-mindedness. Hence, being creative will allow you to come up with innovative solutions and to approach problems putting aside any bias or prejudice.
But, given the relevance of creativity, is it possible to get trained on it? And how universities can teach to students how to become creative? For sure there are some activities that could foster creativity and that can be easily added to students’ curricula such as hackathons and problem-solving challenges. Thus, an important ingredient is that creativity implies “hands on” actions, where students learn by doing (preferably with expert mentors). In addition, these activities should be organised in interdisciplinary and multi-stakeholder contexts to enable the maximum level of brainstorming and cross-fertilisation.
A good example is given by a study conducted by Sherry Robinson and Hans Anton Stubberud that focused on teaching soft skills, mainly creativity and team work, rather than on hard ones (as business planning) during a course for entrepreneurship, with interesting results.
Prepared by La Sapienza