The term "21st Century Skills" is used to denote skills like critical thinking, creativity, leadership, media literacy, etc. How could this term be translated into Korean?

The word skill can be translated "기술", but 21세기 기술 sounds more like 21st Century Technology, which is quite different, so I'm not sure how to express the idea well in Korean.

3 Answers 3


Navering for "21st century skills" brings out the following blog post:


From there:

...skills는 21 세기를 살아가는데 필요한 핵심 역량들을 말합니다.

Some more digging around gets us to this Naver News article:

한국교육개발원, '21세기 핵심역량' 출간

【서울=뉴시스】한재갑 교육·학술 전문기자 = 한국교육개발원(KEDI, 원장 김태완)이 「21세기 핵심역량-이 시대가 요구하는 핵심스킬(‘21st Century Skills - Learning for life in our times’의 한국어 번역본)」을 출간했다고 27일 밝혔다.

So I think an appropriate translation can be

21세기 역량  

but it seems that online contents refer to it as

21세기 핵심역량  

so that might actually be a better or a more commonly used term.


How about

21세기 재능

  • 21st century talents


21세기 능력

  • 21st century abilities

Not exactly the same, but I'd go with "21세기형 인재". 인재 means something like "desirable human resource", or "person/people with highly useful skills". "21세기형" would be "21st-century-style" or "adapted/ready for the 21st century".

So you can probably juggle the sentence a bit and create a suitable expression. For example:

Development of 21st Century Skills is vital for this country's success.

=> 이 나라의 성공 여부는 21세기형 인재의 양성에 달려 있다.

  • If you really ask my opinion, they both sound like a marketing buzzword that can be applied to pretty much anything, so again, in that sense they are a good match to each other...

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