What are the most desirable skills of the next decade?Cain Chen
For years, everyone predicted that automation would be the decade’s great disruptor. They weren’t wrong – but they also couldn’t have foreseen COVID coming. Together, the two have pushed digital transformation into overdrive, sending the workforce scrambling to keep up.
The fallout is expected to send shockwaves through the next decade, but according to the third edition of the World Economic Forum’s Future of Jobs Report, you won’t have to wait nearly that long to see its effects.
WEF predicts that the increased adoption of tech will require 50% of all employees to engage in reskilling by 2025.
But over the next 10 years, it’ll be the most well-rounded workers that are the most employable, not just the most tech-savvy. This snapshot shows the skills required for the careers of tomorrow.
Tech skills are still key
No surprise, technical skills are to remain essential in the coming years. Even positions that used to require less tech savvy may evolve into more technologically advanced roles.
Again, the World Economic Forum’s Future of Jobs Survey: “For those workers who stay in their roles, the share of core skills that will change by 2025 is 40%, and 50% of all employees will need reskilling.”
For those workers who stay in their roles, the share of core skills that will change by 2025 is 40%, and 50% of all employees will need reskilling.
Given that tech-readiness is still the best way to keep the workforce competitive in a rapidly changing job market, these technologies are the ones to watch if you want to ensure your employees are up-to-date:
- Artificial intelligence
- Big data
- Extended reality
- The internet of things
- 3d printing
Technology use, monitoring, control and programming design will also continue to be essential for a competitive workplace. They’re foundational pieces that make up the most in-demand jobs of the decade, including:
- Data analytics
- AI and ML specialists
- Big data specialists
- Digital marketing and strategy specialists
- Process automation specialists
- Business development professionals
- Digital transformation specialists
- Information security analysts
- Software and applications developers
- IOT specialists
Increasing demand for soft skills
The world is steadily moving towards widespread automation, but that’s only going to cement the need for non-technical skills. These soft skills make up for all the human elements that machines will never have the capacity to fulfill.
After a year of unexpected challenges, soft skills in problem solving, critical thinking and adaptability have proved invaluable. Moving forward, continued creativity, collaboration and high levels of emotional intelligence will help companies manage more inclusive teams across diverse locations and cultures. Leaders will also need to temper these qualities with sound judgement and negotiation skills that prioritize equity in the workplace.
Soft skills make up for all the human elements that machines will never have the capacity to fulfill.
On the employee side, a combination of the above, coupled with a strong understanding of the worth and value they bring to the organization will help them increase their confidence and effectiveness in their roles. It will also help them better identify their growth edges and encourage them to upskill of their own initiative.
STEAM: Don’t forget the “A”
Science, technology, engineering and math have been drilled in as the precursors for anyone looking to achieve professional success. Yet, there’s good reason to also exalt the arts, which were later integrated into this multidisciplinary curriculum.
One need only look to the myriad examples of tech CEOs who hold Liberal Arts degrees to validate how seamlessly the arts dovetail and even heighten more tech-focused fields of study. For instance, some of the most well-known innovators and executives at companies like Airbnb and YouTube studied literature, history and creative writing.
A psychologist is more likely to know how to motivate people and to understand what users want than is an engineer who has worked only in the technology trenches.
Engineering professor Vivek Wadhwa said it best in a recent interview with The Washington Post, “An engineering degree is very valuable,” Wadhwa writes, “but the sense of empathy that comes from music, arts, literature and psychology provides a big advantage in design…A psychologist is more likely to know how to motivate people and to understand what users want than is an engineer who has worked only in the technology trenches.”
Ultimately, while there are those that remain skeptical of emerging tech like automation and AI, there’s more evidence to suggest that upskilling will help make up for any further disruptions. Those that can find their place at the intersection of humans, machines and algorithms will be best positioned to keep their workplace competitive over the long term.
Content created and provided by ONEAFFINITI.