Skills

Top 5 skills of the future

Hello and welcome back to Oradea Tech Hub Blog. I am Naomi – Community Manager @OTH. At our weekly meeting, we discussed what are some of the must-have skills of the future. From that discussion, we thought why not to write an article about it.

So, let’s start to discover which are these skills!

When it comes to the future of the workforce, nobody knows with certainty what new industries will emerge and the skills that will be in high demand. What we know is that the future will be radically different from the work environment of today and as digital technologies and job requirements evolve, workers must enhance their ability to adapt to new situations and acquire new skills. Therefore, as the world of work becomes more flexible, individuals are expected to take more responsibility for their own skills development. Reskilling and upskilling will be imperative for the future workforce.

Humans are social and emotional beings, therefore we’ll always have to interact with each other in some capacity, even when the technology might be doing most of it for us. Humans will always need each other, and, even in the future, we’ll need the skills to be able to develop ourselves and our relationships productively.

The McKinsey Group has identified that between now and 2030, the need for social and emotional skills will grow at a much faster pace than the need for cognitive skills. Many people will prioritize acquiring the hard skills needed to perform their job without knowing that emotional intelligence is what makes them stand apart from the technological future.

A survey by B2B research company Clutch discovered that critical thinking skills, including creative problem-solving and adaptability, will be essential to the future of work, meaning businesses must invest in the development of soft skills already from now. No matter how advanced technology may become, humans will always have to make critical decisions and brainstorm new and innovative solutions.

In essence, critical thinking requires you to use your ability to reason. It is about being an active learner rather than a passive recipient of information. And problem-solving is at the core of human evolution, the source of all new inventions, social and cultural evolution, and the basis for market-based economies. 

So, one thing is for sure, no matter the sector, industry, or job function, challenges and problems that you need to solve will occur regularly and will often be the measure of your success in the role.

When the economy is changing so rapidly, business landscapes are also reformed quickly. Today, to remain at the top of the market, organizations must have to compete with the market challenges smartly. Therefore, in a complicated business environment, an organization’s adaptability, agility, and ability to manage constant change through innovation can be keys to success. In this case, business analysis plays and, even in the future, will play an important role and that’s why this is one of the important skills of the future.

Another important skill of the future is UX design. Are you surprised by that? Well, according to Oracle, customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator by 2020. 86% of shoppers are willing to pay more for a better CX, while 89% of customers switch brands because of a poor experience. Also, 65% of shoppers say a positive brand experience influences their decisions more than advertising. 

We will continue by analyzing five skills of the future you can start to upgrade by now:

  1. Emotional intelligence

I will start with the assumption that you are familiar with the term “IQ” and associate it with the idea of intelligence. Well, I agree with you that it’s great to have a high IQ, but, did you know that for being successful, now and in the future, you need to possess a different kind of intelligence? Have you heard about “EI” (Emotional intelligence)? If not, let me explain to you what this means, and why, according to experts, is one of the future skills to keep in mind.

Emotional intelligence is a group of ‘soft skills’ related to identifying, understanding and managing one’s own emotions, as well as the emotional states of others. Therefore, people with emotional intelligence can identify what others are feeling and positively direct their interactions based on that awareness. They can demonstrate empathy, build rapport, give comfort, and genuinely care about others.

We live in a highly digitalized world and statistics say that in a few years our jobs will be taken by robots. The reason why this will happen is simple: machines are more effective than humans; they aren’t distracted, they obey instructions, and are always focused on their work. But, there are a few reasons why robots won’t be able to be better than people or substitute them: they will never be able to express their emotions, use them to make crucial decisions or respond to others’ emotions. In other words, they don’t have emotional intelligence. So if you want to become irreplaceable by robots, start to develop and improve your emotional intelligence right now!

  1. Critical thinking and Complex Problem Solving 

As automation and AI continue to advance in the Fourth Industrial Revolution, human critical thinking will increase in demand and that will be used to influence algorithm decision-making and rectify poor AI decisions that counter human ethics.

Technology may be able to automate many jobs that currently exist, but I recommend you to not trust it to do your critical thinking for you because being able to think for yourself is a key skill at a time where the concept of career and the workplace is changing. 

In just a few words, critical thinking involves being able to use logic and reasoning to interrogate an issue or problem, consider various solutions to the problem, and weigh up the pros and cons of each approach.

Certainly, the future is going to bring problems you’ve never seen before in a world you’ve never experienced. Therefore, you’ll need to analyze various situations, considering multiple solutions and making decisions on the fly through logic and reasoning. 

To do this, you’ll need to have the mental flexibility to think outside of the box and the good news is that this skill can be learned and it simply takes practice. So if you want not to be caught by surprise by the difficult problems you’ll have to face and solve in the future, I highly invite you to start to develop this skill from now on. 

  1. Adaptability

Indeed, jobs have always been subject to change and disruption, but not at the breathtaking pace we are suddenly facing. Some jobs are evaporating completely. Others will be transformed beyond recognition with radical changes in skill requirements. And just as robots are replacing mechanical workers, many complex tasks done by the most highly skilled and paid humans are now threatened by the use of artificial intelligence and machine learning.

From all that happens every day around us, we can clearly understand that things change and develop and do so increasingly quickly. Hence, workers throughout the world must prepare for unforeseen change.

Adaptability, the ability to deal with changing circumstances or environments, will be an essential trait for individuals as each day they will face new challenges and shifting expectations in the workplace. The skills that got someone promoted last week may be what causes their job to be eliminated next week. Past success cannot be taken as an indicator of the future.

Your adaptability will increasingly impact on your chances of success in the job market of the future. The best way to prepare yourself for a changeable future is to develop your adaptability and flexibility. Try putting yourself in new situations or environments, push yourself outside of your comfort zone – this is where the learning happens!

  1. UX design

It’s important to emphasize that even today, user experience, known as UX, makes a huge difference to whether a digital product or project succeeds. 

Technology has led to exciting changes in interfaces today. Augmented reality, virtual reality, voice interfaces, and conversational user interfaces experience are delivering the experience in a completely new way. In the coming future, UX is going to be adaptive– which means that it will personalize the interfaces according to individual needs and expectations. One fascinating example of adaptive UX is Google now. Google analyses the users’ past behavior and the environment to deliver a truly personalized user experience to its users. For creating a state of art adaptive UX, UX designers will need to adopt an adaptive thinking mindset.

Surely, during the new era of technology – the age of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning – the way UX designers work will completely change. I think that UX designers shouldn’t be worried that artificial intelligence will take over their jobs. It won’t take over the UX designer’s job – on the contrary, it will make it more interesting. A lot of mundane work will be taken over by AI – leaving more time for them to spend on creative work and on strategy for building adaptive interfaces. AI will enable UX designers, who can learn the new technology, to add much more value to the end-users. Those who won’t be able to upgrade their skills set to work with AI-enabled systems will find it hard to survive in the future.

The creative jobs of the future are going to require a multi-skill approach. Being an expert at one thing will no longer be enough, and only flexibility will make you more valuable. 

  1. Business analysis

What does business analysis mean and why it’s so important? In a nutshell, it is the practice of facilitating change in an organizational context, by defining needs and suggesting solutions that deliver value to customers. For this reason, business analysis is one of the most effective techniques that help to work with business challenges smartly.

Business analysis helps you to look into the future insights of business, predict the risk that could occur and also helps in the decision making process. Some of the must-have skills for doing that are organizational, eye for detail, analytical mind, visualization, and information security skills. Although these skills are not the end of the story, developing them will be a good place to start when talking about getting the business analyst jobs of the future.

Despite the recent IT trends, like automation and artificial intelligence that can eat up or abolish tasks that were originally a part of a person’s utilization, the business analyst role cannot be automated. This is a purely people-oriented job and it is vital for the growth and quick development of the industries. Therefore, the future is bright, but only for those who have problem-solving skills. 

That being said, I wanna ask you a question: Did I convince you to start developing your skills as soon as possible? I really hope so, because I also prepared for you a list with the top online learning platforms you can use to upgrade your skills.

Top online learning platforms to upgrade your skills

Coursera – every course is taught by top instructors from world-class universities and companies. Hundreds of free courses give you access to on-demand video lectures, homework exercises, and community discussion forums. 

Udemy – one of the most popular and well-known online learning platforms in the world. It has more than 30 million students enrolled in 100 thousand courses. For each course, you have to pay individually.

Skillshare –  an online learning community with thousands of classes for creative and curious people and has more than over 21,000 online classes. You can sign in for free to try Skillshare premium for 2 months. 

LinkedIn learning – an online learning platform that helps anyone learn business, software, technology, and creative skills to achieve personal and professional goals. You can have a month free trial.

Udacity – a MOOC-based platform. MOOC stands for Massive Open Online Courses – this means that Udacity provides an online learning experience to anyone that would wish to sign up on the website and start learning. Many courses are free.

FutureLearn offers a top selection of online degrees and free certification courses. Joining the platform is completely free of charge as are most courses. However, if you want to get a certificate at the end of the course, you’ll have to pay a certain fee, which will also allow you to download and store the course materials.

In conclusion, I would like to remind you that the only constant in life is change. So, to stand out in the future, embrace that reality and make sure to show up with a positive attitude and open-minded professionalism, especially in stressful situations. I encourage you to start developing the skills we taught about today because, this way, you are one step closer to having a bright future. I’m sure you want to have a brilliant future, so what are you waiting for? Stay tuned for the upcoming article!

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