Skills of the Future

Skills of the Future – Important Skills for 21st Century Jobs

What are the most important job skills for the future and what do you need to learn?

We explain the most important skills of the future. What skills does a person need on their resume to be prepared for the next wave of new jobs due to digitalization?

We all know that lifelong learning is the key to a successful career and also to staying on top of an ever-changing world. But in recent years, we have seen an explosion of new topics, new scientific fields, technological advances, and these advances are also fleeting. The difficult skills someone acquires may already be obsolete after just a few years. It is also changing the world of work. At the time, it was possible to study and work in this field all your life. Today you can get an education and in 10 years 60% of jobs won’t be the same or didn’t even exist when you started high school or university. For exemple,

There is an old saying that is perhaps more important than ever when it comes to recruiting people, but also training them. Do not recruit for skills, but for attitude. Likewise, when it comes to skills, we need to look more at our personal qualities, build strong foundations, and look for skills that can be applied universally.

Decreased half-life of skills and abilities

The decrease in the half-life of skills is a direct result of advances in technology. As new technologies are developed, the skills required to use them become obsolete. For example, 10 years ago, the skills required to use a smartphone were non-existent. Today, smartphones are ubiquitous and the skills required to use them are taken for granted. In just a few years, so will new technologies that haven’t even been invented yet.

A recent report by the World Economic Forum revealed that the average half-life of a skill is six years and is expected to drop to just 2.5 years by 2030. This means that in less than ten years, a person will need to learn new skills more than twice as often as today.

To stay ahead of the game, you must constantly learn and improve your skills. The best way to do this is to make learning a habit. Dedicate some time each day or week to learning new things. This may include reading articles or books, taking online courses, or attending workshops or conferences. The important thing is to make sure you’re constantly learning and expanding your skill set.

The best skills for future jobs

As we said, there are a lot of things to consider when developing to be future-proof. That’s why I divide it into two different areas. The base and foundations that need to be there to do something in the future, then the job-specific skills and competencies to tackle complex issues, and the personal qualities to improve over time to best adapt to the changes.

Necessary foundations and basics

These foundations are the basis for future development. They give each individual all the tools to acquire future skills but also to understand

1. Literacy

Like never before, we consume a lot of information and to broaden our own horizons it is necessary to have good reading/writing skills. It is necessary to learn something new but also to share knowledge with others.

2. Numeracy

In a world full of data and analytics. It is of the utmost importance to have a sense of numbers, statistics and to understand basic calculations.

3. ICT and digital culture

Understand the operation of applications, websites, communication networks, etc. can be helpful in understanding future challenges. It’s good to have a basic understanding of how the digital world works.

4. Financial knowledge

Financial literacy is also an essential aspect, especially for younger generations. We need to rethink how pensions work, how personal finances are constructed, and what business models and corporate finances mean. It will help you complete projects, start your own business, or simply plan your personal financial future.

5. Cultural Literacy

In a globalized world, we need to understand each other well. A basic understanding of differences in culture, language, generations, race, gender, sexual orientation, religion or political orientation can be an advantage. This understanding helps leaders, fosters team building and helps build better international partnerships.

6. Cultivation of scientific methods

As mentioned earlier in the Numeracy and Digital Literacy section, it is important to understand numbers. It should also include an understanding of science, including scientific methods.

7. Culture of learning

Knowing how to learn can be a crucial skill for the future. It would be good to educate yourself on learning strategies and find the best working methods so that you can adapt quickly to changing environments.

8. Knowledge of Ethics

Knowing the ethics and implications of decisions can help make the right decisions. This basic knowledge is essential for international collaboration, but also for future decision-making.

Personal skills and competences of the future

1. Active learning/curiosity/growth mindset

One of the most important skills is the constant growth mindset. It involves curiosity to explore new things and an active learning style to adapt quickly to the constantly changing world of business and technology. Contrary to popular belief, these skills can be learned and maintained.

2. Emotional Intelligence (EQ)

In many surveys, emotional intelligence plays an important role. EQ describes the ability to become aware of one’s own emotions and those of others, to control them and to express them. As the world becomes increasingly digital, we need to improve our ability to understand each other. Combined with general culture, it can be useful in many areas of professional career and can be crucial for team building and corporate culture.

3. Leadership skills

Although not everyone wants to be or has to be a leader, it is important to know what good leaders do. In a networked society, everyone can be called upon to take on a leadership role from time to time, so learning how to motivate, lead and lead people can be a great skill set. A key skill is the ability to inspire and help others become the best version of themselves.

4. Communication and co-ordination

The world is getting more complex and each task usually involves more than one person. It is therefore crucial to understand how to best communicate and coordinate within a team, a company or with external stakeholders. Crucial skills are transferring the right information to the right person, translating it between different parties and understanding others as well. It is also important to understand tonality, body language and human interaction.

5. Judgment and decision-making skills

Neutral judgment and overall, quick decision-making skills become more important in complex situations. While machines always focus on neutral data and provide more information for decisions, it is incumbent on humans to also recognize other factors such as social implications, morale or business, and effects on the staff. Therefore, skill is needed to decide under uncertainty and with many input variables in a short period of time.

6. Creativity, ideation and innovation

A key skill for developing the solutions, processes and products of the future. This is also a skill that the machine currently cannot compete with and is therefore very important to develop for the future. It is also about techniques for generating new ideas or brainstorming . Contrary to popular belief, creativity can be cultivated and trained.

Another skill that can be added is ‘originality’, which involves the aspects of creating new ideas and concepts without the limitations of current solutions.

7. Critical Thinking – Reasoning

Critical thinking is a skill that serves as the foundation for solving complex problems . This is a key skill for many companies and teams to scale and develop new solutions in the best possible way. Reasoning must be based on observations, on various data resources, but also on logical argumentation structures.

8. Solving complex problems

In the future, complex problems will not be easily solved just because we have algorithms and technologies. They involve different tasks and require a significant effort of creativity and thinking. It is one of the core competencies that will drive much of the value creation in the future if used correctly and then harnessed by technology.

9. Analytical Thinking

Analytical thinking has some similarities to critical thinking. It relies heavily on logical reasoning and attempts to eliminate emotions. This skill can be trained by focusing on pros and cons and being open-minded to different solutions, looking for logical structures and connections. In particular, with the increasing adoption of technology, it will be useful to have analytical thinking to make the connection between humans and technology.

10. Systems Thinking

Learn to be aware of the connected and interdependent parts and that the whole system has predictable parts. One can train by analyzing complex systems, seeing connections and dependencies, and also finding solutions that impact the whole system or subsystems.

11. Cooperation

Working as a team to achieve a common goal. It involves skills in organization, communication, adaptability and openness. Collaboration skills can also be associated with leadership skills.

12. Negotiation

Whether it’s sales, salaries, ideas or other topics. Negotiation skills are essential to achieving your goals and convincing others. It is a skill that should be trained by everyone as it can be useful in many situations.

13. Self-reflection and self-awareness

The ability to get to know yourself and understand your cognitive and emotional reactions can be very helpful. In rapidly changing environments and stressful situations, it’s good to understand your own feelings and reasoning, so you can act on them. Thanks to this, you can develop another skill: resilience.

14. Resilience / Stress Tolerance

Resilience is a capacity that helps people cope with extreme situations or crises. It involves the ability to protect oneself from negative effects and to recover from difficulties.

15. Adaptability / Flexibility

Besides learning new things (mentioned earlier), we also need to be adaptable. Change of role, change of colleagues, disruptive business models and many new (digital) channels. The world is changing rapidly and an important skill is coping well with new situations and adapting when necessary. This flexibility can also be trained.

Recap on the future of skills

There are tons of skills everyone should have. It is impossible to work on every skill on this list and embody everything perfectly in one person. These skills are in high demand and will be as well because they are independent of economic development. Therefore, it would be wise to suggest that everyone assess their strengths and weaknesses and work on them in their own way.

Everyone should think about basic knowledge and then skills such as creativity, analytical thinking, and interpersonal communication, as these will all come in handy in any work environment.

Personal advice : Choose the subject that suits you and set yourself the goal of improving a little day by day. That way, you’ll naturally improve those skills over time, without worrying about them.

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