5 More Future Skills You Should Be Learning Now
The World Economic Forum (WEF) Future of Jobs Report 2020 highlights that 40% of employees will need to up-skill in the next five years. According to the report, 94% of business leaders will expect their employees to be actively building their skillset. Graduates need to be both technically skilled and emotionally astute to meet the demands of the rapidly evolving jobs market. The report makes it clear that while practical business know-how remains essential, people-oriented skills are also critical. With that in mind, here are five more future skills that you can start developing now.
Future Skill #6 – Leadership and social influence
We often hold onto a perception of leadership that relates only to those in high-profile positions of power. In reality, developing great leadership skills is a far more accessible process. Leadership encompasses several other skills mentioned in the WEF report, including creativity, initiative, active learning and critical thinking. Each of these skills depends on a person’s ability to relate to others, from reacting and responding to a problem highlighted by a colleague, to collating a range of ideas from across your team to reach a positive solution.
Good leadership then results in positive social influence. Your peers will look to you as a capable and knowledgeable colleague. You can start role-modelling strong leadership as a student. From actively participating in class to volunteering for positions of responsibility such as the Student Council, there are plenty of ways you can establish yourself as a leader while studying.
Future Skill #7 – Use of technology, monitoring and control
Many students and current employees are getting used to working online. Video conferencing software has seen a surge in popularity, with products like Zoom reporting a 2,900% increase in daily active users.
While downloading and using these products may be second nature to some, security and monitoring is also an important factor to consider. Start by looking at your own online security settings. Who can see your personal information online? How secure are your passwords? Are you using two-factor authentication? Whether or not your chosen career in in the tech sector, demonstrating a savvy approach to technology while you are a student will stand you in good stead for the future.
With 84% of companies set to accelerate their digitisation in the wake of Covid-19, now is the time to get to grips with technology in a more focused way. That means going beyond knowing where the mute button is.
Future Skill #8 – Technology design and programming
That said, if the world of tech is where your career goals are focused, the future looks bright. While many jobs will become fully automated or even disappear altogether, there are a number of new and existing roles that will be more in demand than ever – 97 million, in fact.
Of these ‘jobs of tomorrow’, the roles predicted to be most sought-after are in technology design and programming. AI and Machine Learning Specialists, Robotics Engineers, App and Software Developers and those with expertise in Big Data Analysis are all highlighted in the Future of Jobs report.
Jobs in Digital Marketing will also continue to grow in popularity. While programming may not be your area of interest, understanding online selling and promotion is set to be key. That includes the strategy you create for promoting yourself online. Look at brushing up your social media presence and get active on sites like LinkedIn.
Future Skill #9 – Resilience, stress tolerance and flexibility
With the rise of remote working, self-management will be one of the key future skills to master. More specifically, employers are looking for those with the ability to weather the tumultuous changes within the evolving jobs market. The skills that you start building now will increase your resiliency and flexibility as an employee.
Your time as a student is perfect for developing that practice of self-management. From great time management to fostering positive relationships with your classmates and professors, your time at university can help consolidate the skills needed to help manage potentially stressful situations. Read our blog post about the study skills every student should master to see where you can start developing your skillset before your graduate.
Future Skill #10 – Reasoning, problem-solving and ideation
Creative thinking as well as technical competency will be high on employers’ wish-lists by 2025. The ability to collate and analyse a wide range of information in order to reach positive solutions will set you apart as a creative and versatile thinker.
Build on your reasoning and problem-solving skills by engaging in active learning. Participate in class discussions, develop your listening skills and think critically about the materials you absorb – both academic and otherwise.
Ideation – the process of developing and testing new ideas – is a great example of how important interpersonal skills are to the future of business. Great ideas don’t come from one source. Use the strengths and experiences of those around you to help solve problems. Actively seek out new perspectives and use your critical thinking skills to apply them to your company’s unique situation. While you might be able to come up with a solution or idea on your own, collaborating with classmates or colleagues is the route to coming up with the best idea.
What next for the future of jobs?
While the working landscape is changing a break-neck speed, it is clear that companies are still adapting at a slower pace. Employees will take up to an estimated five months to up-skill in these particular areas. If we think at how much has changed in any five months of 2020, that feels like too long a time for businesses to take. With that in mind, now is the time to assess what future skills you can start developing. Don’t wait until you leave university. Start building that five-start future skillset now!