New Decade, New Tricks: Skills in Demand Beyond 2020 I Oxford Open Learning
Technological Skills

New Decade, New Tricks: Skills in Demand Beyond 2020

According to the World Forum’s ‘The Future of Jobs’ report, the top 10 skills demanded in 2022 are expected to change in a number of ways from those of 2018. Given this is only three years from now, is the UK, as a workforce, ready to step up to gain them? Let’s take a look…

Analytical thinking and innovation remain firmly at the top of the table in terms of demanded skills. Active Learning and Learning strategies is second, moving up two places from 2018. Creativity, originality and initiative make an entrance at number three, also up two places from last year.

Active learning is defined as ‘Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.’ In a world where information is in overload, this important skill means the ability to apply analytical skills, and assimilate complex information, and to decipher it, is what matters.

Learning strategies are defined as ‘selecting and using training / instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.’ Yet according to the OFNS, in 2017, just over a quarter (26%) of employees in the UK said they had taken part in in-work training or education in the previous three months. Skills dropping off 2022’s top ten list included coordination and time management, attention to detail and trustworthiness. These have been replaced by systems analysis and evaluation, and technology design and programming.

Despite this demand for these new skills, programmers, software development professionals and IT business analysts are ranked first out of a total of 105 professions in the UK shortage indicator rank, according to the Migration Advisory Committee’s report published in May 2019. Architects and systems designers come in second  The main lesson learned from these findings is the need for employers across all sectors to focus on providing agile lifelong learning, as well as inclusive strategies and programmes for skills retraining and upgrading across all sectors and age groups.

Technology is certainly defining the future of work. The ability to grasp and work with fast changing, evolving technologies won’t slow down. 2022 and beyond will see an era of continued innovation and automation, requiring the blending of creative skills with high level system and technical skills. New decade, new tricks.

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Vicky Chilton is

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