The Most Valuable Skills for the Future

We are currently in the midst of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Robots, literally, and Artificial Intelligence systems, are automating human jobs away at an unprecedented rate. As a result, between now and 2030, the World Economic Forum estimates that around 30% of jobs that exist today could will be lost to automation. This may sound bleak for workers, but this isn’t jobs Armageddon. This is because the new, digitised world will create new jobs. However, the digitised work-place will value different skills, and you’ll need to master these if you want to succeed.

The World Economic Forum’s Future of Jobs Report outlines the top 10 business skill that will be in highest demand in the new digital and automated industrial age. These are;

1. Complex Problem Solving
2. Critical Thinking
3. Creativity
4. People Management
5. Coordinating with others
6. Emotional Intelligence
7. Judgement and Decision Making
8. Service Orientation
9. Negotiation
10. Cognitive Flexibility

What this means is, with technology automating many of the labour-intensive parts of the job, there will be a greater emphasis on soft skills. Even if you are a technologist or data scientist, these soft skills are going to be increasingly important in getting your job done. If you are thinking about a future in technology, then the most in demand hard skills are, according to Linked-In, these below:

1. Cloud Computing
2. Artificial Intelligence
3. Analytical Reasoning
4. People Management
5. UX Design

It’s not possible to know exactly what skills will be needed when you finish your studies and are ready to enter the world of work. That’s why I believe that two of the most important qualities for the future working world are flexibility, defined as being open to change, and adaptability, defined as being capable of quickly evolving your skill-set as the business world around you changes.

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I am a practising HR consultant working with several start-ups on an ongoing and ad-hoc basis in the London and M4 area, and am a Chartered Member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development or CIPD. I am the Director of; is a resource for start-ups and small business. It includes a blog containing career advice, small business advice articles, HR software reviews, and contains great resources such as HR Productivity Apps.

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