Digital and AI-powered technologies are transforming the world of work, pushing the workforce towards the need to learn new in-demand skills and adapt to future jobs. According to the World Economic Forum’s Future of Jobs Report, 50% of all employees will need to reskill by 2025 as the adoption of technology increases. Let it sit just a little: a HALF of all your employees will need to gain entirely new in-demand skills and competencies to keep up with the digital transformation and stay employable.
The Forum estimates that by 2025, the adoption of machines may outweigh the human labor and lead to the displacement of 85 million jobs. In turn, about 100 million jobs may emerge, and these new jobs will require even more advanced human interaction with machines and algorithms.
Why is it important? Greater technology adoption will mean a change of skills across the jobs, and skills gaps will continue to be high. Those employees who stay in their roles will also witness the significant change of the core skills for their jobs. So, it is essential for both sides – companies and employees – to set up a mind for the future and start preparation works.
What’s interesting, the world of work won’t live by digital and technology-related skills alone. Critical thinking, problem-solving, resilience, active learning, and a whole bunch of interpersonal, leadership, and communication skills will be essential for the future workforce. So, take a deep breath and let’s go a little deeper.
Most in demand skills for the future
Our internal research including over 200 million jobs, confirm that the trends driving the shifts are all related to business transformation. Here’s the list of the most in-demand technical skills in the upcoming years.
Highest paying skills in technology
- Cloud computing. Cloud computing jobs are on the rise because more and more companies are switching from server infrastructures to cloud solutions. Many AI and machine learning services are also provided by cloud platforms. The most in-demand and highest paying skills in this group are Microsoft Azure, Docker DevOps, and Kubernetes for cybersecurity.
- Cybersecurity. This is a remaining trending skill with about 30% annual growth rate. Nowadays, data loss risks are very unexpected and savage: hackers, data theft, swarms and viruses. That’s why there’s a high demand in this area. Most in-demand skills are Cybersecurity information, Security network, Security and Vulnerability assessment.
- Artificial intelligence and machine learning. Knowledge of TensorFlow, Python, Java, R, and Natural Language Processing tops the list of the in-demanded skills. Employees who can harness the power of AI and machine learning technologies and tools will help your organization deliver more relevant, personalized, and innovative products and services.
- Big Data analytics. Big Data analytics uses advanced analytics techniques against enormous, diverse data sets including structured, semi-structured, and unstructured data from different sources and sizes from terabytes to zettabytes. One of the areas where Big Data is widely applicable and useful is HR analytics. Knowledge of Big Data empowers you to create accurate headcount forecasts, optimize your workforce structure, and drive workforce transformation. The algorithms can simulate different workforce scenarios: the economic crisis, Brexit or Covid-19. We’d recommend you try out a few data-driven tools that can help you predict your future labor costs, define future skills, make hidden skills transparent and point out the skill gaps.
- Virtual and augmented reality. Many Industries, such as entertainment, education, health, manufacturing, and advertising have already adopted VR and AR technologies. So in the next few years technicians who have these skills are sure to be in high demand. By the way, 74% of software engineers predict that we will see AR and VR’s full impact in the next five years.
- Blockchain. Due to the rapid decline in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, blockchains seemed to have disappeared. But in reality, it’s not only used for cryptocurrency, but also peer-to-peer payments, crowdfunding file storage, identity management, digital voting purposes. Thus, developers who understand blockchain, smart contracts and can build decentralized applications will be in a high demand as well. Tech giants, like Facebook, Amazon, IBM, and Microsoft are working on developing blockchain.
- Video production. Video continues to be top-of-mind for companies because the consumers have an insatiable appetite for video content. So, it makes sense that video production continues to be a priority for companies. Video will account for 82% of Global internet traffic in 2022 up from 75% in 2018.
- User experience. UX happens to get even more important than it already is. With so much commerce and business conducted via online platforms, those who can design and refine a good UX are a hot commodity for many companies.
Of course, in-demand skills critical for successful and effective operating in the future go beyond technical skills alone. Let’s take an overview of the important soft skills for “harsh” reality.
As technology infiltrates nearly every role, digital literacy is not an option anymore – it’s imperative. Professionals who aren’t in charge of software development directly still need to embrace programming and overall digital literacy, have hands-on data analysis and statistics within their area of responsibility, and stretch towards computational and algorithmic thinking.
Other digital literacy and fluency in-demand skills which will be essential for every role are digital ethics foundations and understanding of digital systems (e.g. smart systems, cybersecurity, and tech enablement).
Critical thinking represents another set of in-demand skills essential for the future workforce. Skills related to this group include the ability to understand the structured problem, search relevant information, logical reasoning, and master agile thinking.
Interpersonal skills in demand
This group covers several layers of skills required for effective collaboration, building relationships with others, and moving toward common goals.
- Communication skills. This area has been in the spotlight for quite some time. Now, as for many organizations, digital has become an extension of communication, its role is re-imagined and is even more vital. Skills that the employees should consider are storytelling and public speaking, synthesizing messages, and demonstrating active listening.
- Mental flexibility. Flexibility, adaptability, and the ability to learn are the key skills in demand that will allow companies and their workforces to embrace and lead the change. In this regard, they need to invest in developing creativity, the ability to adopt different perspectives, and translating knowledge to various contexts.
- Building relationships. Employees striving to be successful in this area need to embrace empathy, humility, sociability, and inspiring trust.
- Teamwork effectiveness. Even if some roles imply independence, it is pretty much impossible to deliver the work effectively without teamwork. Hence, the ability to collaborate will be critical. As much as excellence in resolving conflicts, ability to motivate different personalities, coach and empower them, and foster inclusiveness.
All eyes are also on self-management, maturity, and emotional intelligence skills. To cover these areas, employees will need to be able to understand own emotions and triggers, know their strengths, demonstrate self-control, self-motivation, and integrity.
Last but not least, companies and employees need to keep their eye out for developing leadership skills. To name a few, role modeling, crafting an inspiring vision, as well as demonstrating organizational awareness, ownership and decisiveness, grit and persistence, ability to cope with uncertainty – these in-demand skills will determine the future leaders. If you’re interested how to develop leadership skills, read our recent blog post.
So, what now?
With these insights in mind, you can take steps towards embracing future-oriented skills:
- Make all the skills in your company transparent. Audit available skills and talents to get insight into how your organization is ready for the future.
- Identify the skill gaps, future skills, and design learning journeys your employees need to take to embrace the in-demand skills of future.
- Connect your employees to the knowledge and career development opportunities within your company.
- Enable the skill transformation in your organization today.
Wondering how you can lead skill shift and connect the knowledge at your organization? Check out the smartPeople platform that can help you with that.