Every day technology is increasingly taking over every aspect of our lives. There almost isn’t a single instance in which technology has not made its presence known. Artificial Intelligence has allowed technology to take over even the most mundane of tasks, such as switching off the lights, as well as some of the most complicated ones, such as predicting what you might buy six months from now. Therefore, we may assume that the most in-demand skills of the future may be technology related. While technology is a must, in this day and age, it has now become a given. Second-nature.
What will really be in demand in the future are emotional and social skills, or what are often collectively called, soft skills. These skills make up what is left that make us human. According to many, we have entered the Fourth Industrial Revolution, in which technology is taking over simple and complex tasks, to the point that many existing jobs will soon become obsolete because robots and machines will be able to do the same tasks that we currently do, with more speed and precision. However, some skills of the human experience that technology has not been able to imitate and overtake are creativity, complex problem solving, critical thinking, collaboration, and empathy and emotional intelligence. Because these skills cannot (just yet), be done better and faster by machines, these are the skills that will be in demand in coming years.
In preparation, employers have started seeking the demonstration of soft skills on resumes and at interviews. According to the World Economic Forum, the top five skills that will be most in demand by 2020 are:
- Complex Problem Solving
- Critical Thinking
- People Management
- Coordinating with Others
Furthermore, as the cornerstone of society and predictor of the future, it’s smart to take a look at what is being taught in schools. School curriculums now emphasize what are called 21st century skills, which emphasize developing skills, such as flexibility, communication, and initiative, in students.
- Learning – mental skills required to learn and grow.
- Literacy – critical thinking skills required to understand information and determine facts.
- Life – essential skills and abilities needed for everyday life, such as being productive, taking initiative, and communicating with others.
As can be seen, in a robot-driven world, the essence of being human is becoming more valuable. Therefore, one should focus on developing their soft skills, not only because these make up the future, but also because these can be carried across industry. This works to our advantage because if you develop strong soft skills, such as learning and critical thinking, you can easily learn the hard, technical skills required for any given industry in which you may find yourself.
Life can take us anywhere, especially in today’s fast ever-changing world. Be prepared by solidifying your most versatile skillset and that sets you apart from the robotic competition: being human.
This article was written by Nabila Ikram.
Nabila Ikram has a B.A. in education, followed by a professional journey working with several business and nonprofit startups, including a couple of her own. Along with her business adventures, she has been writing and editing in various capacities and across industries over the years. She has traveled extensively and has a passion for learning and reflecting on matters of culture, society, and the “Information Age”. She enjoys reading, writing, and, as a mother of three herself, uplifting other mothers in their own personal and professional pursuits.