The year is 2021, which means that in 11 years’ time, the year 2030 will be upon us, and with that, it’s highly likely you’ll be working in a job/profession that doesn’t even exist yet – and no, we’re not talking about building the world’s first time machine (even though that would be very cool). The world of work is evolving rapidly, which means you have to figure out how to prepare for a future job role that’s impossible to predict. Sounds easy right…?
Of course, as far as we know, there isn’t some sort of a crystal ball that can tell us exactly what skills will be needed and what won’t be needed. However, the University of the Witwatersrand, has come up with four skills that they believe you will need to succeed in your future career, whatever it ends up being.
Let’s explore these 4 skills in more detail:
1. Creative and innovative mindset
Even though there was an impressive report by the World Economic Forum (WEF) in 2018 suggesting robot automation will create more jobs than they displace, it is of utmost importance to still do well to keep on top of your creativity skills and maintain an innovative mindset. After all, that is our competitive edge as humans overall. Much like having an excellent sense of emotional intelligence, natural creativity is something that can not be easily replicated by the latest digital technologies (as we said above, it’s our edge). As long as you can think outside the box, you’ll be just fine. It is important to nurture this skill and try to improve it as much as possible over time. There are many free courses that one can find online at institutions such as Coursera and Udemy
2. Digital literacy
As we continue to heavily rely on ever-changing technologies, the need for these individuals who have the digital and technical capabilities to keep up with these technologies increases.
You’ve most definitely heard of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), but have you heard of SMAC (Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud)? It might seem like we’re being bombarded with digital buzzwords (STEM, SMAC, API, SEO, CRM), being digitally and technically literate provides an array of capabilities beyond what was once thought possible in our wildest dreams when it comes to current and emerging technologies, such as data science, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning.
“We need to train scholars to deal with the challenges of the 21st century, some which we may not yet have encountered,” says Professor Adam Habib, Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University of the Witwatersrand.
“We need to work across sectors to develop the technology required for us to leapfrog across eons of poverty, unemployment and inequality, and in so doing to create a new world order that prioritizes humanity before profits and power.”
As discussed above, there are many platforms online that allow you to further enhance your digital or technical skillset. You can do these for free or for a fee and even in the comfort of your own home during this recent pandemic. Learning about data visualization and exploration, computational intelligence and natural language technology will give you the upper hand that is needed in times to come.
3. EQ and the likes
For everything that can be replaced by digital technologies and artificial intelligence, emotional and social intelligence remain uniquely human capabilities. That is a point that is extremely important to note. EQ will always be our number one advantage over new technologies that have a better IQ than us humans.
In some sectors of the economy, these qualities are of crucial importance. If we take, for example, the healthcare sector. Jobs are on the increase – demonstrating how some roles will always require a human touch/element. Your future profession is more than likely going to include working closely with others, so having a good sense of empathy, collaboration abilities, as well as excellent communication skills is something you’re most definitely going to need.
4. Cognitive flexibility
The rise of digital and other technologies means you’re going to need to be able to handle the plethora of opportunities and challenges that come with it. The more turbulent the environment is, the more flexibility is demanded from an individual in order to cope with it.
Do you have the capabilities to adapt to change and conceptualize complex multiple ideas all at once? Good! If so, you’re showing qualities that reside in advanced multi-taskers and which are highly valued by employers and recruiters. If not, it is time to get working.
So, basically, in a nutshell – we are reaching the critical stage where one needs to self-reflect and wonder if his/hers skillset will be needed in 2030. If you have those skills listed above then make sure you maintain those skills, nurture them and build on them. And, one more thing, if you personally cannot see yourself fitting into the supposedly “2030 reality” then you can get business funding from Fundrr to get some extra cash flow to grow your team and hire these individuals. There, problem solved!
Good luck and we will see you in 2030.