As we move through the fourth industrial revolution, the boundaries between the physical and digital worlds become more blurred than ever before. The generational shift that we experience today is due to huge advances in technology. As humans need to adapt to new, cutting-edge technology, tech will wipe out some jobs, but also create more jobs than it destroys.
It is the age of big data and artificial intelligence. The workforce of today needs to reskill and upskill to match the pace of technological change. According to the world economic forum, 50% of all employees will need reskilling by 2025. Hard skills related to technology are obviously on the list, but soft skills like critical thinking and problem solving are also growing in prominence.
We have identified the most desirable skills in the workplaces in 2022, and these can help improve future employability:
“Big data is at the foundation of all the megatrends that are happening today, from social to mobile to cloud to gaming.” — Chris Lynch
Chris couldn’t be more on point. Big data is the source of the power of companies like Google, Facebook, and Amazon. Having the data does nothing if you don’t have people qualified to analyze and interpret the data. Jobs in data science are lucrative and in demand in all sectors and will be even more so in the future.
Data scientists collect, evaluate, and process data to extract meaningful information from it. From using large decision-making models for financial decisions to using ecommerce analytics to design marketing strategies, all are made on the basis of data analysis.
Data scientists require analytical skills and a strong knowledge of mathematics, statistics, and programming. It is also imperative to understand business contexts so they can truly add value to their work.
Employees with high emotional intelligence (EI) are considered to be an asset because they can deal with difficult situations better than others. Their conflict management approach is commendable because they’re able to display empathy for others and appreciate the opinions of others.
With high emotional intelligence, you are more resilient and also able to manage your own well-being and emotional health. In most customer-facing functions, employers look for people with high EI. These employees are best able to understand customer pain points and help with the creation and implementation of customer empathy maps.
To nurture EI, many employees find mentors or become mentors to more junior employees. They can develop the critical communication and leadership skills that set high-performance employees apart. There are many examples of workplace mentoring programs designed specifically for accelerating employee development.
Organizations have come to realize that the continually shifting landscape calls for quick problem solvers. They need to be knowledgeable, have an eye for detail and be able to make changes to get their desired results. Complex problems like climate change and global warming require creative and innovative thinking. You need to approach a dilemma from various angles and find out-of-the-box solutions.
Successful problem solvers have an organized reasoning process and are also able to create the collaborations needed to reach their desired answer. Problem-solving is an amalgamation of many of the following skills:
1. Active listening
5. Team building
Analytical and critical thinking
Employees need to be able to contribute to their organization by being observant, reflective, and analytical in their roles. Employers are looking for critical and analytical thinking skills in their workforce because these skills contribute directly to a company’s goals. Critical thinkers are able to analyze facts, and come up with practical answers by applying logic and reason.
Analytical skills are essential for most day-to-day work, whether you are brainstorming, interpreting data, or integrating new information.
The advent of blockchain has been game-changing. Everyone is trying to leverage blockchain technology to help lower cash flow discrepancies and transaction processing time. Blockchain enables companies to reduce costs by letting them make financial transactions without involving banks.
Since blockchain is a decentralized system, it serves as a database, and information is secure and immutable. As the amount of data continues to grow exponentially, blockchain helps with missing data privacy and storage, especially for industries that deal in sensitive data like healthcare, finance, and the government.
Blockchain makes for a complicated piece of technology, and organizations want employees with extensive knowledge of blockchain technology, data structures, and cryptography.
Search engine optimization (SEO) helps brands increase visibility on search engines. SEO is one of your key marketing strategies that allows you to build an organic presence on the internet. SEO lets you appear high in online search results, and having an SEO expert to help with an excellent organic web presence will always be more affordable than using ads to drive paid traffic.
It's also important to learn how to use keyword, metrics and data reading tools, as well as more advanced data scrapers such as Google Trends API.
SEO can rake in profits like no other digital marketing technique. This is why companies are willing to pay top dollar for SEO. SEO marketing skills are needed by every organization that wants to drive traffic to their website, get more leads, and improve conversion rate optimization for more customers and higher revenue.
SEO is a high-income skill, and there are sub-areas of expertise too. Some professionals specialize in local SEO, where they help local small businesses appear high in searches like “best orthodontist in San Diego.”
Some specialize in SEO for only specific industries, like SEO for SaaS products, so SaaS businesses like those offering enterprise communication systems can appear high in searches like “cheap VoIP phone services” or “best video conference software.”
Machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) experts are in high demand because AI helps streamline workflows and make use of insightful data for problem solving and driving economic value. Professionals in the field are usually those that handle, build, test, and implement AI models. You would need a strong foundation in software design, engineering, programming, coding, statistics, and mathematics to excel in the field of AI and machine learning.
Machine learning is in the process of transforming every industry it is being implemented in, whether for demand forecasting, ecommerce retailers, or self-driving cars. With new fields of application constantly emerging, machine learning is a force to be reckoned with.
Sales and marketing
Sales and marketing are key business functions that keep companies profitable. All other functions are merely for support. If you do not have the background to make it in the tech sector, sales is a skill that can prove to be equally, if not more, rewarding. Sales leadership is responsible for closing business deals and coaching others. You are the biggest contributor to figuring out strategy and identifying areas of opportunity.
Sales leaders need to have impeccable communication skills, the ability to motivate, a relentless drive to achieve, and excellent team-building skills because sales leaders seldom work alone.
To get into sales, you do not need any specific educational background. Sales positions are often commission-based. With performance-based pay, the sky is your limit. You’re only constrained by your potential.
Technology has allowed us to be able to do our work from virtually anywhere. Almost half (45%) of US companies in a survey have moved to a hybrid workforce model. To be able to collaborate with your peers no matter where in the world they are is a skill that is becoming increasingly necessary in the post-pandemic era.
From not even knowing how to set up a video conference to holding our most important strategy meetings online, we have come a long way in remote collaboration. It takes a certain skill to build trust and engage with others efficiently via a computer screen, and employers appreciate employees who can successfully do so.
Working remotely is a skill that all teams should master in these uncertain times, especially for organizations that work across the globe. Teamwork, knowledge sharing, and communication are challenging when everyone is in a different time zone.
The opportunities in the field of user experience (UX) design are multiplying rapidly. UX design aims to make the digital world delightful for people to interact with. UX design requires a background in software design, information architecture, prototyping, and user research.
A product’s digital customer experience strategy is dependent on the UX designer and how they research user behavior. After conducting research, they build interactive prototypes and test them to design a brilliant user experience.
Take your career to the next level
While returning to school is not the easiest of decisions, improving your skillset can create wonderful opportunities for you. You can acquire the skills above through a paid course, YouTube, formal classes, or through a formal mentoring program on the job.
Even recruitment has become a tech-savvy function, with employers using executive search software to find the best fit for their needs. Gone are the days of managing applicants and posting jobs. With AI candidate sourcing, improving your skillset is all the more important.
Machines are not taking over; they still need humans to run them and design them. New roles are coming into existence every day, and you need to be prepared for significant changes in the future as new industries and job requirements emerge. Upskilling and reskilling your workforce is essential for the future of work and to maintain your competitive advantage.
Grace Lau is the Director of Growth Content at Dialpad, an AI-powered cloud communication platform for better and easier team collaboration and online meeting. She has over 10 years of experience in content writing and strategy. Currently, she is responsible for leading branded and editorial content strategies, partnering with SEO and Ops teams to build and nurture content. She has written for Premio and Scoop.it. Here is her LinkedIn.