Study: The 10 most important work skills for 2020

Cultural trends, demographics, and emerging technologies were all rapidly changing the job scene – even before the COVID-19 crisis wreaked havoc on the labour market. While some occupations are going extinct, new opportunities are being created at the same time.

People are living much longer than we used to. New technologies and automation are rapidly replacing repetitive jobs. New communication tools are eliminating formerly popular mediums for disseminating information (so long snail mail, fax machines, printed newspapers, and cable TV) at the same time as requiring more advanced media literacy skills for most new jobs.

These are going to create a massive shift in the kinds of jobs that we do – and in the skills that we will need to do them – in the very near future.

The education ranking team at Top 10 Online CollegesThe 10 essential skills for the jobs of 2020

Sense-making: The ability to determine the deeper meaning or significance of what is being expressed, even in the abstract.

Social intelligence: Being able to connect with others in a deep and direct way, to sense and stimulate reactions and desired interactions.

Novel and adaptive thinking: A proficiency at thinking and coming up with solutions and responses beyond that which is rote or rule-based. Can you solve unexpected problems on the fly?

Cross cultural competency: The ability to adapt, relate, and operate in different cultural settings.

Computational thinking: The ability to translate vast amounts of data into abstract concepts and to understand data-based reasoning.

New Media Literacy: An ability to critically assess and develop content that uses new media forms, and to leverage these media for persuasive communication. Digital literacy is the new literacy.

Transdisciplinary: Literacy in and ability to understand concepts across multiple disciplines

Design Mindset: Ability to represent and develop tasks and work processes for desired outcomes.

Cognitive load management: Ability to discriminate and filter information for importance, and to understand how to maximize cognitive functions

Virtual collaboration: Ability to work productively, drive engagement, and demonstrate presence as a member of a virtual team. The events of 2020 have certainly showed many of us how relevant this can be.

Check out the infographic on Top Ten Online Colleges for more detail on the drivers of change that are causing the demand for each of the emerging skillsets for the modern job market.

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