Technology is rapidly changing the labour market. Experts agree that we are changing jobs more often and holding more roles over the course of our careers.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says that today’s learners will have 8 to 10 different jobs by the time they are 38 years old. They will also have to keep learning. The roles available and the skills needed to succeed in them are rapidly evolving as technology advances. A report from Dell Technologies says that the vast majority (85 per cent) of the jobs that the young people of today will hold in 2030 haven’t been invented yet.
That is a tremendous shift in work in just twelve years. It means that picking a precise career path and aiming all of your training towards one particular job is a risky strategy. Many of today’s jobs will not exist ten years from now – and the emerging opportunities are still being created. [See: Why having a dream job is for losers]
So, while what the specific jobs will be isn’t yet clear, the experts have weighed in on what skills workers will need in the era of Artificial Intelligence (AI), augmented and virtual reality, home robots, cloud computing, and other rapidly evolving technical shifts.
The five most critical skills & traits for the jobs of the next decade
Contextualized intelligence: nuanced understanding of culture, society, business, and people. Machines can process and interpret vast amounts of information in short order. Understanding and adjusting for cultural context is still a valuable human skill.
Entrepreneurial mindset: applying creativity, learning agility, and an enterprising attitude to find workarounds and circumvent constraints. Understanding problems, strategizing solutions, and demonstrating leadership are consistently valuable skills for a successful career.
Personal brand cultivation: a searchable and favorable digital identity as basic work hygiene. Using the latest communications tools shows that you are tech savvy and keep up with the times. Employers sometimes consider it a red flag if they cannot find any trace of a candidate online. In this era of internet connectivity and interactive communication, being off the grid can make you appear to be out of date or technically unsavvy for not using the latest tools to market his or herself.
Automation literacy: the nimble ability to integrate lightweight automation tools into one’s own work and home life. Stay up-to-date with the evolving technologies of the time. Artificial intelligence is here to stay and becoming integrated into more and more areas of life.
Computational sensemaking: ability to derive meaning from blended machine and human-based outputs. In the age of digital transformation, organizations suddenly have access to complex information and vast amounts of previously unavailable date. Workers who can interpret and contextualize this info into actionable strategy will be in high demand.
Creativity, adaptability, and judgment, as well as having strategies for continuous learning will be more important than specific technical abilities. (Which can be a solid argument in favour of obtaining a liberal arts degree.) One thing to keep in mind: if a job can be automated, it will be.
You can read the full report from Dell Technologies: Emerging Technologies’ Impact on Society and Work in 2030 [PDF]