The Future Work Skills report predicts that six trends will dominate the job market over the next 10 years. These include longer lifespans, increased workplace automation, increases in sensors and processing power, new communication tools, supersized organisations and increased global interconnectivity.
For graduates, these changes mean that employers will be looking for 10 key skills when recruiting new employees.
While computers can take over routine manufacturing and services jobs, higher level thinking skills cannot be codified. Graduate with the ability to create unique insights critical to decision making will be important in the workplace.
- Social intelligence
Robots are being created in research labs but the ability to connect to other people in a meaningful way remains uniquely human. Graduates need to be able to work effectively with large groups of people and have the ability to adapt their language and behaviour to others.
- Novel & Adaptive thinking
Desirable graduates need to have ‘situational adaptability’. This refers to the ability to respond to unique, unexpected circumstances.
- Cross-cultural competency
In a globally connected world, employees need to be able to work in different cultural settings. This may demand specific skills, such as linguistics skills, but also an ability to adapt and respond to new environments and cultures.
- Computational thinking
As the amount of data in the world increases, employees with computational thinking skills will be highly desirable to make sense of this information and to make decisions based on it.
- New media literacy
User-generated media such as videos, blogs and podcasts already dominate our social lives, and these will be increasingly integrated in the workplace. Workers will be expected to develop and use content that uses new media forms.
Today’s global problems are multifaceted and require transdisciplinary solutions. Nanotechnology, for example, blends molecular biology, biochemistry and other specialties. Employees will need to bring a deep understanding of at least one field, as well as familiarity with a broad range of other disciplines.
- Design mindset
The physical environments of our workspaces can shape our thinking ability. Workers will need to be able to identify the kind of thinking that different tasks require and plan work environments that enhance their ability to accomplish these tasks.
- Cognitive load management
The massive influx of data from many different information streams can lead to cognitive overload. Workers need to develop their own data filtering techniques to focus on what is important.
- Virtual collaboration
Technology has made it easier to work as part of a team despite being physically located in different places. In this virtual work environment, workers need to develop strategies for engaging and motivating distant colleagues.
What graduates of today can do to prepare for the future working world
- Education does not stop after your first degree. It is important that you continue to learn new skills and keep up-to-date with new communication tools and technologies. You should keep yourself informed of news and changes within your sector, but also gain exposure to other industries and disciplines to stay relevant as you progress in your career.
- Technology continues to change and shape our modern life. Safeguard your online reputation and use online channels to make contacts in different companies and sectors.
- Understanding and interacting with colleagues from different cultures is key to success in today’s working world. Broaden your experience by taking a gap-year or studying abroad.