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The 10 job skills you will need by 2020!


In less than five years, over a third of skills that are considered important in the workplace today will have changed. We stand on the brink of a technological revolution known as the Fourth Industrial Revolution that will fundamentally transform the way we live and work. Also known as Industry 4.0, the revolution will bring us advanced robotics, artificial intelligence, autonomous transport, biotechnology and genomics. With it will come both job creation and job displacement. As reported by the World Economic Forum, 65% of children entering primary school today will ultimately end up working in completely new job types that don’t yet exist. What is certain, is that to keep pace, the future workforce will need to realign its skills. Educators, governments and businesses will need to be pro-active in retraining people to benefit from the revolution.

A recent World Economic Forum report, The Future of Jobs, examined workforce strategy for the future and discovered that 35% of skills currently considered important in the workplace will change. Creativity will become one of the top three skills workers will need. With new technologies and new ways of working, creativity will become highly valued. Meanwhile, negotiation is high on the list of skills for 2015, but by 2020 that skill will drop down the top 10 due to the increased use of disruptive technologies. Active listening, considered an important skill today will also fall from the top 10, being replaced with emotional intelligence.

Here’s the top 10 job skills you will need to thrive in the Fourth Industrial Revolution:

  1. Complex problem solving
  2. Critical thinking
  3. Creativity
  4. People management
  5. Co-ordinating with others
  6. Emotional intelligence
  7. Judgment and decision making
  8. Service orientation
  9. Negotiation
  10. Cognitive flexibility
    (Source: Future of Jobs Report, World Economic Forum)

The nature of change will depend on the industry itself. The media and entertainment sector have already seen rapid change in recent years, yet the financial services and investment sector has yet to be radically transformed. However, we can already see vast changes in the employment landscape impacted by mobile internet and cloud technology. Artificial intelligence, augmented reality and 3D printing are still in the early adoption stages, but the pace of change will be exponential. A survey by the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on the Future of Software and Society shows the expectation that artificial intelligence machines to be part of a company’s board of directors within a decade.

NZTech has identified the changing job landscape as a serious concern for our country. Working closely with the education sector and Conferenz, NZTech are hosting a summit to identify ways to accelerate the teaching and use of technology across New Zealand schools.  The NZTech Advance, Education Technology Summit runs 5-6 July, 2016 in Auckland.

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