As we head into a new decade, there will be monumental changes in the type of work being done and the skills that are needed because of it. The Fourth Industrial Revolution will transform our workplaces – particularly in technology, where advances in Artificial Intelligence (AI), automation, data science, robotics and more, are necessitating new skills and jobs.
In 2020, over a third of skills that are considered important in today’s workforce will have changed. Thanks to new technology, some jobs will disappear, others will grow, and entirely new jobs will become commonplace.
Creative and critical thinking
Creativity is predicted to be one of the top three skills that workers will need. A plethora of new products, technology, ways of working and roles will require workers to be flexible and creative – with skills that transfer from role to role, industry to industry.
Plus, robots and AI can easily do manual tasks, but creative skills still elude them. By harnessing creative thinking, humans can remain employable well into the decade.
The World Economic Forum also lists complex problem solving and critical thinking as a top skill in 2020. Although AI is fast rising up the ranks (and expected to become part of a company’s board of directors by 2026), it will still require human oversight to make complex, business-critical decisions.
Understanding the relationships between different people (and also humans and robots) will also be in-demand. Robot team coordinators will work to optimise the balance of robot and human in teams, whilst ensuring everyone works together seamlessly. People management, as a whole, will become a fine art. Making sure the right people are placed into the right roles, that workers are upskilled to take advantage of emerging trends and to alleviate any concerns that human workers have about automation and robotics.
Data analysis is anticipated to be critical in 2020. There is a vast amount of data that organisations currently collect, that’s set to grow as the Internet of Things (IoT) becomes more mainstream. Data analytics will be needed to make sense of this data and derive actionable insights from it.
Conversely, tech-specialised sales representatives will also be in-demand. People who can effectively commercialise complicated technology and explain a tech company’s offerings to business and government, will easily find a role in 2020.
Machine Learning and IoT skills
Beyond this, each emerging technology brings a host of skills that forward-thinking workers are already developing. Machine Learning-specific knowledge will be useful, given the huge role that it will play in every organisation in the future. Chatbots, Siri, self-driving cars and automation all use Machine Learning. IoT-specific skills, such as knowledge of network security and potential device vulnerabilities will also be key.
Finally, data visualisation will become increasingly popular as more organisations seek ways to make data more understandable to everyone. Without compelling data visuals, that tell a business leader exactly what’s happening in real-time, the insights derived through data science and analytics can be lost.
There are many roles on the horizon thanks to Industry 4.0. In 2020, there’ll be a renewed focus on re-skilling and upskilling workers due to this. Candidates would do well to explore these new skills now as a way to open new opportunities over the coming years.
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