Which skills will be most sought after in tomorrow’s workplace?

Which skills will be most sought after in tomorrow’s workplace?

Do you know which workplace skill sets will be most in demand in the near future? Read our latest article to find out.
  • Soft skills development
  • The importance of data literacy

The world of work has transformed significantly over the years. While numerous factors played a role in this transformation, it was driven primarily by digital and AI-powered technologies, which have become increasingly commonplace in a vast majority of industries. To remain competitive in the labour market, many workers will have to learn new skills to help them keep up with these changes.

In fact, the increased adoption of technology could see as many as half of all employees reskilling by 2025, reveals the latest Future of Jobs Report published by the World Economic Forum (WEF). What’s more, the WEF further estimates that 85 million jobs could be taken over by machines during the same period. However, although many jobs will inevitably be lost, close to 100 million new ones will be created and will require new skill sets. It won’t be just digital and technology-related skills that will be in high demand, however, but also soft skills like critical thinking, problem solving, and communication.

Soft skills development

With the labour market becoming increasingly competitive, many companies will find it difficult to attract workers who already possess soft skills. For such companies, upskilling existing employees may be a more viable – and cheaper – alternative. According to a recent report published by Gallup, the cost of replacing an employee can be twice as high as that employee’s salary, with the annual cost of this turnover in staff estimated at over $1 trillion. By providing employees with upskilling opportunities and enabling them to develop soft skills, HR departments can help companies to significantly reduce these costs. 

In addition to improving employee productivity and retention, soft skills training can also increase a company’s return on investment by a staggering 256 per cent, reveals a study conducted by the University of Michigan. Online training can be a particularly effective way to approach soft skills development, as it enables employees to choose how, when, and where they undertake the coaching. Investing in staff training also makes it easier for companies to fill vacant roles by promoting from within, and means that employees are less likely to seek new job opportunities elsewhere.

The importance of data literacy

Besides soft skills, employees of the future will also need data literacy skills, which include the ability to read, work with, analyse, and communicate with data. According to a recent report published by business analytics platform Qlik, both business leaders and employees believe that data literacy could become the most sought-after skill by 2030. Just as the ability to use a computer is essential in today’s workplace, the same will be true for data literacy in the future, as indicated by 85 per cent of executives. “Data literacy will be critical in extending workplace collaboration beyond human-to-human engagements, to employees augmenting machine intelligence with creativity and critical thinking”, says Elif Tutuk, former Qlik vice president of innovation and design.

As the workplace becomes increasingly automated and data-oriented, data literacy will become a requirement – even for roles that aren’t specifically data-related. In fact, it’s estimated that this is already true for more than two-thirds of employees working in HR, finance, and marketing. Despite this, only 10 per cent of companies offer data literacy training to workers in these roles. As a result, 35 per cent of employees said they had left jobs in the last year because they weren’t satisfied with the upskilling and training opportunities offered by their employers. “Investment in leading-edge data platforms has revealed a large and expanding gap in data literacy skills in the workforce”, says Dr Paul Barth, Qlik global head of data literacy. “To become a data-driven company, where employees regularly use data and analytics to make better decisions and take informed actions, business leaders need to invest in upskilling workers in every role to close the data literacy gap”.

Closing thoughts

As technology continues to take on an increasingly prominent role in the workplace, human workers are being forced to expand their skill sets to be able to occupy new roles created by the digital revolution. HR departments can play an important role in this process, by providing employees with upskilling opportunities that will enable them to develop in-demand competencies like soft skills and data literacy, and thus remain competitive in the labour market.

Schedule your free, inspiring session with our expert futurists.


Related updates

This site is registered on wpml.org as a development site.