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Get Them or Be Left Behind! Skills You'll Need to Stay Relevant in the Labor Market

Breanne Wilson
Oracle University SEO & Content Strategist

Written by Alexandra Georgescu, Oracle University Program Manager - Workforce Development

The world is changing. From smartphones to videogames to gadgets and more, we're experiencing the evolution of the world at an incredible pace.

The iPhone 7 is now the hottest item, but what happens in six months when the 7s will be released?

The demand will change. 

This same concept also applies to professional skills. The skills we use now in the workplace are not necessarily the skills we’ll need in the future.

Luckily, a World Economic Forum report called The Future of Jobs predicts what the employment landscape will look like in 2020. The data comes from talking to chief human resources and strategy officers from leading global employers.

But before we dive into the skills everyone will need by 2020, we first need to understand which factors are causing the change:

  • Extreme longevity – people are living longer
  • The rise of smart machines and systems – technology can augment and extend our own capabilities; workplace automation is killing repetitive jobs
  • Computational world – increases in sensors and processing makes the world a programmable system; data will give us the ability to see things on a scale that has never been possible
  • New Media ecology – new communication tools require media literacies beyond text; visual communication media is becoming a new vernacular
  • Super-structured organizations – social technologies drive new forms of production and value creation; social tools allow organizations to work at extreme scales
  • Globally connected world – diversity and adaptability is at the center of operations; the USA and Europe no longer hold a monopoly on job creation, innovation, and political power

Which skills will change the most?

These drivers of change will transform the way we live and the way we work. Some jobs will disappear, while others will emerge and will become common.

One thing is certain: the future workforce will need to align its skill set to keep up with the change.

Source: Future of Jobs Report, World Economic Forum

Creativity will make the biggest jump in the top skills ranking, becoming one of the top three skills employees will need. With a high amount of new products and services, new technologies and ways of working, the employers of the future will have to become more creative to benefit from these changes.

On the other hand, negotiation and flexibility, which are now high on the list of skills, will begin to drop from the top. Machines, using masses of data, begin to make our decisions for us.

Similarly, active listening, considered a core skill today, will disappear completely from the top 10.

Emotional intelligence, which doesn’t feature in the top 10 today, will become one of the top skills everyone needs.

Another Institute for the Future (IFTF) report does a great job identifying the key work skills and capabilities needed in the next few years.

Here are a few:

  • Sense-making -  the ability to connect things in order to create new ideas
  • Social Intelligence - the ability to connect with people and form functional relationships. Influence and relationship-building will come from asking the right questions, not necessarily having all the answers.
  • Computational thinking -  being analytical will be extremely important in a data-centered environment. The ability to translate vast amount of data into actual insight is more than ever a critical skill.
  • Transdisciplinarity - companies will be looking for people with new, agile skills that can see the big picture, listen, synthesize ideas and connect the dots.
  • Cognitive Load Management the ability to effectively filter and focus what on what really requires your attention.

Of course, all the skills mentioned above do not stand alone. They must be accompanied by technical skills and professional certification to help you stay relevant within a competitive global employment environment.

It's essential to take charge of your own destiny by evaluating where you are today and charting your personal map as to where you want to go.

Start by consolidating a solid knowledge base and add the digital learning element.

Just think about it. 97 percent of the Fortune 500 companies run Oracle solutions. Why wouldn't you choose Oracle certification to secure your future?

With certification through Oracle, your resume gets noticed, your chances of landing your dream job improve, you become more marketable, and you earn more money. Validation of your skills is the key.

Source: World Economic Forum, The Muse

Check out our 5 most popular certifications and choose the one that will become a solid base of a successful career in IT

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