2020 Vision – Ten skills we need for the next decade

21st century skills Feb 09, 2020

If you look back at the past ten years, there have been many major changes, and it looks like this period of massive change is set to continue at an even greater speed.  Technology is disrupting our lives - Netflix, Amazon, Uber among others have changed the way we consume entertainment, shop and move. Earlier this year Hyundai announced that Electric flying taxis are set to be airborne, by 2023. 

 Technological changes, particularly in relation to Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning are ensuring tasks will be completed more efficiently, and more accurately, and so removing the need for many administrative and production roles.  The backdrop to all this is a world which is shifting socially and politically, with major environmental challenges.  We are in an increasingly globalized world, where it’s difficult to sometimes know where we should focus our energies in order to stay ahead. 

 So, where will we all be in 2030?  This question is consuming the focus of all the major international organizations and educations establishments and was a key platform at this year’s Davos.  This issue was further highlighted by Barack Obama in his address on education: "I’m calling on our nation’s governors and educators to develop standards & assessments that don’t simply measure whether students can fill in a bubble on a test, but whether they posses 21st century skills like problem-solving and critical thinking and entrepreneurship and creativity.’

 Furthermore, this year the World Economic Forum launched its Reskilling Revolution Platform, which commits to job training and reskilling one billion workers over the next decade in recognition of the fact that millions of jobs are set to be displaced in the near future

 What’s for sure is that ‘jobs for life’ are becoming more and more rare, so in order to thrive we need to adapt to the 4th Industrial Revolution.  Human beings are generally good at this – so whether you’re starting out in the job market, are looking to develop your career, or have a gap in your skillset, these are the skills you should be focusing on: 

  1. Grit – being determined and focused – entrepreneurs generally have this trait in spades!
  2. Collaboration – flatter management structures, more virtual teams and greater creativity means working well with your colleagues.
  3. Cognitive Flexibility – you need to be able to switch between tasks and absorb new information quickly
  4. Emotional Intelligence – your emotional intelligence is more important than your IQ in many ways. This is likely to become truer as we stay one step ahead of robots and machines.
  5. Resilience – everyone faces difficulties in their lives, it’s the ability to learn and ‘bounce back’ which is key.
  6. Complex Problem Solving – the computers are doing all the tedious stuff, so we need to develop our human brains by learning how to approach problems in the most effective way possible
  7. Decision Making and Judgement – this is even more important now, as the world of work is changing at a fast pace. We need to be able to evaluate effectively and make the best judgements possible.
  8. Creativity – creative solutions means approaching problems and opportunities in a unique way
  9. Critical Thinking – approaching problems in the most effective way possible
  10. Communication – technology has made it easier to communicate, but there’s more room for misunderstanding

These skills aren’t just inherited or in our DNA, they can be developed through learning. We’ve specifically adapted our courses to be rigorous, but not too time consuming.  We can’t see into the future, but we can be prepared for it – these training courses will give you the confidence to survive and thrive in the modern workplace.

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