The skills of the future. Will you be in demand?

Ramesha Perera
Wed 24 Jul

When artificial intelligence (AI) can diagnose a patient's condition with greater accuracy than a human doctor, what becomes of doctors?

This is a question I present to my audiences when they ask me, "What skills will Gen-Z need in the future?" 

The Industrial Revolution required muscle from its workers. The Information Age traded muscle for mental capacity, which explains the rise of "knowledge workers." The future will require workers to be emotionally intelligent. As the world fills with more sophisticated AI and ubiquitous technology, human skills--compassion, empathy, etc.--will define the competitive edge of workers and entire organizations. So those interested in thriving in a high-tech world must put renewed prioritization on emotional intelligence and soft skills.

Soft skills represent the top three missing skills of job applicants, according to the Society of Human Resource Management's (SHRM) "2019 State of the Workplace".

The top six missing skills in job applicants are:

  1. Problem-solving, critical thinking, innovation, and creativity (37 percent)
  2. Ability to deal with complexity and ambiguity (32 percent)
  3. Communication (31 percent)
  4. Trade skills (carpentry, plumbing, welding, machining, etc.) (31 percent)
  5. Data analysis / data science (20 percent)
  6. Science / engineering / medical (18 percent)

 The significance of developing and applying social and emotional skills is growing. Soon we'll be seeing job ads - "Wanted: Employees Who Can Shake Hands, Make Small Talk"