The evolution of job requirements, skills, and the emergence of new jobs is beginning to bring about a pattern of skills for the future. Education and proven skills used to be what the workplace required before an applicant would be hired. However, with the expected automation of jobs with repetitive tasks, the newer jobs that take their place would require a different set of skills. It’s been predicted with jobs such as salespeople in the retail industry, loan officers, and receptionists will be replaced with automated systems. Newer jobs like a digital archaeologist, tech ethicist, drone pilot, and AI lawyer are estimated to arrive in the near future.
Those predictions are based on the current technological evolution—referred to as the Fourth Industrial Revolution. While they aren’t set in stone, the commonalities at their core can be broken down into 4 basic skills:
- Critical thinking
Automation improvements and the development of AI technology plays a big part in this skill. AI and robots are programmed to behave like humans, even thinking like them. However, they are still far from perfect. Errors continue to be made and leave humans to improve the technology. Having the critical thinking skills to identify or correct those errors in automation and AI technology will become an important skill in the future.
Albeit subtly, creativity has always been the center of every major technological advancement. Finding different perspectives, trying new things, and thinking outside the box have led to some inventions that revolutionized modern life. As the workplace drifts away from primarily focusing on technical skills to valuing soft skills more, creativity will certainly be highly sought after in the workplace.
Computer-based jobs are most obviously affected by problem-solving. They deal with a combination of data and human integration. Not only that, but this Fourth Industrial Revolution is a technology-based one. The need for excellent problem-solving skills increases as more advancements are made since they will experience issues that may initially seem impossible to solve. A prediction of requiring such a skill doesn’t seem as far-fetched now as it would have years ago.
Considered somewhat of a mix of the other skills, innovation—or the fusion of creativity, problem-solving, and critical thinking to develop unorthodox solutions—likely will have its own criteria with every job posting. The variations of jobs currently available utilize innovation to some degree. Thus, it should play a more vital role in the future.
Predictions of a workplace in the future can only be speculated. Advancements already made have set the world on a path toward requiring skills like those mentioned here but, in the end, it may not turn out that way. Critical thinking, creativity, problem-solving, and innovation are no strangers to the workplace. They are always in the background, serving as foundations for significant moments in technological evolution. It would be no surprise if they became official requirements for future jobs in the workplace.