Staying ahead of the curve requires a keen understanding of the skills that are in demand in a rapidly changing job market. The World Economic Forum's "Future of Jobs 2023" report offers valuable insights into the likely skill sets that will be highly sought after in the coming years. With technology advancing faster than companies can adapt, the report predicts that almost half of workers' core skills will be disrupted by 2027. Let's explore the key skills that will be essential for both workers and employers to navigate this evolving landscape successfully as mentioned in the World Economic Forum Report.
The Top 10 Skills of 2023
The Future of Jobs 2023 report places a strong emphasis on cognitive skills as being of the utmost importance for workers in the near future. Analytical thinking tops the list and is considered a core skill by more companies than any other, accounting for an average of 9.1% of core skills reported by businesses.
What are Cognitive Skills?
Cognitive skills, including analytical and creative thinking, are essential in the future job market because they enable individuals to adapt to rapidly changing workplace dynamics and solve complex problems.
Following analytical thinking, creative thinking takes the second spot. This is closely followed by three self-efficacy skills: resilience, flexibility, and agility; motivation and self-awareness; and curiosity and lifelong learning. These skills recognize the importance of a worker's ability to adapt to constantly changing workplace dynamics.
Saadia Zahidi, Managing Director of the World Economic Forum, emphasized the significance of these skills in a recent interview for the Radio Davos podcast on the Future of Jobs Report 2023.
She stated, "There's more of a focus and an interest in having people with analytical thinking, people with creativity. But it's also become very important to have leadership skills and to have social influence, and the ability to work with other people. The traits that make us human enable us to relate to each other and to foster innovative, creative solutions in the workplace."
Future Skills - Growing in Importance
Analytical thinking is not only a current priority but also a skill expected to grow in importance by 72% over the next five years, as reported by businesses. Their rationale is that reasoning and decision-making are tasks that are least automated in the workplace, accounting for just 26% of task automation.
"Businesses surveyed for the report believe demand for creative thinking will grow faster in the next five years – by 73% – than demand for analytical thinking," the report said.
Creative thinking, on the other hand, is projected to grow even faster in the next five years, with a 73% increase in demand compared to analytical thinking.
Technology literacy is the third-fastest growing core skill, followed closely by curiosity and lifelong learning, resilience, flexibility, agility, motivation, and self-awareness, completing the top five.
Interestingly, businesses surveyed did not foresee any skills to be in decline. However, some companies did mention that reading, writing, and mathematics; global citizenship; sensory-processing abilities; and manual dexterity, endurance, and precision are becoming of declining importance for their workers.
Skills Training Priorities
The report highlights a growing need for skills training. Six in 10 workers are expected to require training before 2027. Unfortunately, only half of workers currently have access to adequate training opportunities. Companies, recognizing this gap, are planning to invest in learning and training on the job, with 82% acknowledging the necessity of upskilling and reskilling employees.
"Six in 10 workers will require training before 2027, but only half of workers are seen to have access to adequate training opportunities today, according to the report. However, companies recognize the need to upskill and reskill employees, with 82% planning to invest in learning and training on the job. AI and big data rank seventh for skills growing in importance today, with 60% growth in demand predicted by 2027," the report highlighted.
What role does Technology Play in the Future of Jobs?
Technology is a driving force in shaping the future of jobs. It both disrupts existing roles and creates new opportunities, emphasizing the importance of technology literacy and adaptability. Artificial Intelligence (AI) and big data are among the fastest-growing skills in importance today, with a 60% growth in demand predicted by 2027. However, when it comes to training priorities for companies over the next five years, AI and big data rank third and will be prioritized by 42% of surveyed companies.
Leadership skills, which rank ninth in the top skills for 2023 and eleventh for skills growing in importance, will be a focal point for four in 10 corporate skills strategies. This emphasis on leadership development is particularly prominent in the automotive and aerospace, infrastructure, supply chain, transportation, and advanced manufacturing industries.
Possessing the right skills is paramount in moving forward in the job market. The World Economic Forum's "Future of Jobs 2023" report highlights the critical skills that will be in demand in the coming years, emphasizing the importance of analytical and creative thinking, adaptability, and leadership. As technology continues to shape the workplace, individuals and companies that invest in developing these skills will be better positioned to thrive in the future job market.
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