Skills of tomorrow

Approximately ten years from now, over one-third of skills (35%) that are considered important in today’s workforce will have changed. By 2030, the Fourth Industrial Revolution will have brought us advanced robotics and autonomous transport, artificial intelligence and machine learning, advanced materials, biotechnology and genomics.

These developments will transform the way we live, and the way we work. Some jobs will disappear, others will grow and jobs that don’t even exist today will become commonplace. What is certain is that the future workforce will need to align its skillset to keep pace. A new era idea, The Future of Jobs, looks at the employment, skills and workforce strategy for the future.


What type of skills will change the most?

Creativity will become one of the top three skills workers will need. With the avalanche of new products, new technologies and new ways of working, workers are going to have to become more creative in order to benefit from these changes. Robots may help us get to where we want to be faster, but they can’t be as creative as humans. Whereas negotiation and flexibility are high on the list of skills for 2015, in 2020 they will begin to drop from the top 10 as machines, using masses of data, begin to make our decisions for us.

 21st Century Learning was developed with input from teachers, education experts, and business leaders to define and illustrate the skills and knowledge students need to succeed in work, life and citizenship, as well as the support systems necessary for 21st century learning outcomes.

Convergence of innovation

We can expect more and more innovations to take place at the borders of disciplines and sectors. Successful solutions may be found through combining established disciplines with novel developments, for instance with material sciences and nano-technologies.

The spread of disciplines and jobs across sectors will also stimulate the skills which provide some individuals with a strong position to compete within an increasingly demanding workplace. As companies become increasingly open in their innovation activities, cross-sectorial and cross-discipline collaboration with customers, suppliers, experts and others becomes even more prevalent in developing products and services that can be brought to market.

“Big innovations today come from people who are capable of translating one paradigm of a discipline to a paradigm of another discipline”.