Globalization has broken down borders and boundaries. User behavior and consumerism are in flux. Digital convergence and technological disruptions are creating new business models. And digitization is set to completely transform the way we work, communicate, and live. Our world is changing.
Luckily for you, there has really never been a better time to be thinking about a career in technology. With opportunities and a broad diversity of roles and specialism out there, the future looks inviting.
Being competitive in the era of digitization is just as much about mastering and developing some solid, base skills today as it was yesterday and it will hold true tomorrow.
Solid Skills to Last a Lifetime
There are some competencies that are set to remain just as in demand now as 50 or 100 years from now.
Being a good communicator, for instance, never goes out of fashion. Your ability to communicate concepts, ideas, needs or objectives efficiently is a skill that will underpin your success – and competitiveness – regardless of your role or sector. And strong communication skills – whether native or learned or developed – tie closely to another core competence: collaboration.
Whether you work in a team, face-to-face with colleagues or clients, or virtually across borders and time zones, the ability to collaborate – to interchange ideas and welcome new approaches – is vital to your success professionally; and your capacity to learn and to grow within your career.
Persistency is another trait that will mark you out for success. Characteristic of most successful people, the ability to work through complexity – no matter how hard or seemingly impossible the challenge – sets individuals apart. As does the capacity to learn from – and not be afraid of –mistakes.
Of course, underpinning most of what we do is knowledge, requiring a willingness to learn. Building up knowledge takes time and dedication. And it’s a core skill area that is as unlikely to change today as it is tomorrow.
Gearing up for a World that is even more Interconnected
So what specifics do experts believe you will need to polish up on as we look to a future world of work and the IoE era?
We sat down with Director of Enterprise Applications at Teach For All, Nicholas Enna, to get the inside track on what employees of the future will need to take onboard to stay competitive.
Now while future gazing is always a bit hit and miss, Enna believes that there are some skills you will not want to sideline, no matter what.
Keeping an open mind and being prepared to adapt to challenges, for one, will be a mainstay of future workforces, he says. And not just mentally, but also physically as boundaries between people and machines are transformed. As machines and humans are brought closer and closer – wearable technology is already becoming widespread – the boundaries between us will become increasingly blurred.
Agility and initiative will be prized too, says Enna. The ability to work without direct leadership and to master new concepts and data – to become as Enna puts it “shallow experts on different types of software or platforms” – is likely to become essential as innovation speeds up.
Data analysis and the capacity to evaluate will be key skills – and in fact we are already seeing evidence of this in today’s workplace. In the future, this is only set to increase, says Enna, with “dark waters of data” to navigate.
You might be wondering, what can you do today, in the here and now, to prepare for the future of work?
Start thinking about the skills you need in the future now, says innovation expert, Sarah Miller Caldicott. There is plenty you can be doing to start arming yourself for the future. She urges students and seasoned executives alike to sit down and review skills sets:
- Identify areas that you might want to refresh or build up
- Identify skills that you might want to acquire
- Learn processes that help you streamline your work
Ramping up your resume with new aptitudes or knowledge has never been easier. Gaining knowledge is at your literal fingertips because of the Internet.
However you slice or dice it, the future is happening right now. And the time is right to start thinking about how your career will pan out in the era of digitization. As you strive to be successful in your future career, know that technology will be intertwined even more within all industries and job positions.