Self-driving cars and artificial intelligence are no longer fictional concepts that inspire sci-fi movies. They are already an intrinsic part of present day reality and will continue to influence our future in a big way. The ever evolving digital technology space has generated a new environment and foray of jobs that require new skills. At the same time, due to increasing competition and some inherent limitations of technology, there are several soft skills that will see a spike in demand. We bring to you some of the workplace skills that can potentially brighten your career prospects in 2019 and beyond.
Data and Artificial Intelligence
The world is rapidly moving towards Big Data and Artificial Intelligence (AI). A survey by NewVantage Partners found that most companies are investing, building, or launching Big Data and AI initiatives. Hence there will be many job opportunities in this space in the near future. Further, the AI subsets of Machine Learning and Natural Language Processing are being integrated into the businesses. So acquiring skills in this area is sure to upgrade learning and enhance your job prospects.
Technology and computing
In the recent years, there have been major advances in the field of computing, cyber security and automation. In computing, cloud-based services, and IOT is gaining immense popularity, while cyber security continues to be of critical importance and automation has led to Robotic Process Automation, wherein the companies are automating repetitive tasks and processes that are part of daily routines. So the future looks extremely bright for aspirants pursuing courses in these areas.
According to the latest annual LinkedIn Emerging Jobs report, the largest skill gap in the job market is communication. Good communication skills are in demand in every job even till date. The crucial communication skills that employers seek are: verbal skills – what to say and when to say it; listening skills — listening to understand, rather than just waiting to speak; writing skills with clear written communication, accurate grammar and sentence structure. Communication can create a lasting impression on potential employers and can also fast-track your career growth.
Social and web skills
Almost all companies expect their employees to possess certain basic social media skills and also be web savvy to stay ahead of the game. For instance, sales professionals utilise the social media skills to generate leads and increase business. Also most companies are recruiting social media managers today to help boost their visibility and business.
SEO & SEM
Most companies today are employing SEO and SEM experts in order to attract more visitors to the their websites by getting the site to rank high on results returned by a search engine. These days companies are also extremely serious about internet/digital marketing that increases a site’s visibility through organic search engines results and advertising. Students interested in these areas should develop skills through relevant courses for better job prospects.
An increasing number of jobs today require interdisciplinary knowledge. So it helps to begin with reading. Also, students should consider double majoring in multiple fields. Further, even if one is not from science background, it serves well to be prepared and have some understanding of STEM subjects and Accounting. Since many jobs are interdisciplinary in nature, knowledge in diverse disciplines always enhances your ability to deliver quality work and also adds an edge to your resume.
Complex problem solving
This skill is highly in demand in many companies especially for managerial roles. In almost all companies, managers are required to handle issues and crisis of varying magnitude. Chalking out smart strategies, logical thinking, and decision making are all part of complex problem solving skills which can be developed during the first few years of your corporate career and even through management courses. Also, one has to think out of the box, see the bigger picture and perhaps rearrange things to find a solution. Luckily, this skill can be perfected by practice.
Though technology can help businesses automate jobs that currently exist, it definitely can’t think critically. Critical thinking is the ability to think clearly and rationally about what to do or to believe. It includes the ability to engage in reflective and independent thinking. One can develop this skill by constantly analysing various situations, considering multiple solutions and making decisions through logic and reasoning. Several management courses offered by reputed universities help students develop critical thinking skills.
Emotional Intelligence or Emotional Quotient (EQ), still continues to be an increasingly popular skill to have at the workplace. Several companies have compiled statistical proof that employee EQ undoubtedly affects the bottom line. In fact, companies with employees that have high levels of EQ tend to see major increases in total sales revenue and productivity. In a competitive workplace, developing your EQ is vital for professional success.
Service orientation is the ability and desire to anticipate, recognise and meet others’ needs. Most businesses today are confronted with ongoing consumer issues. Hence companies today are looking for service oriented professionals who can quickly anticipate new consumer values and needs, and translate them into improvements in existing products or services. Due to the ever expanding bouquet of products and services in the market, there will be many jobs created in this area in the near future.