The future of work is likely to herald a wide range of new jobs, many of which we can scarcely conceive today (although that hasn’t stopped consultancy firm Cognizant having a go). There has been understandable attention given to the kind of skills these jobs might require. For instance, at the tail end of last year, the University of Memphis proposed that collaborative problem solving would be the most important skill in the coming decades.
“Collaborative problem solving is an essential skill in the workforce and the community because many of the problems faced in the modern world require teams to integrate group achievements with team members’ idiosyncratic knowledge,” the researchers explain.
This emphasis on soft skills also emerged in a new analysis performed by the online learning provider Udemy. They investigated the courses that companies are requiring employees take today to try and gauge a better understanding of where skills shortages exist today.
Obviously technical skills remain highly sought after, so that probably goes without saying, hence the Udemy team focused exclusively on soft skills. These are the kind of skills that previous studies have suggested are crucial as technology takes on many of the hard, technical skills. Indeed, previous studies have argued that a sufficient investment in more human, softer skills such as leadership, creativity, emotional intelligence and critical thinking would significantly reduce the number of jobs lost to automation. Indeed, if investment in training for these skills could be doubled, then the number of jobs at risk from automation would fall from 10% to 4%.
The right soft skills
So what are the most important soft skills according to Udemy? Here is their top 10.
Suffice to say, this list is always going to be skewed by the courses actually on offer by Udemy, so there will always be that caveat, but it nonetheless should provide some inspiration for your personal development in the coming year.
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