The world is evolving at such a pace that it is hard to keep up. Many educators struggle to modify their curriculum according to the changing needs of the business world. But what are the skills that will be needed in 2020? What should we start learning now to be employable in the future? Here are 7 skills that every employee needs in 2020 to keep their job.
1. Cross-cultural understanding
Globalization is already a reality and working throughout time zones and different continents are everyday life for many. The key to differentiating yourself from others is to know how to adapt your communication and working behavior to different cultures.
2. Virtual collaboration
The work environment has changed a lot in the past years and as technology advances, so will virtual collaboration. Many still see collaborating virtually as a struggle, and the truth is that it does need extra effort and special skills. These skills just might differentiate you from a competitor in 2020, when virtual collaboration will be even more popular than now.
3. Emotional intelligence
Artificial intelligence and robots are the future, and there is a lot of discussion about whether they will replace humans in many jobs. However, one thing they will not be able to do is to build human connections. After all, business is ultimately about relationships. If you are able to be empathetic, vulnerable and create strong relationships, there is a great chance that you will be a good employee in 2020.
The time of specialists is over. In 2020, there will be a stronger need for generalists that can use knowledge from different disciplines, see the bigger picture, and who are able to connect the dots.
Creativity will be even more important in 2020. What differentiates us as humans from robots, is creativity, so as the use of robotics in the workforce increases, so does the need for creativity from our side. In addition, the way we are creating products and services is changing. In 2020, everything will be more customized to the needs of the customer, which calls for an adapted approach to each product’s design.
6. Computational thinking
Learning to program will soon be almost as important as learning to read. Even if you won’t be able to program your own mobile application, you still will need to understand the basics of how programming works. Moreover, with the increasing usage of machines, data will be even more accessible. We need to be able to process massive amounts of data and transform it into trends and patterns.
7. New technologies
Staying employable in 2020 will require being able to learn and understand new technologies fast. Businesses will implement new technologies all the time and if you can’t keep up, you will not have a job. For example, artificial intelligence will be used more and more in everyday activities, so it is important to be able to interact with it. On the other hand, developing the skills that robots are not able to do will be a great benefit.
The question now is, what opportunities are out there for young people to acquire these skills? Education systems are slowly starting to teach programming and use new technologies in the more developed countries, and MOOCs make it possible for anyone anywhere to take classes on the widest range of subjects. On the other hand, going abroad for volunteering or an internship help train your emotional intelligence and cross-cultural understanding. The key to staying employable in 2020 is to keep exploring and learning new skills even outside of your immediate expertise.4