Three Ways to Know Your Skills Are Applicable to the Future of Work — Artur Meyster (Career Karma)

The workforce is changing in unprecedented ways and technology is causing a disruption that has never been seen before. These changes can be worrisome to any employee, regardless of the industry they are in, as they begin to wonder if the skills they have now are useful or not to the future of work.

In truth, technological skills will be the defining factor of future employees. With that in mind, a lack of tech skills now does not necessarily mean an employee is useless to the future workforce. There are a number of important skills that current employees boast which are more than applicable to a future in the tech-dominated workforce.

Are Your Skills Transferable?

At the end of the day, whatever skills you have now are here to stay. You can develop an entirely new skillset, but this takes time and time is often not something people have with a changing workforce. To that end, try to discover if your skills qualify as being transferable. Focus on your hard skills and really examine what you do now that could be applicable to a different career in the future.

Study International did a report on some of the most important skills employers will look for in the future and analytical reasoning is a massive skill included on the list. As the number of computers and, by extension, the amount of data continues to grow, skilled thinkers with an analytical eye will be needed to decipher the data.

For perspective, career paths such as becoming a front end developer rely heavily on employees thinking analytically to decipher and debug code for the purpose of building websites and constructing traffic data for those websites. On that note, coding is a skill that anyone can benefit from. Coding has applications in virtually every industry, from healthcare to architecture. Learning how to code using a popular language like Python or JavaScript can give you an edge no matter what position you are applying for. There are many ways to learn coding, from pursuing a computer science degree in a university to attending a bootcamp or using resources freely available on the Internet.

Another important skill to add to your repertoire is cloud systems management. With enhanced storage capacity and lower costs, more and more companies are moving their operations to the cloud. This means that demand for experts of services like Amazon Web Services (AWS) is growing exponentially. If you are seeking to future-proof your career, learning AWS is a great alternative.

On the other hand, we have skills whose demand is likely to decrease in upcoming years. These are mostly skills that require little creativity and that machines or computer programs can replicate. Unfortunately, many people will lose their jobs in factory lines as their jobs are replaced by machines.

But those are not the only professionals at risk. Skills like copyediting and bookkeeping are likely to lose some appeal in upcoming years. Yahoo Finance predicts that the skills that will see the biggest decline in demand in the next few years are manual dexterity, endurance, and precision; memory, verbal, auditory, and spatial abilities; and management of financial and material resources.

The skills you boast today don’t solely need to be immersed in tech, however. They just need to be able to carry over into a more tech-centric career.

How Extensive Are Your Soft Skills?

On the same topic of transferable skills, there is another type of skill that will prove valuable to the future of work: soft skills. Rather than being strictly related to your job task, which is typically hard skills, soft skills represent how you learn and are usually more built into who you are.

With that in mind, try to figure out who you are and what makes you tick. Are you a quick learner who is able to wade through ambiguous directions and still deliver on a task? If so, you may have the personality to survive a changing workforce.

As tech-based jobs begin to emerge, they will require adept learners who are self-starters and even able to teach themselves. For example, do you think you could learn what Python is used for or maybe what JavaScript is used for? Having this skill would help you to learn coding or programming, which will be two prominent hard skills in the future of work. Staying relevant to a changing workforce is all about adaptation and going with the flow, so having similar soft skills now will put you in a better position than someone who doesn’t have them.

Are You in a Dying Career?

Perhaps the easiest way to know if your skills will be relevant to the future of work is to look at your job and career that you have now. Is the industry you’re in already dying before the major disruption has even begun? If the answer is yes, it may be time to pursue a new course, rather than go down with the ship.

Investopedia covers some of the most disruptable industries that will likely see great change as technology evolves. Should your current, or future, path appear on the list, it may be prudent to consider a short-term, online degree in technology via a trade school. Job Training Hub has a strong list of some of the best trade schools in tech that can get you out of a dying career before it’s too late.

Conclusion

No matter who you are or what occupation you currently hold, your skills have a value that is unparalleled. Focus on developing upon those skills and making them transferable to the future of work. Technology is beginning to dominate the workforce, but that doesn’t mean you need in-depth knowledge of everything to do with tech. Simply keeping your skills up to date and recognizing what occupation you may fit into in the future is enough to stay relevant to the changing workforce.

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