5 Important Skills All Students Should Know About

Mar 17, 2022 1 Min Read
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ATTN: Calling all students!

Planning for the future economy is not only stressful but difficult to do. New economic demands and realities come into being all the time and require people to adopt new strategies and approaches. Many of the skills requirements that got people jobs 20 years ago are no longer sufficient or are completely outdated at this point. Given the pace at which the global economy is moving, this time frame has already shortened. With that in mind, below are 5 important skills of the future that all students should know about, consider and plan for.

Facilities Management

Facilities management is not something that is talked about or stressed enough during career counselling or conversations about the future of work, but it is and will continue to be one of the most sought after skills of the future. This is all the more true in the wake of the massive supply chain disruptions that have been taking place over the last couple of years. Analysts and observers are forecasting major supply chain reconfigurations over the coming years and decades in response to the realisation that our current supply chain and its over-reliance on a handful of manufacturing centres is unsustainable and dangerous.

Facilities management is an essential part of ensuring organisational productivity, comfort, safety, sustainability, profitability and scalability. As such, anyone considering their future career prospects and trying to think strategically would do well to spend some time dwelling on facilities management as a possibility.

Digital Literacy

As the world's reliance on highly complex and constantly evolving technologies grows, so does the demand for those with the necessary digital abilities. STEM is well-known, but have you heard of SMAC (social, mobile, analytics, and cloud)?

 

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Being digitally literate provides capabilities that were previously unthinkable when it comes to developing technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, the Internet of Things (IoT), and data science. Job seekers and workers with any or all of these competencies on their resumes will be immediate stand-out candidates and employees. These are the fields that will drive most of our economic growth moving forward.

Cognitive Flexibility

Because of the rise of digital technologies, you'll need to be ready to deal with the myriad of opportunities and challenges that come with it. Do you have the ability to adapt to change and conceptualise numerous complex ideas at the same time? If this is the case, you are displaying skills that are common in advanced multitaskers and are highly regarded by companies and recruiters.

This may interest you: Leadership 52: A Lifetime’s Worth Of Leadership Skills In 52 Weeks 

Cognitive flexibility is already a highly-prized skill-set in the modern labour market because it signals to employers that you are not only able to manage several different tasks and work flows at the same time but that your mind is capable of handling change and adapting to new organizational realities. These could be a more dispersed remote workforce, the addition of new software and automation technologies, mergers and acquisitions, or simply being able to quickly learn a co-worker's job and pick up the slack when need be.

Data Analysis

The justification for big data includes the assurance of a more stable corporate environment as a result of data-driven, risk-free decisions. Data analytics has an impact on almost every form of business. It is already the backbone of several businesses, such as finance.

 

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Learning these talents also teaches you advanced problem-solving skills as well as how to present complex information to decision-makers. Such broad communication abilities are essential for any vocation. Not to mention the natural leadership abilities that come with being a key decision-maker in an organisation.

Foresight

What foresight refers to in the context of future job market skills is the ability to see where the labour market and global economy is moving and be able to equip yourself with the skills to thrive in it. The most successful workers of the future will be those who are able to spot trends and up and coming niches and be able to make themselves attractive candidates in those spaces.
 
Our civilization is in a state of massive flux right now, and uncertainty rules the day. Current and future students will need to be cognizant of this fact and willing and able to adjust their learning and development goals to meet changing needs and demands.

Computational Thinking

Computational thinking refers to the ability to solve problems using computers. This includes understanding how algorithms work, being able to code, knowing about backend API development and much more. These are skills that continue to be quite specific to certain business functions and educational backgrounds, but they are skills that will only become more important in the future. Resumes that display the ability to utilise and program computers for specific tasks will continue to be in high demand well into the future.

Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurship is a skill set and frame of mind that is applicable to whatever you do, not just to small businesses. Being entrepreneurial means being flexible, taking initiative and being resourceful. Being entrepreneurial will continue to be a highly valued skill as work stays remote and people are expected to operate with less oversight and direct management. What matters is output, not hours logged in a chair and entrepreneurial skills are key to hitting KPIs and managing performance.

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Supplementary reading: 5 Ways to Think Like an Entrepreneur

Global awareness

Global awareness refers to a student’s understanding of the world around them. This includes everything from current affairs and politics, to culture and geography. With the world becoming increasingly connected, it’s more important than ever for students to have a global perspective. This is especially important given the global and multicultural nature of teams. By understanding different cultures and perspectives, students will be better equipped to work with people from all over the world.

Adaptability

Adaptability is another key skill of the future. With the rate of change only increasing, students need to be able to adapt to new situations quickly. This includes being able to learn new things, as well as being flexible in their thinking. Adaptability also overlaps significantly with another important and related skill: lifelong learning. Being an adaptable life-long learner, particularly when it comes to new digital tools and software, allows you to continuously update your skill set and stay ahead of the curve.

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Conclusion

One of the most important things an educator, parent, counsellor or mentor can do for students, regardless of their age, is equip them with the knowledge to make decisions that will help them achieve financial security. The economy and the world of work have never been more uncertain and young people who are making educational decisions that will affect their future job prospects need all of the information they can get. Keep the above skills and competencies in mind and help guide up and coming workers towards careers and futures that will allow them to live happy, comfortable, stable lives.

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