Which skills are in demand in the future? With the innovations in science and technology rapidly changing the face of the work force, it is important to make sound decisions about investing in skills which will continue to be in demand in the future. People skills (soft skills) combined with fields of expertise (hard skills) will continue to be in demand in spite of an increase in technology replacing people’s jobs.
Skills which will come in handy in the future are ones which draw from three skill categories: a connectors mindset, sociability, and innovation. Often these skills work together in the future fields, and upcoming new developments within these fields demand all three skill sets.
Many times inventions are created as a result of connecting concepts and disciplines. Someone with the connectors mindset has cross-disciplinary understanding, cross-cultural communication, and an ability to connect concepts in ways that allow two things to become one. A thought-worthy example of connecting concepts is the advancements in DNA data storage, which connects biology with information technology. Another example is the creation of human movement energy to power cell phones or computers: this is an example of kinesiology marrying alternative energy. Developing smarter apps requires the ability to hybridize ideas and connect concepts across disciplines. The connectors mindset combined with an innovative approach in a work environment which favours sociability is to be of high demand in the future.
Sociability requires teamwork, communication, and collaboration. Already we see much of this at work in terms of content creation. We certainly won’t stop seeing this method of working in the future. In the future we will continue to see increased creation from crowd sourcing, improved ‘sharing economies’, more data shared via open source, and inventions created as a result of the maker movement culture. People are required to work less hierarchically and in more decentralized ways. Sociability is the driving element in new workplace cultures and economies of the future.
Innovation requires the skills of idea production, design, adaptation, and knowledge application. Energy is a field where innovation is evident, as alternative energy sources are needed to propel and sustain us in the next century. As we seek solutions beyond our limited oil, coal, and gas supplies, alternative energy seems an essential future investment. Ocean-driven hydro power, bio-fuels of all kinds, and simplified energy storage and transmission are advancements within the field of alternative energy. New ideas and designs, and adaptations of current models are essential for the field of alternative energy. Innovation is certainly a future-proof skill.
The three skill categories of connector’s mindset, sociability, and innovation, when working together to advance the fields of medicine, IT, content creation, alternative energy, and economics are a sure-fire way to stay future-proof. Is your child future-proof?