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Will My Skills be Obsolete in the Future?

Out with the old skills, in with the new

There was a time when getting a degree was enough to settle into a comfortable and lasting role in an organization.

But tomorrow’s jobs will require skills that don’t even exist yet. In short, skills are never absolute. Instead, the ability to constantly learn new skills will be the new absolute skill of the future.

That’s one of the findings of Humans Wanted: The Robots Need You, a new ManpowerGroup report on the Skills Revolution. The report finds that automation is changing the skills companies need from workers, yet the speed with which this is happening across functions within organizations varies.

The demand for human skills

The increasing need for tech and digital skills is growing across all sectors, according to the report. These skills are hard to find, and even harder to teach. While 38% of organizations say it is difficult to train in-demand technical skills, 43% said it is even harder to teach the soft skills they need such as analytical thinking and communication.

What individuals can do

Candidates who can demonstrate higher cognitive skills, creativity and the ability to process complex information, together with adaptability and likeability, can expect greater success throughout their careers. To meet these needs, workers need to cultivate their Learnability and continue to grow their soft skills.

Preparing for growth

For three consecutive years, ManpowerGroup research shows most employers plan to increase or maintain headcount as a result of automation. By 2030, demand for human skills – social and emotional soft skills – will grow across all industries by 26% in the U.S. and by 22% in Europe, according to the WEF Future of Jobs report. That’s good news for workers, who simply need to be prepared for changing and growing their skills.

Looking back at the history of machines and humans, no skills have been absolute. Instead, the only constant is change, in tandem together. “This is not an either – or, human versus machine,” said Jonas Prising, Chairman & CEO, ManpowerGroup. “I’m convinced: organizations and individuals really can befriend the machines and collaborate in harmony to create a stronger, better society.”

Return to Future of Work and Skills


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