In our previous post “Anatomy of the Millennial’s Job Search Market” we have identified four main factors that Millennials should take into account while searching for a graduate job. Even if it is critical to know how the Job Search works in order to get hired, it is equally important for graduates to show recruiters that they know their business trends. Indeed, there are many forces that constantly change the face of the global work environment. And in order to show employers that they understand and can adapt to today’s professional context, it is absolutely necessary for graduates to have a good idea of these drivers of change.
1) Key drivers of change in the global professional environment
In 2011, the “Institute For The Future” (IFTF) published a report entitled “Future Work Skills 2020” for the University of Phoenix Research Institute. Even though this report will soon be 5 years old, I believe every graduate should read it and discover by themselves how relevant it still is today. To begin, this report, written by Davies, Fidler and Grobis, analyses the key drivers that will reshape the landscape of work. To finish, the report identifies the key work skills that will be in demand the years to come.
Here are the key drivers of change in the global professional environment and their consequences, as listed by the “IFTF”:
- Extreme longevity:
Increasing global lifespans change the nature of careers and learning.
- Rise of smart machines and systems:
Workplace automation nudges human workers out of rote, repetitive tasks.
- Computational world:
Massive increases in sensors and processing power make the world a programmable system.
- New-media ecology:
New communication tools require new media literacies beyond text.
- Super-structured organisations:
Social technologies drive new forms of production and value creation.
- Globally connected world:
Increased global interconnectivity puts diversity and adaptability at the centre of organisational operations (Davis et al., 2011).
2) The future most needed work skills in 2020
It is obvious that these drivers of change are already taken into consideration by clever business owners, managers and recruiters. They have a strong impact on the type of skills recruiters will be looking for in job applicants’ profiles in the next five years. To back up this argument, the “IFTF” brought together experts in a diverse range of disciplines and professional backgrounds, engaging them in brainstorming exercises to identify how these key drivers of change will shape work skill requirements.
Here are the ten skills that the “IFTF” identified as being the most critical for future success in the workforce of 2020 accompanied by their definitions:
Ability to determine the deeper meaning or significance of what is being expressed.
- Social Intelligence:
Ability to connect to others in a deep and direct way, to sense and stimulate reactions and desired interactions.
- Novel and adaptive thinking:
Proficiency at thinking and coming up with solutions and responses beyond that which is rote or rule-based.
- Cross-cultural competency:
Ability to operate in different cultural settings.
- Computational thinking:
Ability to translate vast amounts of data into abstract concepts and to understand data-based reasoning.
- New-media literacy:
Ability to critically assess and develop content that uses new media forms, and to lever these media for persuasive communication.
- Trans-disciplinary skills:
Literacy in and ability to understand concepts across multiple disciplines.
- Design mindset:
Ability to represent and develop tasks and work processes for desired outcomes.
- Cognitive load management:
Ability to discriminate and filter information for importance, and to understand how to maximise cognitive functioning using a variety of tools and techniques.
- Virtual collaboration:
Ability to work productively, drive engagement, and demonstrate presence as a member of a virtual team (Davies et al., 2011).
The biggest key takeaway of this study is probably that every individual (and not only Millennials) have to realise the importance of being a lifelong learner. In order to adapt to the changing professional environment and possess the skills recruiters are actually looking for, students must stop believing that their education is over the day they graduate. This is especially true for Marketing academics. As Bersin realistically states: “Today if you don’t know Salesforce, Marketo, Hubspot, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google Analytics, Pinterest, and Facebook, you really don’t know how to market your company anymore. Digital presence, social media, persona analysis, and analytics are now core to all marketing professionals” (Bersin, 2014). These are great examples of skills that most Marketing students don’t acquire during their education. And it stresses today’s critical role of Self-Education (in addition to traditional Education) in order to transition from university and college to a successful career.
Thank you so much for reading!
Please share your experience on this topic in the comments section. More insights from both recruiters and job seekers would be highly appreciated.
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Best regards from the team.
Pictures from: www.freedigitalphotos.net
Bersin, J. 2014, Are You Ready To Become Obsolete? What I’ve Learned About Continuous Reinvention, LinkedIn Pulse, Available from: http://linkd.in/1B0R3vO. (Last accessed 02/2016).
Davies, A., Fidler, D. & Gorbis, M. 2011, Future Work Skills 2020, Institute for the Future for the University of Phoenix Research Institute, Phoenix.