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Future Skills You’ll Need In Your Career By 2030

By Stephanie L

Updated October 4, 2021 Updated October 4, 2021

Sponsored by the University of the Witwatersrand

In 11 years’ time, the year 2030, it’s highly likely you’ll be working in a job that doesn’t even exist yet – and no, we’re not talking about building flying cars or developing the world’s first time machine. The world of work is evolving quickly, which means you have to figure out how to prepare for a future job role that’s impossible to predict.

Of course, there isn’t a crystal ball that can tell us exactly what skills will be needed and what won’t be needed. However, with the help of the University of the Witwatersrand, we’ve come up with five skills we believe you’ll need to succeed in your future career, whatever it ends up being.

Cognitive flexibility

The rise of digital technologies means you’re going to need to be able to handle the plethora of opportunities and challenges that come with it.

Do you have the ability to adapt to change and conceptualize complex multiple ideas all at once? If so, you’re showing qualities that reside in advanced multi-taskers and which are highly valued by employers and recruiters.

Digital literacy and computational thinking

As the world continues to rely on highly technical and continuously evolving technologies, the need for those with the digital skills to match also increases.

You’ve most definitely heard of STEM, but have you heard of SMAC (social, mobile, analytics and cloud)? Although it may seem like we’re being bombarded with digital buzzwords, being digitally literate offers capabilities beyond what was once thought possible when it comes to emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, Internet of Things (IoT), and data science.

“We need to train scholars to deal with the challenges of the 21st century, some which we may not yet have encountered,” says Professor Adam Habib, Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University of the Witwatersrand.

“We need to work across sectors to develop the technology required for us to leapfrog across eons of poverty, unemployment and inequality, and in so doing to create a new world order that prioritizes humanity before profits and power.”

A master’s degree in artificial intelligence or e-Science can help advance your digital skillset and accelerate your technical acumen in these emerging fields, from learning about data visualization and exploration, to computational intelligence, and natural language technology. 

Judgement and decision-making

Although robots and automation technology may be better than humans in other ways such as calculations and diagnostic solving, it’s still going to be humans that deal with the subjective side of data analytics.

Considering we’re on the cusp of the fourth industrial revolution, we’re still going to need to have somebody who is able to show the world what numbers mean and their significance.

Emotional and social intelligence

For everything that can be replaced by digital technologies and artificial intelligence, emotional and social intelligence remain uniquely human capabilities.

In some sectors, these qualities are absolutely crucial. The demand for jobs in healthcare, for example, are on the increase – demonstrating how some roles will always require a human element. Your future job is more than likely going to include working closely with others, so having empathy, the ability to collaborate, as well as excellent communication skills is something you’re most definitely going to need. 

Creative and innovative mindset

Despite a report by the World Economic Forum in 2018 suggesting robot automation will create more jobs than they displace, you’ll still do well to keep on top of your creativity skills and maintain an innovative mindset.

Much like having an excellent sense of social intelligence, natural creativity is something which can’t be easily replicated by the latest digital technologies. As long as you can think outside the box, you’ll be just fine.

This article was originally published in July 2019 . It was last updated in October 2021

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Written by

As the Head of Sponsored Content for TopUniversities.com and TopMBA.com (until September 2021), Stephanie created and published a wide range of articles for universities and business schools across the world. She attended the University of Portsmouth where she earned a BA in English Language and an MA in Communication and Applied Linguistics.

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