The modern employment landscape is changing, with the skill sets demanded of workers shifting toward digital literacy.
With 20 percent of UK jobs at risk of automation by 2030, those looking to keep pace with the shifting workplace must equip themselves with the knowledge to make that leap.
Let’s look at the skills employees will need to put them in a strong position to thrive in the future workplace.
Ahead of the Threat
One of the biggest problems facing industries is the growing threat of cybercrime. With cyber breaches affecting 2 in 5 businesses last year, cybersecurity specialists with the expertise to deal with ever-changing threats are in demand.
However, cybersecurity knowledge is not just a skill expected to be left to a dedicated professional. With up to 90 percent of successful cyberattacks traced back to human error, knowledge of online security best practice is becoming invaluable, and soon will be an expected norm for employees.
All employees should be able to demonstrate cybersecurity basics—for example, spotting the trademark signs of an untrustworthy e-mail and understanding how to use multi-factor authentication.
For those looking to pursue a career in cybersecurity, though, the rewards could be even more fruitful. According to the 2018 IT Skills and Salary report, 6 of the 20 highest-paying IT training courses were in cybersecurity.
The cost of hiring a dedicated cybersecurity specialist to assess risks and protect company property is comparatively small versus the damaging cost of suffering an attack. This leaves security professionals able to command higher wages and thrive in an expanding job market.
The global big data industry is exploding and is expected to be worth more than $100 billion by 2022. It continues to become a more prominent fixture in business, with 90 percent of the world’s data created in the last two years.
As businesses gather—and attempt to crunch—more data, analytical skills will become even more desirable, especially as they continue to highlight trends and patterns, which inform important commercial and internal business decisions.
For example, consumer companies using big data can identify buying habits, review marketing performance, and perform detailed competitor analysis. The benefits of having these deeper insights can include saving time and money through increased sales and retained clients.
There are plenty of versatile positions that utilize specific big data skill sets—digital marketing specialists, for instance, use data to shape and review campaigns, using consumer behavior patterns to determine exactly how to create and outreach their content.
Product managers also do the same with their offerings, while business analysts look at internal and external patterns to identify business opportunities and review processes.
Making It in Management
While automation is set to acquire many roles in the future, there’s simply no replacement for human interaction.
Management skills—whether they be people or project management—demand qualities not replicable in artificial intelligence (AI), such as building relationships with colleagues and employees and understanding their needs and motivations.
AI can be programmed to perform or react to a specific set of inputs, but it can’t do so when faced with new or unknown stimuli. Context and rationale are examples of exclusively human traits that will always be important in the world of work.
For example, project management requires the ability to react and respond. When unexpected changes or complications arise mid-project, it’s a manager’s responsibility to decide the most efficient resolutions and deal with tasks such as delegation and crisis management.
So while there are tools available to track billable working hours and attendance, among other things, there is still a limit to the capabilities of new technologies.
Obviously, the demands of a project management position require a wide skill set, and this is reflected in the salaries on offer. A study of the highest paying IT certificates revealed project management is the third most lucrative training course, with salaries in excess of $100,000.
Keeping Pace with Tech
Technology will continue to shape the future workplace, but it won’t lead to total automation and loss of jobs. In fact, new tech will create opportunities for those who keep up with emerging industries.
A study by Deloitte looked at the role of technology in creating and destroying human jobs over the last 150 years and found new technologies have created more roles than they’ve ended. On another positive note, it also claims technology has taken laborious jobs away from humans, giving them more time to focus on innovation and value-added tasks.
So how will this continue in the future? While new technology is expected to cause a drop in jobs in manufacturing, transportation, and administration, research from PwC claims job roles will simply shift.
This means that as other emerging technologies such as augmented reality (AR) and serverless computing continue to change how we work, those willing to adapt to new tech and processes in their existing roles will thrive.
Strong foundational knowledge of digital and IT is recommended for all future employees, with plenty of additional training courses available for those looking to excel as careers change in the face of new technology.
Glyn Roberts is managing director of leading IT and business skills training specialist Global Knowledge, and he believes people are key to the company’s success. He is committed to creating the right culture and making Global Knowledge a place that values the individual, encouraging ownership, and being clear about strategy in order to link personal endeavor to corporate success. Global Knowledge’s contribution within the global technology community is more than just IT training. Technology’s expanding reach is making every level of staff some sort of technology professional. The hyper-focused, specialty roles aren’t going anywhere—they’re more necessary than ever—but Global Knowledge exists to address the total skills profile of technology professionals. Whether you’re managing mission-critical technology initiatives, developing your technical talent pipeline, or taking IT products and services to market, Global Knowledge’s flexible learning solutions can equip you for success.