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Future Skills: What Employers Look for in Tomorrow's Workers

Vibi Bangaar from industry partner Deloitte shares her thoughts on what skills employers will value in years to come?

In a world where change seems to be a constant, working professionals across different sectors and industries are always seeking ways to stay relevant and exceed employer expectations. As we look to the future, the question on professional's minds is: what skills will employers value in the years to come?

Embracing Digital skills

The digital revolution continues to redefine professional landscapes. Employers are on the lookout for individuals who are not only tech-savvy but also adaptable to new digital tools, solutions, and products. Mastery in emerging technologies such as cloud computing, big data and cybersecurity have been on the upward trend and has become increasingly sought after. 

For example, Generative AI has moved from a futuristic concept to an everyday tool. Employers are increasingly looking for individuals who can skilfully use Generative AI to enhance efficiency, creativity, and decision-making processes. Understanding and utilising Generative AI goes beyond programming and data science; it's also about knowing how to interact with Generative AI tools to achieve strategic objectives, maximise their benefits and continuous evolve as the technology does.


Tapping into Uniquely Human skills

Traditionally, humans were the powerhouse of technical capabilities, supported by transactional technology platforms. Humans were essentially the driving force of content creation on narrow, deterministic, rules-based technologies. Now modern AI platforms with deep learning and neural networks are exceeding human performance in some areas requiring a new dawn of human skills; ‘uniquely human’ skills are critical for superior customer, social, and strategic outcomes. 

Uniquely human ingenuity in tandem with AI’s technical prowess opens a new frontier of innovation, decision-making and problem-solving. Uniquely human skills such as curiosity, cultural awareness, critical and creative thinking, empathy, flexibility, agility, and leadership will need to increase in proficiency to maximise benefits. 

Navigating a Boundaryless Work Environment

There has been a significant shift towards a boundaryless work environment, where traditional roles and structures give way to fluid, project-based teams. Professionals who can navigate this environment, working effectively across functions and leveraging a wide range of relationships, will be highly sought after. This requires a deep understanding of cross-functional collaboration, the ability to work in diverse teams and a commitment to shared goals and outcomes.

Commitment to Upskilling

The half-life of skills is rapidly shrinking, making continuous learning an essential part of professional success. Employers are looking for individuals who are committed to continuous learning, reskilling, and upskilling. This entails staying up to date on, and at times ahead of, the latest industry trends, pursuing further education and embracing new experiences and perspectives.

The Importance of Human Sustainability

As organisations prioritise their impact on people and the planet, skills related to human sustainability are becoming increasingly important. Professionals who can contribute to building a positive team culture, emphasising well-being, inclusivity, and purpose, align with the values of forward-thinking employers. Climate leaders will need to think differently, developing mindsets for climate is crucial to reaching a tipping point where climate is embedded within all business strategies, processes and operations​. The key to effective climate leadership, is the art of balancing and finding the equilibrium between opposing forces that pull in opposite directions. 

At RMIT Online we partner with a range of industry leaders bringing you the most relevant and up-to-date course content, so you can upskill and stay ahead of the curve. 

Explore our suite of Future Skill short courses, ranging from Finance for Business Leaders, to Digital Graphic Design, to Sustainability and Social Impact and everything in between. 

This article was written by Vibi Bangaar, Director, Workforce Transformation at Deloitte. 

This article was originally published on 1 March 2024