Just before the pandemic hit, a McKinsey global survey found that nine in 10 executives and managers were either already facing skills gaps in their organizations or expected gaps to develop soon. Many of these disparities include technical and communication skills, which have been critically important for employees during the shutdown. So, about 42% of employees have pursued training on their own in the past few months. Are you among them? If not, where could you begin? Below are four skills employers desperately need job candidates to possess in 2021.
- Communication and collaboration skills: A recent TalentLMS survey revealed that communication and collaboration are the most essential soft skills employees lack. Now that we’re interviewing and working remotely more than ever, those skills are on display relentlessly. “To work successfully as a team, employees need to know how to listen actively and communicate with assertiveness and empathy,” TalentLMS’s Eleni Zoe writes. She compiles other soft skills important for 2021 here.
- Industry 4.0 skills: The World Economic Forum believes that, by 2030, jobs will be transformed by what is being called the Fourth Industrial Revolution or Industry 4.0. The change is well on its way. Connectivity is the dominant trait of this era, with hard skills in data, automation, and machine learning being the most important. Ready for this brave new world? Learn more about this transformation in jobs here.
- Adaptability, critical thinking, and a learning mindset: “The world was already changing rapidly, but the pandemic accelerated it,” says Bernard Marr, author of several books on artificial intelligence (AI) and tech trends. “There will be few ‘jobs for life.’ Someone that is going to succeed in a post-coronavirus-world will need to be able to adapt to ever-evolving workplaces and have the ability to continuously update and refresh their skills.” He offers additional tips here.
- Cloud computing and cybersecurity: In addition to AI and machine learning, cloud computing and cybersecurity skills will get you far in 2021. Who isn’t in the cloud, after all? What business—big or small—doesn’t need to protect itself from online threats? (The cybersecurity labor crunch is expected to reach 3.5 million unfilled jobs by 2021, by the way.) For more insights on these and other tech skills that will be most in-demand in 2021, read on here.
While you may not become an AI or cybersecurity specialist, you’d be surprised how much of these skills now permeate other jobs in administration, marketing, sales, manufacturing, and others. We’re all connected now and, thanks to the year we’ve had, we rely on skills like remote collaboration and data security more than ever. Avoiding a phishing email and confidently leading a Zoom call have become skills as common as fixing a jammed copy machine. Take a few skill assessments to help you determine where you might want to upgrade for the New Year.
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