Defining the Skills of Tomorrow: What Are They and What Makes Them Important?
As technology rapidly changes and develops, so too does the skill set that many jobs require. What it takes to be successful in the workforce today may be vastly different from what is needed tomorrow. It’s important for both individuals and businesses to stay ahead of the curve and learn how defining the skills of tomorrow can help them in the future.
Recruiters and employers can sometimes struggle to find enough skilled workers. That’s why it’s important to try to anticipate labor market needs. What may be in high demand now could change next year or even next month. However, there are certain skills that are likely to remain important in the future. Skills that are transferable across occupations, have a high value to employers, or are in demand for emerging fields will be useful not just now but later on as well.
Upskilling and Reskilling Defined
Upskilling and reskilling are two terms that describe acquiring new skills for the workforce. In fact, upskilling usually refers to upgrading the skills of current employees. On the other hand, reskilling usually means training new employees for specific roles. Both approaches are important for businesses as they try to stay ahead of the curve and ensure that their workforce has the skills to perform their jobs well.
When it comes to upskilling, current employees are usually encouraged to further their education or accomplishments. This could mean gaining more formal education, training with skills that are directly related to the job they currently do, or even taking on side work that helps them develop additional skill sets outside of what is required for their jobs.
There are a few reasons why upskilling is such an important development for businesses. First, it helps to ensure that employees have the skills they need to do their jobs well. Second, it allows employees to keep up with changes in technology and the marketplace and stay current on new developments. And finally, it can help businesses attract and retain new talent by being perceived as an employer of choice.
Employee training is a cost for businesses. But it can help to cut costs in the long term by reducing the likelihood of turnover and supporting employees in doing their jobs well. The success of a business relies on its workforce. So, providing opportunities for upskilling is an important factor when it comes to maintaining a competitive edge.
When it comes to reskilling, businesses often face the challenge of needing employees with specific skills for particular roles. This can be difficult when the workforce doesn’t have the exact skill set that’s needed or when there is a shortage of workers with those skills. In these cases, businesses may need to look into training their employees for the specific roles that they need to fill.
Reskilling can be an important way for businesses to start defining the skills of tomorow in the labor market and ensure that they have the workers they need to succeed. It can also help businesses to fill in any gaps that may exist in their workforce. But reskilling doesn’t always take place within businesses themselves. Many organizations are working to develop reskilling programs, which can allow workers to both pick up new skills and gain access to education opportunities without requiring them or their employers to make a major commitment.
Determining the Skills to Target
When it comes to upskilling and reskilling, it’s important for businesses to determine which skills they should target. This can be difficult, as the needs of businesses can vary widely and the skills that are in demand can change quickly. However, there are a few factors that can help to guide this decision-making process.
One way to identify skills that are in demand is by talking with employers. They can provide insight into which skills they need the most and may be open to sharing what makes these roles difficult to fill. Another option is looking at labor market forecasts, which can help businesses understand where the economy is headed and how it’s changing over time.
This information can be helpful in defining the skills of tomorrow and identifying which skills may be in high demand in the future.
Businesses also need to take into account their own needs and what they’re hoping to accomplish with upskilling and reskilling. For example, if a business is looking to expand into new markets, they may need employees with different skills than they currently have. In this case, upskilling and reskilling may be focused on developing new skill sets that are specific to the industry or market that the business is targeting.
Training Methods: Hard vs. Soft Skills
There are two main approaches to reskilling and upskilling: hard skills training and soft skills development.
Many of the formal education programs available for upskilling or reskilling focus on technical capabilities. These are sometimes referred to as “hard” skills because they can be easily defined, measured, and often taught in a formal educational setting. Hard skills are often specific to certain roles or industries and can be more difficult to learn on the job.
Some examples of hard skills include:
- Computer programming
- Mechanical engineering
Alternatively, soft skills are interpersonal or “people” skills that are critical for success in any role. They include things like communication, problem-solving, and critical thinking. Soft skills are often more difficult to quantify or measure, but they’re essential for a productive and successful workplace.
Some examples of soft skills include:
- Time management
- Public speaking
- Critical thinking
Both hard and soft skills can be challenging to develop without formal education programs. Some jobs, such as jobs in the IT and healthcare fields, require a certain set of hard skills. In these cases, upskilling or reskilling will focus specifically on developing those technical capabilities. But other jobs may rely more heavily on soft skills, such as interpersonal skills or creative thinking. In these cases, soft skills training may be more important.
Regardless of the focus, businesses should make sure that their employees have the opportunity to develop both hard and soft skills. Hard skills are essential for specific roles within a company, while soft skills are important for team productivity and overall success.
Defining the Skills of Tomorrow
Though hard skills can be learned through traditional methods, soft skills are more difficult to teach in a classroom setting. That said, there are a few methods that can be used to help employees develop their soft skills and start defining the skills of tomorrow. One way is to provide employees with opportunities to practice their skills in a real-world setting. Another way to help employees develop their soft skills is through providing them with feedback and coaching.