Economy

Job Skills Not Degrees will Define Your Relevance in the Changing Economy

As much as 85 per cent of the children studying in school now will have jobs that don’t exist yet – does this statement surprise of shock you? Well, that’s what the future of jobs look like.

The future of Jobs will not only be about degrees, it will be about skills. skills would be sought after by employers in the new economy, and not only paper qualifications. The 2020s will transform the future of work and how careers are built and broken more than any other time in human history.
While till the past twenty years in India—people largely had one job throughout their life and there was a favoured term called “Job Security”. The scenario is fast changing. Professionals now have several jobs in their lifetime. The future holds the distinct possibility that people would not only change many jobs but would have multiple assignments at the same time, needing various skills and technological adaptiveness.

Global leaders are advising students to be prepared to be “lifelong learners” and “change with times and demands of technology and economy” to be relevant in the job market. They are also of the view that “sole dependence on academic degrees might not work to make a living ” in the changing world. Stressing on wider fields of expertise through “diverse and multitudinous” paths, they feel is the “only way”.

“Degrees do not define us, individually, or as a society, the needs is to evolve, such that all occupations, crafts and trades, whether the skills are acquired through a degree education or not, are respected and recognised,” says an expert.

Recent World Economic surveys have shown that students are now preferring to acquire skills along with their degrees to become employable. Hiring agencies are also looking for skill competencies more than just degrees. “In many industries and countries—the most in-demand occupations or specialities did not exist even a few years ago, and the pace of change is set to accelerate”, the report added.

The Future of Jobs report by the World Economic Forum can be clubbed in four clusters. Let us look at them:
1. Plan: Figure out the challenges and through critical and analytical thinking besides creativity, solve the problem. Soon, this may be outsourced to artificial intelligence and machines.

2. Treatment: This is all about handling people and resources through coordination, collaboration and emotional intelligence. This will requiring working with teams and building relationships and trust.

3.Result: This will depend on the decisions taken. This will require extensive studying, analysing of case studies and looking at possibilities and perspectives. The quality of judgement and decision-making will shape outcomes—success or failure.

4. Closure: the skills that will be in demand are service orientation or actively helping people and negotiation or the art of reaching agreement and closure is business transaction, sales or service.

Upwork CEO Stephane Kasriel says “When I hire programmers, I do not look at their degrees—what matters to most is how well they can think and how well they can code. In fact in the first 20 fastest growing skills of Upwork’s Index, none require degrees”

More and more, companies are catching on. Giants PWC began a pilot program last year– allowing high school graduates to begin working as accountants and risk-management consultants. Jobs website Glassdoor followed soon listing “15 more companies that no longer require a degree,” including tech giants such as Apple, IBM and Google. “Increasingly, there are many companies offering well-paying jobs to those with non-traditional education or a high-school diploma.”

So what are the top skills that the students need to learn to be relevant? Here are the six top skills listed by the Founder & CEO of recruiting major– Quezx.com and Headhonchos.com

1. To learn, Unlearn and Relearn– the half-life of a current professional skill is said to be 5 years. Which means that unless you continuously acquire new skills, you don’t have a future.

2. Time Vs Information Management –managing time or handling the challenge of unlimited information in limited time

3. Searchlight Intelligence or the ability to spot patterns & connections across data and people

4. Story Telling or the ability to think beyond the verbal and written communication

5. Knowing & Adopting Technology or when it comes to technology which is transforming and disrupting your life, industry and role, you cannot be a quiet observer but must learn.

6. Trust or People Skills –Even where your skills become redundant or irrelevant, the trust you have built will anchor your career and enable you to buy time to learn new skills.

To end, let me refer to a unique experiment which is all set to change the world and its mindset about education, being performed by Florida State University Psychology Professor K.Anders Ericsson. Prof. Ericsson is studying expert performance in any field of life– whether in sports, art, or academic pursuits. His research shows that ordinary people with extraordinary motivation can achieve remarkable performance through a pattern of arduous work and study called “Deliberate Practice”. By bringing computers and computer networks in to help with the other aspects of teaching and skills training — our society will be able to afford to focus on instilling in students that kind of extraordinary motivation for studies and acquiring of relevant skills.

And, when that happens, the world will never be the same again

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