5 Skills Needed in the Workforce by 2020

By the year 2020, the workplace will require some unique skills in order to thrive, to be resilient, and to relish an ever-changing world. Now is the time to begin developing them.

The Institute for the Future teamed up with the University of Phoenix Research Institute to pinpoint skills that are the result of several current economic drivers.

Skill #1: Sense-Making

This requires one to determine the deeper meaning or significance of what is being expressed. Listening skills will be paramount, along with the ability to withhold judgment and ask critical questions. Listening is a soft skill that is sadly in short supply. You can learn to become a more astute listener.

Skill #2: Social Intelligence

This has nothing to do with Facebook or Instagram. Rather, it is about connecting to people in such a way that you can intuit their reactions. The ability to connect with mind and heart has never been greater.

Skill #3: Novel and Adaptive Thinking

Thinking and coming up with creative solutions will drive products and services. Our challenge is that we continue to respond to events in outmoded ways. This skill will require a willingness to suspend the status quo, to seek information from new sources, and to creatively explore possibilities.

Skill #4: Cross-Cultural Competency

Ethnicity is not the only type of cross-cultural awareness. Rather, innovative teams will consist of various ages, beliefs, cultural backgrounds, religions, and backgrounds. Curiosity and compassion go a long way to understanding and appreciating difference.

Skill #5: Computational Thinking

The ability to turn data and abstract concepts into usable bits of information will be critical. Facts and figures are meaningless, unless placed in a soup bowl of context and connection. Without context, data is meaningless. Connection asks you to consider who can best use the data in meaningful ways.

For a full listing of all ten competences, read the Future of Workplace Skills 2020.

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