Are Your Skills up to Date for the Future?

As the future of work develops, it is becoming more and more clear that technology is the driving force that will change the way industries function. To that end, ensuring your skills are up to date is the best way to stay relevant in that uncertain future. There are a number of skills utilized now that will be applicable to the future of work, but an equal number of skills that will not be applicable.

Determining today whether or not you have the right skills needed to thrive in the future is about identifying which skills will be the most pertinent. For the most part, tech skills will hold the most value, but it is more than possible that some of the skills you use now will be vital to the future of work.

Watch What Students Study

Nothing is a better indication of the future of the workforce than the topics being studied by students today. Most of the highest paying career paths for students today, as covered by CollegeChoice, are STEM-based fields that seemingly require technical knowledge and skills. While it may seem impossible to match your skills with any of these careers unless you majored in the field yourself, watching which skills are used by students is a great way of modernizing your own skill set.

For perspective, computer science is a rising field and requires skills in coding and programming to handle a variety of tasks depending on the specific job. To that point, taking a couple of months to develop skills in coding or programming could give you that much more of an edge over the future competition.

Acquiring new hard skills may seem quite difficult but, using coding as an example, there are numerous sources where this skill can be learned. Highly rated coding bootcamps can help you develop this important skill and even give you industry mentorship that will help you gain an edge over potential competition. 

Follow Tech Trends

Similar to watching the topics students are studying, cultivating an awareness of new and emerging tech trends is a fantastic way to keep your skills up to date for the future of work. Tech skills are extremely versatile and one skill can potentially lead anyone to a number of career paths. For that reason, studying the direction of technology and the workforce can help you understand which skills are worth developing.

Additionally, keeping a keen eye out for the new and developing fields in tech can help you follow these trends. In recent years, computer engineering has emerged as a career all of its own. Understanding the differences between this field and others—for example, computer science vs. computer engineering—can give you insight into the areas you should be developing. 

Look at Your Soft Skills

When people try to determine whether or not the skills they have now are applicable to the future of work, they often get hung up on the hard skills that they use. The difference between hard and soft skills, however, is all about the level of technical knowledge. Hard skills are knowledge-based whereas soft skills are personality traits.

Fitting into the future of work may be as simple as being an adaptive and flexible worker. Can you learn what JavaScript is used for and develop the skill over time? If the answer is yes, you may have the soft skills needed to be an asset to any company in the future. It would be unreasonable to assume that all employees will have extensive tech knowledge, or the workforce would be cut in half. Having the soft skills which set you apart from other employees is a proven way of becoming a valuable worker in any industry. 

Conclusion

There is no guarantee that your skills will be a fit for the future of work. With that said, there will always be a need for experienced and professional individuals in the workforce. You will not need an exuberant amount of tech knowledge to survive in the future of work. Examining emerging trends and learning everything you can about those trends is a good way of keeping your hard skills up to date. Use your free time to develop upon your soft skills as well and you are sure to become an asset to the future workforce.

- Guest posted by CareerKarma -

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