As the future of work continues to change, technology will be a major driving force that will cause widespread disruption. The trend of entering traditional jobs has been on a downward trend for a number of years, and the recent pandemic has only accelerated this change. As time goes on, technology will completely immerse all industries of work, radically changing the skills required by employees.
For current employees, as well as those pursuing new careers, it can be important to try and determine how your specific skill set fits into the future of work. To look at how your current skills will fit into this tech-dominated future workforce, we must first look at exactly how the workforce is going to change.
Soft Skills Will Become More Important
There are two kinds of skills that people can boast: soft and hard skills. The latter is often more known and can encompass anything from deep data analytics to simply your typing speed on a computer. The former, on the other hand, are typical attributes you would give to a person such as adaptability or learning speed.
Recent studies have found that some of the most important soft skills for the future of work are flexibility and communication. For perspective, a budding career choice is becoming a mobile developer, but it would be unreasonable for employers to assume that all of their employees who are on the older side can just jump straight into this profession.
With that said, having the ability to adapt, learn, and communicate to learn the basics of the various programming languages will allow any employee of any age to enter this career. A common misconception is that all the tech skills needed to enter a tech career have to be learned before entering the field, but the truth is that a large number of companies are willing to invest the time to train existing employees if they are capable of learning.
Transferable Tech Skills Are on the Rise
Similar to the idea of soft skills, transferable tech skills are something that will become extremely valuable in the future. As mentioned, you may not need in-depth expertise in software development to actually enter that field. Developing a repertoire of transferable tech skills will enable you to enter any future tech career.
In order to learn skills that are applicable to general tech careers, more and more people have begun attending trade schools that can offer a specific course, potentially online, which can be completed in under a year. This way, current employees aren’t required to quit their job but can pick up valuable tech skills in their time off.
Coding, as discussed earlier, and programming are two important skills that will be used in a variety of jobs in the future. Therefore, learning one skill now can enable a potential employee to increase their access to job opportunities exponentially.
Technical Jobs Will Require Experience
If you are a current employee, or about to be, gaining experience is one of the best ways to ensure that the skills you have now are applicable to the future of work. There has been a recent trend of companies demanding high levels of college degrees for jobs that previously never required such an education level.
This trend will likely continue and if a master’s degree or higher is not held by a candidate, raw experience may potentially be used as a substitute. Therefore, the simple skills you use now in your job may inherently gain value as the importance of work experience continues to increase.
Rather than consistently worrying about whether or not the job and skills you have now will be applicable to the future of work, focus more on the fact that your valuable experience will be considered more favorably than unused skills.
Adapt to The Future of Work
There is no way to definitively determine which skills will be necessary for the future of work. Keeping that in mind, attempting to predict the changes now can help you figure out which line of work may appeal to you in the coming years. You don’t need extensive knowledge of technology to land a tech job; rather what you need is the will and desire to enter a tech field and the ability to learn new hard skills. Fitting your current skillset into the future of work is as simple as learning to adapt.
Authored by: Artur Meyster
Artur Meyster is the CTO of Career Karma (YC W19), an online marketplace that matches career switchers with coding bootcamps.