In the age of AI, self-driving cars, and an abundance of technology substitutes to humans, the professional job sphere is seeing changes.
Gone are the days of traditional requirements, be it getting a university degree or developing common technical skills.
In the MENA region, securing an employment opportunity is a challenge heightened by the need for youth to seek security away from turmoil.
What youth may not know is that they might be misguided into thinking employers are seeking essential skills, such as communication, being a team player, and the ‘ability to work under pressure.’
That would be a mistake.
Global mindsets, creative visual thinkers
If you’re looking to make yourself indispensable to current and future employers, you first need to understand what companies need and what skills are of higher values to them.
According to Forbes, 64% of companies and 66% of entrepreneurs in MENA plan to hire within a year, but many still find it difficult to hire talent.
Companies say they do not find employees with relevant work experience and skills, while job seekers say they do not know what skills employers need.
When looking to hire for junior positions, 47% of employers say they face the most challenges when searching for candidates skilled at creative thinking.
44% say global mindset is ‘tough’ to find and 43% say the same about visual thinking.
When it comes to senior roles, 53% of employers say it is challenging to find candidates who possess creative thinking, 51% say the same about critical thinking, and 49% say the same about global mindset.
Job seekers tell a similar story by rating themselves lowest in these skills.
The top three skills gaining importance are creative thinking (71% of employers think it will be imperative), technology and computer skills (70% of employers believe they will be essential) and time management (66% of employers think it will be vital).
Shift in skillsets
The World Economic Forum report on skills critical for 2020 also reports that critical thinking and creativity are becoming more critical, while emotional intelligence, decision making, and cognitive flexibility are in the top 10 for the first time.
This shift in skill prioritization also goes hand in hand with the observed technological and labor market changes, where the role of human capital would take on a more strategic and creative path.
Technology and data make it possible to understand and anticipate changes in labor markets in real time.
Think about the hundreds of millions of professionals across the globe who add their professional information to online talent platforms, generating many unique insights regarding the changing supply and demand of skills.
Will automation take over in the next few years?
The age of rapid technology and excessive data generation is giving rise to new skills and qualifications.
Possibly deeming others obsolete.
First, there is technological acceleration: an exponential increase in the number of people connected online.
More people are moving their lives into the digital space, and more aspects of their lives are becoming digitized through what is known as the internet of things (IoT).
According to Internet World Stats, an International and up to date website on internet usage statistic, internet usage reached 54% of the world population in December 2017.
If you ask anyone, they will say technological reliance means that the workforce will not only have an abundance of new creative skills, in the future, but will also teach robots how to do their current work.
That is slowly being understood not to be the case in all repetitive fields and industries, as we investigate Tesla’s current problems.
Elon Musk, Tesla’s Founder and CEO, tried to fully automate his car building work-force.
Musk was saying something along the lines of ‘no people, no problem,’ But what it turned out to be is ‘No people, problem!’
After the automation change, production of Tesla’s newest Model 3 cars was halted, and deliveries were postponed by 6 to 9 months (4 months have already passed).
Now, after countless sleepless-office-nights, Musk was able to fix the issue himself, but only partially.
And Tesla started producing under 50% or 2,000 cars/week, instead of their initial expectation of 5,000 cars/week, as reported by CBS This Morning.
However, for chatbots, the possibility of replacing more than 90% of customer service representatives is possible.
Instead of having ten employees helping ten customers at a time, get chatbots.