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Is Critical Thinking the most in demand soft skill? What other soft and hard skills are critical?

What does the research say about today's and tomorrow's needed soft and hard skills?

A better critical thinker comes through these four phases: execute, synthesize, recommend, and generate The World Economic Forum identifies analytical thinking and creativity as two of the main skills that will be in demand in 2022 Digital skills like cloud computing and artificial intelligence topped the list of hard skills companies need most

We are so anxious about AI, robots and the future of work that we often neglect to think about people skills needed at jobs. Some skills will never (never say never, but most likely anyway…) be replaced by bots, and are very much in need today, though less soon or perhaps more.

What does the research say?

Critical thinking is critical

Three-quarters of American companies say they have difficulty recruiting the right people, with critical thinking among the top requirements, according to the Society for Human Resource Management. That begs the question: can these ‘soft skills’ be taught.

“It’s time to reject the notion that critical thinking is either an innate gift that can’t be developed or a skill learned only through experience,” says Matt Plummer, founder of online coaching company Zarvana.

Zarvana has published a Critical Thinking Roadmap to help employers guide their employees. It says the way to be a better critical thinker comes through these four phases: execute, synthesize, recommend, and generate.

Read: Will your jobs and skills be required in the future?

The execute phase is when people are converting instructions into action.

The second phase is synthesize, in which team members sort through information and figure out what is important.

The third, recommend, is reached when employees move from identifying what is important to determining what should be done.

Finally, the fourth phase focuses on generating, and team members are required to create something out of nothing.

Read: What is the role of front-end developers and which skills should they have?

The World Economic Forum report The Future of Jobs identifies analytical thinking and creativity as two of the main skills that will be in demand in 2022.

And in The Global Competitiveness Report. the World Economic Forum looks at the teaching of critical thinking as one element to assess how ready a country is for the future of work.

Here are the 5 most in-demand soft skills in 2019, according to LinkedIn

5. Time Management

4. Adaptability

3. Collaboration

2. Persuasion

1. Creativity

Here are the 5 most in-demand hard skills in 2019, according to LinkedIn.

5. UX Design

4. People Management

3. Analytical Reasoning

2. Artificial Intelligence

1. Cloud Computing

Creativity and cloud computing came in first as the most in-demand soft and hard skills in 2019, according to LinkedIn.

Read: Bayt.com reveals most sought-after skills by UAE employers this quarter

According to Paul Petrone, editor of LinkedIn Learning, this year’s list reflects a change in employers’ priorities.

“Interestingly, the newcomers to our list were uniquely human traits: Among soft skills, creativity and adaptability joined the list for the first time, and among hard skills, people management was a new addition,” he tells CNBC Make It via email.

“While digital skills like cloud computing and artificial intelligence topped the list of hard skills companies need most, the emergence of these three new skills suggests that employers recognize the importance of embracing modern technologies as well as recognizing those things technology can’t do: connect with other people, engage in out-of-the-box thinking and quickly adapt to new priorities or problems.”