Five Skills To Help You Secure Top Jobs
Job roles these days are hardly ever specific, and having interdisciplinary skills and knowledge is what will help you not only get hired for a job, but also be successful in it
Several aspects of work and life have been inundated by rapid innovation, although many tend to forget that a number of the technologies we use now did not even exist 10 to 15 years ago. Not surprisingly, many businesses have also shifted accordingly, with some jobs falling in and out of favor as a result of the continued technological innovation.
Now, as the move to digital continues across industries, there’s some concern that several jobs will be uncalled for in the future, with many experts echoing the prediction that five million will be lost worldwide by 2020 as a result of automation. On the contrary, other think tanks like the World Economic Forum see technology creating more jobs that it displaces, specifically 133 million new jobs compared to 75 million lost jobs by 2022.
What is sure is that change is perpetual in the talent market, and to both be better prepared for the possibility of losing some responsibilities to automation or to take advantage of the opportunities of being created by rapid innovation, it is key to acquire and acuminate skills similar to the following, as they are are in-demand, have consistent growth-trajectory, and/or are future proof.
STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics)
There is an increasing belief that in less than a decade’s time, there will be more jobs in the fields of science, mathematics, technology, and engineering (STEM) than in any other discipline. As a result, some learning institutions have looked to boost their programs with more STEM curriculums in order to address the growing need of a workforce with unparalleled skill-sets and can qualify for roles in rapidly expanding industries.
Students deciding on courses to pursue would benefit greatly from an education based on the STEM curriculum, as this leads to careers in engineering, agriculture, and healthcare, among others. For those already making a living, expanding STEM skills still favors career expansion, as professional training with STEM in mind opens up opportunities in software design, development, and analysis, and related work which spans different industries.
SMAC (Social, Mobile, Analytics, and Cloud)
As mentioned, entire businesses and industries have become increasingly digitized, with many implementing SMAC, which are four key technologies driving business innovation. These are Social (Media), where most customers now look for products and services and conduct research to make informed purchase decisions; Mobile, or the medium they most use to access the internet, and Analytics and Cloud, the software which allows businesses to analyze buying behavior and understand customers better, and as a result develop products, delivery channels, and marketing methods to match this behavior.
If skilled in one or more of the four, it is ideal to train in and gain experience in all the other aspects of SMAC. While each affects a business individually, the convergence of all four is proving to be quite disruptive, transforming businesses and helping create entirely new business models. Being adept in all aspects of SMAC provides an opportunity to be at the forefront of most companies’ SMAC initiatives.
Digital and/or Social Media Marketing
In line with the continued digitization of different industries, so too have businesses’ marketing efforts. The leveraging of the internet and other associated technologies continues to be rather prolific, so much so that digital and social media marketing have not only become largely part of the traditional marketing curriculum but have also resulted in courses discussing the two in detail.
Be it large corporations or small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), most companies now require digital and social media marketing experts to help them strategize and implement ways to reach and engage their markets across all online platforms. Similar to SMAC, growing skills and experience across all aspects of digital and social media marketing (SEO/SEM, e-mail, data-driven advertising, influencer marketing etc.) will help make one more attractive and valuable to employers guaranteed to need online promotions.
Creativity and Content Creation
Evidently, being skilled enough to take on related responsibilities is the way to go when aiming for career security and growth, and similar to the previously mentioned skills, the same can be said when working on the creative end. As some work processes are expected to eventually be replaced by technology, an aspect of a job which can never be taken over is creativity.
Whether it’s graphic design, writing and editing, and/or video production, these and other skills continue to be necessary to many industries and is particularly valued by businesses heavily using digital and social media as a marketing strategy. While impactful individually, having skills and knowledge in other creative mediums and being mindful of related trends helps one not only be increasingly valued by employers, but also allows for ease in collaborating with others in the creative team.
People Management (Teamwork, Supervisory Skills, Personnel Management)
While tech has led to the expansion of current jobs and the creation of new ones, it has also placed an emphasis on hard skills. Slightly falling by the wayside have been soft skills like leadership and people management. This has not been helped by the quick promotions to supervisory roles of employees lacking such skills but still have to fill leadership positions due to team expansions resulting from the said advances in tech.
Needless to say, leaders are in short supply, and employees who display immense technical and creative proficiency but also show that they can lead their peers will more than likely be the ones to be selected for related managerial or supervisory roles. Fortunately experience is now not the only teacher, as short courses and seminars about leadership and management, and related aspects like teamwork, are now widely available.
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