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The top skills needed to stay competitive in a rapidly changing workforce

For those looking to secure work in a fluctuating environment, the outlook has never been as varied. Discover the tops skills needed to stay competitive.

We’re living in an era of constant change. For those looking to secure work in this fluctuating environment, the outlook has never been as varied as it is today. From flexible work arrangements to crowdsourced workers, freelancers and contractors, professional life looks very different from what it did 10 years ago.

On top of changing work conditions, the types of jobs are also changing. According to a recent report from the CEDA (Committee for Economic Development of Australia), more than five million current Australian jobs are likely to disappear in the next 10 to 15 years.

To stay in demand, workers across all professions will need to develop a distinct set of skills to set them apart from the competition. To thrive in a market that’s defined by change and rooted in the application of soft skills, workers will also need to embrace a positive attitude towards life-long learning.

Tracking trends in a changing workforce

According to CEDA’s 2015 Australia’s Future Workforce report, the next stage of the industrial revolution promises to radically reshape the workforce of tomorrow. Current and emerging trends already indicate some of the ways the workforce environment is shifting.

Technology feels more like a colleague

Machines are constantly getting smarter and more ubiquitous. By 2027, it’s predicted that companies will start to rely more on smart machines, apps and avatars to complete both complex and automated tasks. While technology will likely replace some elements of the traditional workforce, more complicated reasoning and problem-solving is still likely to remain a human skill for decades to come.

Traditional management is regressing  

The traditional reporting structure will be replaced by different philosophies of working. Large, top-down structures are starting to be supplemented with smaller, more autonomous teams. Workers are increasingly drawn to fluid environments built on trust and motivated by assignments shared amongst teammates.

Upskilling is becoming as important as experience

A fast-paced economy demands new ideas and skills to match it. Employees at the centre of this changing workforce atmosphere are sought-after for their ability and willingness to learn, as well as their experience and tenure.

Top skills for the future job market

Along with an expected set of professional and specialist skills, workers of the future will also be expected to master other skills to remain competitive in a rapidly changing workforce.

Be flexible and adaptable

New technologies, pathways and opportunities are being introduced constantly. Whether it’s a shift in organisational structure, the introduction of an updated strategy, or integration of new technology, workers will need to embrace the frequency and diversity of change to remain at the front of the pack.

Specialise your skills to a niche industry

While developing broad skills according to a specific career path will still be valued, the more you can specialise your skills, the more likely you are to be in demand. By honing in on a niche industry, workers are able to dominate many unexplored markets, potentially leading the way towards new jobs that haven’t existed before.

Become an expert in your field

By becoming an expert in your chosen field, you’re separating and elevating yourself from the rest of those vying for work in the same industry. Building expert skills will also strengthen your aptitude for predicting a change in your industry, a vital skill in a fluid and changing workforce.

Continuously enhance your communication skills

Communication skills are the backbone of just about every profession. According to a 2015 Deloitte survey, over 450 business managers and executives in the Western Sydney area found that the overwhelming majority of businesses cite communication skills as one of the most vital skills for applicants to have. Workers who endeavour to continually improve their communication skills will have an instant advantage over those who let them slip.

Be a team player and team leader

Teamwork is at the heart of any successful collaboration. In a changing workforce, being able to bring people together is of critical importance. Those workers who are reliable team players and are capable of better connecting with those around them are highly sought-after across a suite of industries.

Be a leader

As the traditional notion of management shifts, managers and leaders of the future will need to understand what team members want from their work, how to engage them based on trust, and how to identify new solutions to emerging problems.

MBA graduates are properly trained to communicate effectively, operate strategically and steer innovation – all the skills leaders of the future will require.

Become technically, digitally literate

In an era where digital innovation reigns supreme, those workers who elect to prioritise their digital literacy will be well-versed in the language of the future. Digital literacy is also closely linked to a greater comprehension of data and its role in understanding the future of work.

Leading a changing workforce

Are you ready to elevate your career and take charge in a changing workforce? A Master of Business Administration (MBA) is an internationally recognised degree that can help you reach your potential, as well as your career goals. 

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