Remaining Relevant In New-Age Workplace Will Require 21st-Century Skills

Hence, literacy skills are essential for developing a savvy and informed workforce. This skill set includes - media literacy, technology literacy, and other skills that improve your ability to evaluate and process new information


Are you well-versed in technical knowledge? Bravo!

However, despite having the necessary technical skills, you may have trouble securing employment if you lack the skills necessary to join the 21st-century workforce.

This steady influx of new technology and skills to learn may have left you feeling like you'll never catch up. But now this insecurity has taken a back seat as that alone is not what is causing people working in the tech industries to experience - Fear of Missing Out.

To effectively deal with the challenges of a rapidly changing world of the 21st century, marked by economic pressures, the pandemic, and emergency technology intrusions, it is more important than ever to develop skills that go beyond technical skills. Some of us refer to these skills as - 21st-century skills.

The 21st century requires mastery of certain skills for success in our ever-changing world and ever-enlarging knowledge base. While these skills may vary from group to group in the way they are described, they can easily be divided into three groups for ease of understanding- i.e. Learning, Literacy, and Life Skills.

A look at the first category of Learning Skills consists of terms you can frequently find in the dictionaries of the recruiters of today - creativity, critical thinking, collaboration, and communication. The importance of these skills cannot be overstated! They deal with the processing and communication of information in workplaces.

This represents a paradigm shift in the recruiting mindset in the 21st century, where soft skills are viewed as important as hard skills.

For instance, dubbed as the hottest job of the 21st century, Data scientists must have a deep curiosity to solve problems and find solutions, especially those that require some out-of-the-box thinking. Data Scientists need to use their curiosity to gain a deeper understanding of what the data is telling them, and how they can put that information to good use. This will involve both critical thinking and creative problem-solving.

Apart from this, providing quantitative insights for business stakeholders and being able to explain it to their colleagues from non-technical backgrounds in an understandable language is vital to a Data Scientist’s job profile, and good communication can make or break the deal here.

Typically, top-notch firms like Genpact hold communication rounds after the technical round when hiring for Data Science positions since the work of a data scientist involves collaborating and communicating with people from different backgrounds. Thus, to excel as a Data Scientist or any other field professional, mastery of these skills can’t be ignored.

We now turn our attention to literacy skills. As the late American futurist, Alvin Toffler had said, “The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but who cannot learn, unlearn and relearn.”, the gap between an employee’s existing skills and the required skills continues to grow in the 21st century due to the emergence of disruptive technologies, leaving them unemployed.

Skills gaps exist across the entire workforce. The nature of working itself is undergoing a rapid transformation, as a result of overspecialization, automation, and rapid technological advancement. The new global economy could suffer from dire consequences if that gap isn't addressed

Hence, literacy skills are essential for developing a savvy and informed workforce. This skill set includes - media literacy, technology literacy, and other skills that improve your ability to evaluate and process new information.

A reskilling or upskilling program is necessary for this scenario. A single technological innovation can render your existing set of skills irrelevant; therefore, you must build up your bank of skills and stay up-to-date. Luckily, with the abundance of free and easily accessible information on the internet and the ease and affordability of online certification courses, acquiring a broad range of skills has never been easier.

Lastly, we have the Lifeskills skill set. A well-rounded individual can thrive both personally and professionally with these skills. No matter what role you are in, you will require skills like - adaptability, leadership, initiative, efficiency, and social skills to be at the top of your game.

For example, there is no such thing as an independent data scientist. You will have to develop strategies with company executives, work with product managers and designers to create better products, launch better-converting marketing campaigns, and create data pipelines with client and server systems to optimize workflows. Throughout the organization, you will be working with everyone, even your customers. And, to succeed as a Data Scientist, you will need these skills to succeed in what you do!

Each of these skills applies to all fields, are the foundation of the future of work, and will be incorporated into every workplace in the years to come in a much-appreciated way.

Despite the likelihood that your job's software or tools will change in the next five, ten, or twenty years, these skills will last for the rest of your life and will prove as the most important skills of the 21st century.

So, to remain relevant in the 21st century and increase your probability of getting or remaining employable, you will need to master these skills to thrive in the ever-changing face of workplaces.

(The given authored article is attributed to Abhay Gupta, Co-founder & COO, Board Infinity and solely created for BW People)


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