What are the top in-demand skills that will future proof your business in 2023 and beyond? Is your company well-positioned in the market?
Many companies seriously fear that, in the near future, they could lose their competitive advantage in the market. Digital transformation is changing our world dramatically. It is not only our private lives that are influenced but also the business world. Very different and new industries and job requirements are emerging. These new industries and jobs require new skills to master them. If your employees have the relevant skills for the new world of work, you can strengthen your company's position in the market for now and well into the future.
Below, you will find out which skills you should increasingly focus on when selecting applicants and, more importantly, what training you should be offering your employees.
"Data is the new oil" - Clive Humby
You probably heard this quote from the British mathematician and Tesco marketing mastermind Clive Humby who said: "Data is the new oil." It has been proven that intelligent data enables companies to make better decisions, gain visibility, streamline processes, increase productivity and drive higher profits. Yet many organizations still need help to equip their workforces with the skills they need to make meaningful use of the data. This is why data skills have become one of the top skills in many organizations.
The ability to read, work with, analyze, and argue with data is defined as data literacy. Data interaction is constantly increasing in all areas of a business, whether marketing, sales, human resources, or project management. Due to this, companies are cultivating data skills across departments in addition to their data and IT departments. Consequently, the desire to improve data literacy today is less about an individual's expert knowledge and more about understanding data, sharing knowledge, and having meaningful conversations.
Agile Project Management (APM) is a project management philosophy that emphasizes individual and customer collaboration, rapid delivery, and flexibility in response to change. In this new world of hybrid and remote working, it takes a lot more planning and support to ensure team cohesion and alignment.
Thus, every team member across all levels, including management, now requires communication, organization, and agility skills. Therefore, cross-functional roles like Agile Coach, Product Owner, and Project Manager are on the rise. These roles are responsible for bringing departments and team members together and fostering collaboration in the organization. They require a specific blend of skills, including frameworks such as SCRUM, project tools such as JIRA, and other technical and soft skills. Soft skills include organization, time management, verbal communication, leadership, positive thinking, listening, critical thinking, and building effective relationships.
Happy customers feel understood and catered to and tend to stay loyal to a brand. Unhappy customers abandon brands, and without customers, there is no business. Therefore, putting the customer first and at the center of everything you design and do in all products and services offered, is vital.
This is the definition of customer centricity and requires the people in your organization to fully understand the customers' situations, perceptions, and expectations. Gaining this understanding requires your employees to have several skills to display the behaviors needed, such as empathy, love for the problem, moving from a problem to an opportunity lens, humility to inspire collaboration, a growth mindset, and servant leadership styles.
Web Development is the reason for the existence of content and web applications online. The most valuable companies today are in tech. They changed the economy and dramatically influenced our society as a whole. There is no indication that the demand for web development will decline as we are, in fact, becoming even more reliant on the internet every day.
Web Developers design and develop web-based software solutions or web applications as it is commonly known. In addition to planning web design and architecture, they also take care of the further development, maintenance, and ongoing optimization of existing web applications. A Web Developer's responsibility is divided into front-end and back-end development. Back-end development refers to working on the client or server side.
Low- and No-code applications are the solution to the IT-Skills-Gap. They allow employees to develop applications without needing advanced technical skills using powerful development tools.
"Low code" refers to software development that uses graphical user interface-based tools to automate the construction of certain types of applications. "No code" refers to software development that does not require coding. With the IT-Skills-Gap continuously growing, these skills are becoming increasingly important to the broader workforce. The lack of IT experts means organizations need a workforce that is comfortable with technology and digitally literate.
Digital marketing is a way of marketing that uses digital technologies to reach and engage customers. It often involves using various online and offline channels, such as search engine marketing (SEO), content marketing, email marketing, social media marketing, and mobile marketing.
These days the use of digital marketing extends beyond typical marketing roles to HR and recruitment, for instance, for performance marketing, social media, and employer branding. All these roles require digital skills, such as data analysis, content creation, search engine optimization (SEO), search engine marketing (SEM), communication, social media management, basic design, and customer relationship management (CRM) systems, such as Salesforce.
Having social media knowledge is essential for many careers in the current media climate. The use of social media as a marketing, sales, or recruitment tool has been proven to be highly effective in recent years. Many organizations are hiring social media specialists to help them reach their target audience and engage with existing and potential customers and hires.
But social media success is not easy and requires careful planning, execution, and measurement. Social media specialists must be strategic thinkers with creative minds and understand how social media platforms work to succeed. In addition, they must be able to identify and analyze social media trends and devise clever ways to utilize them.
One can barely imagine today's society without the internet and modern technology. Even though these inventions provide significant benefits, it is foolish to overlook their dangers. To navigate the digital sphere safely, employees must learn how to protect themselves and their organizations from cyber-attacks.
Cybercrime is no longer marginal because its consequences are often costly. All employees should know about different security threats, from malware attacks to phishing and IoT attacks. Even if awareness of this topic is good, it is, in most cases, not enough. In addition, your employees should learn ways to prevent cyber-attacks. The data cybercriminals have in sight are often worth millions, and since data is the new oil, your need to protect your assets.
Digital and other technologies enable new ways of working, and teams of employees are more connected and expected to be more collaborative. During the pandemic, companies and workers everywhere were forced to rely on digital technologies. They had to draw upon their soft skills, visual communication, and social media skills to collaborate while working remotely effectively. The pandemic has shown us that remote communication and collaboration is a skill that your teams should master.
Teamwork and communication can be challenging when your team is not gathered in one place or in the same time zone. If neglected, entire workflows break down, trust is harder to build, and team vibes go down the drain. But when mastered, this skill allows your teams to efficiently and productively engage with others, no matter where they are.
The 21st century is characterized by the rapid emergence and development of new technologies, especially in the digital world. Therefore, it is more important than ever for companies and their employees to keep up with new technologies, software, and learning methods.
Innovation management is the key for today's organizations to remain competitive and successful in rapidly changing market environments. When you, as a manager, encourage innovation within your company, your teams can discover new business opportunities, cut unnecessary costs, be more agile and enhance your R&D projects significantly. Innovation methods such as Product Discovery, Design Thinking, Design Sprints, and Lean Startup can create, deliver and capture real value in your organization.
Many of the skills listed here are related to digital skills. That is no surprise since we have entered a new decade of increasing digital transformation. In this rapidly changing environment, skills gaps can become much bigger much quicker than ever before.
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Editor's Note: This post was originally published in November 2021 and has been completely revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.
edyoucated is funded by leading research institutions such as the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), the Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training (BIBB), Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK).