It’s no mystery that digitalization has changed our working world over the years, and more rapidly so now than ever. The COVID19 outbreak saw us all become heavily reliant on technology to be able to continue to make a living and stay connected. Over the years we’ve also seen automation, AI, robotics, and other new technologies replace humans in the workplace across all industries.
For example: Jobs that were done by factory workers have been replaced by robots to make millions of different products efficiently at a low cost. Self-driving cars are becoming more prominent. With the use of technologies already, such as automated Uber test cars and assisted driving in Tesla cars, more companies are beginning to use this technology, reducing the need for cab drivers.
However, this doesn’t need to be seen as a battle of man verses machines, but instead an opportunity to evolve with technology. So, what are some of the core skills needed to prepare for an ever-changing and highly competitive labour market of the future? By combining knowledge-building with soft skill-building, both ourselves and our kids will become more dynamic, versatile, and equipped to weather the challenges of the future workplace.
Here are four key skills to focus on:
1. Digital Literacy
Is the knowledge, attitudes and skills that enables kids to be safe and empowered in an increasingly digital environment. This includes their learning, play, participation, socializing and searching through digital technologies. Finding and consuming digital content, creating digital content and communicating or sharing digital content are the 3 main pillars of digital literacy.
As technology rapidly dominates many areas of the job market, the value of digital literacy is becoming more prominent in the workplace. A clear example is our lockdown due to the coronavirus outbreak, that moved most the world online to work via digital video conferencing apps. It's not just being able to use these platforms but being able to communicate with clarity, concision, and impact that's key. Digital literacy provides a firm grounding to navigate these kinds of challenges that may come our way in the future. Read more on the 3 main pillars of digital literacy and why they are so important for kids today.
2. Emotional Intelligence
Has a growing emphasis in the workplace and is something you should be encouraging kids to exercise on a regular basis. This includes a strong sense of self-awareness, which allows kids to identify their own strengths and weaknesses to be able to use them to their advantage. Emotional intelligence also includes empathy, which has become more important especially over the past year when the world shifted its focus from company results to the wellbeing of their employees. This skill is very important when leading teams or companies and helps drive team motivation. Self-motivation is also a part of emotional intelligence, which is vital to achieve an aspired outcome. Emotional intelligence requires the human touch and can't be replaced by robots. Giving kids the opportunities to build their emotional intelligence through collaborative activities and problem-solving as a team will set them up for the future.
Creativity doesn't only refer to art. It's actually at the heart of most jobs. Just because we are moving towards a tech focused future it doesn't mean all the jobs will be technical. In fact, creativity is fundamental to all elements of the digital future and it's what drives innovation. Finding ways for your kids to demonstrate and build on their creativity through games, coding or robotics will encourage them to dare to try new things and use their imagination to produce an innovative outcome. For example, creativity is induced in all video games through the characters and the overall look and feel. It is in fact present in all digital inventions. As technology continues to dominate our world of work, more and more, human skills, such as creativity, is what will be of great value.
It's highly unlikely that teams or companies will be led by robots. It's a role that needs a human touch. Leadership combines a number of different soft skills, some of which we've mentioned above and knowledge-based skills. Strong leadership skills will help team members to feel inspired to follow and also give back. To be a leader it's important to be self-motivated and driven. Kids can really build on these skills through taking part in activities, that allow them to create, collaborate, innovate and become the leaders of tomorrow.