Are Your Employees Prepared for Jobs of the Future?

William J. Mathias, Jr., Director of Partnership Operations, Herzing University – Partnerships

In just two short years, it’s estimated that a third of desired core skill sets of most occupations will change.(1) Technology is the leading transformational force in business today, and more change is likely with the rise of artificial intelligence, big data, social media and virtual reality.

The big question remains: Will technology eliminate jobs? It’s far more likely that the technology will create new and different jobs that require enhanced skill sets; we’ve experienced similar shifts before, as the economy has shifted from manufacturing to service jobs.
Garrison Wynn, CSP, states, “Those who are highly skilled at making the customer feel valuable are themselves the most valuable asset the organization has to offer.”(2) Why? Because of the human experience, says Garrison. Research shows that humans’ No. 1 preference is connecting with other humans.

By building a foundation in the following three areas, today’s organizations will empower business leaders to prepare and position their employees to step into critical jobs of the future.

Rightskilling
A report by the McKinsey Global Institute found that 62 percent of executives believe they will need to retrain more than a quarter of their workforce between now and 2023 due to automation and digitization.(3) With increased investment and integration of new technology in the workplace, it is crucial that organizations invest in the training and development of all employees, as many will find themselves in new or redefined roles. The key is to ensure alignment by clearly identifying the knowledge or skill areas the learner needs to come away with in order to be successful.(4)

Soft skills
Organizations are experiencing a generational shift, and millennials have an increased presence in technology leadership roles. They hold enhanced technology skills and knowledge, but might lack the essential soft skills required of business leaders. In fact, according to TD Magazine, 40 percent of HR leaders say their organizations do not provide soft skills training for technology professionals, yet 98 percent of HR leaders say soft skills are important for landing a technology position.(5)

Investment in the identification and development of soft skills, such as communication, problem-solving and critical thinking, is essential to business and career success, as well as the return on technology investments.

Learning opportunities
Establishing a leadership culture can naturally help employees “find the way.”(6) By investing and promoting employee education, organizations improve their talent bench to fill pivotal roles and meet future workforce demands. “Every organization needs assurance that it can efficiently communicate and connect with others, and those with information technology degrees are integral to keeping the world moving,” says Chris LaBounty, System Division Chair for Technology at Herzing University.

Herzing University’s information technology degree programs prepare graduates for leading technology careers in everything from data analytics to computer programming. At the associate, bachelor’s, master’s and post-master’s levels, students gain the transformational leadership skills and knowledge necessary to advance their careers and unlock the potential of future employees.

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End notes
1. “The Future of Jobs Employment, Skills and Workforce Strategy for the Fourth Industrial Revolution,” The World Economic Forum. January 2016.
2. Wynn, Garrison. “Does AI’s ROI Mean Humans Are SOL?” CRM Magazine. May 2018. Volume 22, No. 4, Page 10.
3. “Jobs Lost, Jobs Gained: Workforce Transitions in a Time of Automation,” McKinsey Global Institute. December 2017.
4. Practical Pointers: Giving Learners the Knowledge They Need – and No More,” TD Magazine. May 2018. Page 12.
5. Fast Fact: Soft Skills Needed but Not Cultivated for Tech Pros,” TD Magazine. May 2018. Page 15.
6. Moore, Alex. ”The Bedrock of Effective Leadership,” TD Magazine. May 2018. Page 63.