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Job Skills of the Future

  1. Apr 6, 2009 #1
    What are some crucial future job skills? There have been many threads on "jobs of the future" but to me those are highly tentative predictions, but "job skills" seems more useful these days than a particular college degree.

    I think math/quantitative/analytical skills may become increasingly necessary, or may take a turn for the opposite. The world is more and more becoming information and statistically based than ever, and the amount of number crunching will increase drastically. But whether those number crunchers will stay in America is a whole new factor.

    When people say that social skills are more necessary than ever, it makes me think and say "what, haven't they always been important?" Also, the greater diversity in people/ethnicities will obviously require more politically correct behaviors and being able to relate to someone who looks, acts, and talks completely different.

    What are your thoughts/opinions on this?
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 6, 2009 #2


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    Well let's look into the crystal ball, shall we...

    Here's a couple thoughts.

    (1) Effective Communication Skills.
    I don't thinks this will come as a surprise. People who can negotiate, write well, and present themselves professionally will always have an advantage over those who are lacking in this department - even in positions where you wouldn't think this is a major factor.

    (2) Ability to Self-Teach
    Again, no surprise. I think in the future technology is going to continue to change quickly. Those adept with current technology will soon grow obsolete. The ones who thrive are those who will manage to stay just ahead of the curve by embracing change and continually re-educating themselves.
  4. Apr 6, 2009 #3
    Choppy, so according to #2, would there be a dire reason to go to college? Perhaps an online degree would suffice for technical knowledge? I'm curious about this because I'm about to apply for colleges next year and was wondering if a math degree would be more valuable than a business degree. Or perhaps business w/ a minor in statistics... Anyways, I don't want to stray my own thread off topic lol
  5. Apr 6, 2009 #4

    Andy Resnick

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    I think a job skill which will enable you to be successful in the future is the skill to be agile; to be able to follow rapid changes in employment conditions and opportunities across disciplines.
  6. Apr 6, 2009 #5


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    A formal education will still be important. But even now I think you need to take advantage of the opportunites this offers. Sure you can sit through class, fill in the multiple choice bubbles and after four years and sixty thousand dollars, walk out of Convocation Hall with a piece of paper. Somewhere along the way you will need to learn how to learn on your own. Critical thinking, for example, is part of this subset of skills. And it's something that some people pick up, while others don't (sometimes even the ones who take classes in critical thinking).

    With respect to business versus math - this is just my opinion - but I think a lot of business requires the kind of skills that you learn by doing, which is why there are so many success stories from people without formal education in that field. Math on the other hand benefits from a formal environment, where you have a distinct advantage if professors guide you through the fundamentals of the field.
  7. Apr 11, 2009 #6
    Well, by business I was actually referring to finance, and was wondering what the advantages were of taking statistics over finance, if there are any... lol
  8. Apr 11, 2009 #7
    Re: Job Skills you MUST have (for the coming future)

    I'm not quite sure about the job skill since I believe it depends from job to job. However, the general skill like adaptability and learning skill are important to me. If generally you have these two skills, you can learn the other skills as well (with the basic knowledge, of course). Or may be I misunderstood your meaning of skill. :P
  9. Apr 12, 2009 #8


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    Math/quantitative/analytical skills will always be necessary, especially in a technical complex or technology-based (developed or industrialized) society.

    Social skills have always been necessary because the marketplace is people. The phrase "more than ever" may simply mean that the marketplace is simply more competitive, and having 'better' social skills may mean a competitive advantage. But saying "social skills are more necessary than ever" sounds like marketing hype to me. I'd prefer to emphasize competence (proficiency) and integrity as the key characteristics.

    In addition to competence, I'd include diversified skills (related to flexibility).
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