By Joni Lindquist

Five years from now, over one-third of skills (35 percent) that are considered important in today’s workforce will have changed.  Nearly two-thirds (65 percent) of children entering primary school today will ultimately end up working in job types that don’t exist now.

These are some of the findings of the World Economic Forum’s  study titled The Future of Jobs.  The report is based on an extensive survey of CHROs and other senior talent and strategy executives from a total of 371 leading global employers in 15 developed and emerging countries.

The report dubs this emerging era as the “Fourth Industrial Revolution.“ This era will be driven by artificial intelligence and machine learning, robotics, nanotechnology, 3D printing as well as genetics and biotechnology.  How will these new technologies, combined with broader socio-economic and demographic trends alter our careers?  What skills do we need to develop to thrive in this era?

Some jobs may completely go away, while others, such as marketing or sales, will likely remain but require a different skill set.  In fact, perhaps adaptability will be the most important skill that we will need to develop.  The continuous and frenetic pace of change in our world challenges us to continually adapt and build new skills.

With technology taking over administrative and simple decision making, the more “human” skills of creativity, critical thinking and emotional intelligence will rise in importance.  It will be valuable for workers to use the work that AI and robots create to make more complex decisions.  Creativity and innovation will become even more critical as machines crank out data.   Skills like managing and developing people and collaboration will also rise in importance. Emotional intelligence, which captures many of the softer skills required to work well with others, will also be more in-demand.  The study identified the Top 10 skills in 2015 and those required in 2020:

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What are you doing to develop these critical skills for the near future?  Those who will thrive will have the ability to interact and use technology effectively, while utilizing their creativity and emotional intelligence to effectively motivate and interact with others. For help starting your own career plan, schedule a meeting by clicking below, contact Joni Lindquist –, or call (913) 345-1881.