Future Skills Index – Top 10 Skills for the Future

The world of work is changing very rapidly, and we have a lot of catching up to do to match that pace. Since I set up the new business, I’ve been giving a lot of thought to the way we are likely to work in the future and in particular, the skills we will need. That may not be the skills we will need most as individuals, but the skills our organisations will require to sustain and improve. This is critical for young (and older) people in the workplace and those about to enter.

With that in mind, we’ve been working on a Future Skills Index that we hope gives some shape to the potential demands our organisations and people face. The list below is drawn from a recent survey of our clients and our wider network.

  1. Collaboration
  2. Digital
  3. Innovation
  4. Critical Thinking
  5. Learning
  6. Flexibility
  7. Problem Solving, Social Perceptiveness, People Management, Influence, Service Orientation
  8. Active Listening, Decision Making
  9. Finance, Information Ordering, Time Management
  10. Reading, Writing, Speaking, Science, Operations Analysis, Instructing

We asked people to rate, from a longer list, the 5 most critical skills that their organisations and people needed to acquire, maintain, or develop. Our observations are that some of these are what we would expect in terms of looking to the future, such as: digital & innovation. However, there was a fair degree of support for more “traditional” skills such as: reading, writing & speaking. In addition, it was encouraging to see the emphasis people placed on learning, critical thinking & active listening as well as the inclusion of people management – one that we hope never goes away!

It’s our intention to continue monitoring how trends emerge and develop and to update this at least annually. If you have any favourites, or particular points of emphasis, or even questions about why some things are missing, please get in touch and keep the conversation going.