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10 Skills The Workforce of the Future Will Need

Source | : By Nicholas Enna

“We are all interested in the future, for that is where we will spend the rest of our lives.”
Plan 9 From Outer Space

I find myself averse to writing predictions of the future as most predictions fail. Take a few minutes to peruse some older covers of magazines on a blog like Paleofuture and you may find yourself chuckling at the image of planes landing on top of skyscrapers and airships shuttling thousands of people lazily from one city to the next one.

Even the posts as late as 1980 are a little cringeworthy now, and many articles written today will seem equally ridiculous to later generations.

A great example is OMNI Magazine’s prediction of 47 careers that would be common in the future, like “space geographer” or “microwave marketer.” Most predictions of the future simply take the present and add 20 to it or reflect the personal prejudices and naive expectations of the predictor.

Yet, as I scroll through these relics of futures that never came, I started to wonder if it really is such a bad idea to take some time and ponder how work and careers would change in the coming decades. Maybe such predictions seem silly, but back in the ‘70s, who would have changed a lucrative job manufacturing cars for a career in robotics? They might have, had they seen the articulated robotic arms being sold to General Motors and its competitors. In 1990, when the fledging web was emerging, how many people thought they needed to jump into online security? Today, it is one of the most in-demand jobs.

I soon realized that if I want to remain gainfully employed, it might be worth imagining what being gainfully employed will mean in several decades. With that thought in mind, I sat down at my keyboard and whipped up a list of 10 skills that I think the workforce of the future will need to know.

1. They will need to know how to create new worlds.

Virtual reality has been discussed for so long it has already started feeling retro. But the truth is, we have been building towards it for the last three decades, and it is moving from entertainment to everyday life, including classrooms, like Khan Academy, where millions of children connect and learn every day. These virtual worlds will expand beyond the realm of entertainment to become extensions of the workplace environment and people will have to know how to move through them, manipulate them and create them.

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