The Fourth Industrial Revolution: Creative thinking and the future of jobs (Part 2)

William Woods Business

Creative thinking and the future of jobs

The World Economic Forum, an influential think-tank, has published a series of research reports including The Future of Jobs, examining how the Fourth Industrial Revolution — discussed in our previous blog post — may impact the labor markets.

For their study, they asked the Chief Human Resources Officers (CHROs) of today’s largest organizations about how they anticipate the jobs in their industries changing by 2020.

The report findings offer interesting insights about the future of jobs and the skills needed to meet the changing job market needs.

According to the report, “Overall, social skills — such as persuasion, emotional intelligence and teaching others — will be in higher demand across industries than narrow technical skills, such as programming or equipment operation and control. In essence, technical skills will need to be supplemented with strong social and collaboration skills.”

The report also notes that cognitive abilities such as creativity and creative thinking will be a growing part of the core skills needed for jobs across many industries in the future. The report defines creative thinking as “the ability to come up with unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop a creative way to solve a problem.”

What’s more is that the report estimates that by 2020, more than a third of core skills required by most jobs will include skills that are not considered critical today. This change in the type of skill required for employment is driven by many factors from technological advancement, such as robotics and machine learning, to advanced manufacturing such as 3D printing.

The researchers also asked CHROs about emerging job categories and functions they anticipate will be in demand by 2020. Among their responses two jobs stood out: data analyst and sales representative. Data analysts will be critical in making sense of vast amounts of data enabled by continued technological advancements. On the other hand, sales representatives will be needed for explaining new products and services to clients who may not be familiar with the technical nature of new market offerings.

At William Woods University, students pursing an MBA in Entrepreneurial Management are preparing for a business climate that is diverse, dynamic and demanding. That’s why in addition to developing core skills such as leadership, financial competency, organizational theory and information systems, the curriculum also places an emphasis on emotional and social intelligence skills.

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