What are the top skills of the future?

by | Jun 23, 2021 | Blog


Soft skills, absolutely vital, what is your opinion? [1]

Based on a LinkedIn research [2]:

“Soft skills can succeed or fail a hire – and they can also succeed or fail a business”.

  • 92% of recruiting experts say they count as much or more than physical skills when recruiting [3].
  • 80% say they are increasingly important to the success of the business [4].

For the World Economic Forum, the scenario of the next five years [5] portends a massive requalification of at least half of the current workforce due to the economic impact of the pandemic and the increasing automation that is transforming professional demands.

At the top of the list of the most important top skills of the future, there is a group of skills belonging to the category called “soft skills”.

It includes skills such as critical thinking coupled with problem-solving and self-management qualities [6]. This is a range of skills that each of us has never studied or learned in college or in academic courses.

With the most recent research on the subject, we find that the estimated time for the requalification of workers is only six months or less [7].

The top skills of the future are in real demand for the young generation. It is through an active action to prepare young people, by equipping them with skills suitable for the future, that companies can be ready to meet the challenge of the post-COVID scenario.

The best top skills of the future

The best top skills of the future are nonetheless those that are usually called “soft skills”. According to World Economic Forum, “The term ‘soft skills’ does not really do justice to the complex combination of abilities it describes: empathy, emotional intelligence, creativity, the ability to collaborate and communicate, to name a few” [8].

Mastery of new technologies is only part of the top skills of the future, because “human” skills such as creativity, originality and initiative, critical thinking, persuasion and negotiation will also retain or increase their value [9].

Workers will need to have the right skills to thrive in tomorrow’s workplace and the ability to continue to retrain throughout their lives. Developing a strong system of lifelong learning in business, investing in human capital and collaborating with other stakeholders on workforce strategy should therefore be key business imperatives, essential for the medium and long term growth of companies, as well as an important contribution to society and social stability, as confirmed by the research on the future of employment of the World Economic Forum[10].

Gaps in the top skills of the future

The percentage of workers who need to improve their skills in the next six months or less is around 40% for an average company [11], according to World Economic Forum. It is also estimated that 94% of business leaders recognize that their employees lack new skills on the job.

The majority of employers recognize the value of investing in human capital and that is why 66% of employers are expected to provide further training or re-qualification to more than 70% of their employees in the following five years [12]. The economic return they will get from this investment, even despite the current economic deflation, demonstrates the strategic impact that employee development will have over the next five years.

In Europe, a McKinsey report estimates that nearly 94 million workers will need to be retrained [13]. Without an investment in the skills of the future, it’s hard to believe that a company is seriously planning on its future.

Top skills of the future versus reality

McKinsey research has found that a sad reality of our times is that despite the extremely high number of young people looking for work in Europe, employers do not easily find the skills they need in the younger generation[14].

According to the World Economic Forum report, it has become evident that global labor markets are undergoing major transformations, given the rapid advances in technology and the fact that technology is rapidly shifting the line between tasks that only humans can perform and those that can be performed by machines and algorithms [15].

“These transformations, if managed wisely, could lead to a new era of good work, good jobs and a better quality of life for all, but if poorly managed they risk widening skills gaps, increasing inequalities and reinforcing the tendency to divide”, indicates an important World Economic Forum research[16].

What do the skills of the future look like?

According to a LinkedIn study [17], “While everyone agrees that soft skills are extremely valuable, most companies still struggle to assess them accurately – and only 41% of them have even put in place a formal process to measure them.”

The rise of automation opens up the prospect of a future scenario in which the growing demand for skills will relate to purely human capacities such as active learning and learning strategies, stress tolerance and flexibility, as well as creativity, reasoning, problem-solving skills, self-management, resilience and critical thinking [18].

The top skills of the future are in real demand for the young generation. It is through an active action to prepare young people, by equipping them with skills suitable for the future, that companies can be ready to meet the challenge of the post-COVID scenario.

How can you learn the most important skills of the future?

123nextgeneration® helps companies wishing to develop their talents, prepare them for tomorrow’s challenges, motivate them, and thus improve the recruitment & retention of talents, improve their impact and visibility thanks, in particular, to digital content.

We take seriously the impact we can have on the next generation. We empower young people to become active agents of change for a positive future. We want to give the next generation access to education, a unique learning experience that provides the keys to change and adapt to the challenges of the future.

Would you like to know more about becoming a sponsor and providing your employees with these training courses? Email us at welcome@123nextgeneration.com or call us on 022 552 22 40.

Further information is available on our website: www.123nextgeneration.com. You can also subscribe to our Linkedin, Youtube and Instagram “123nextgeneration” network. We are glad to see you soon.


[1] https://www.linkedin.com/business/talent/blog/talent-strategy/global-recruiting-trends

[2] https://www.linkedin.com/business/talent/blog/talent-strategy/global-recruiting-trends

[3] https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2019/02/these-4-trends-are-shaping-the-future-of-your-job/

[4] https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2019/02/these-4-trends-are-shaping-the-future-of-your-job/

[5] http://www3.weforum.org/docs/WEF_Future_of_Jobs_2020.pdf

[6] http://www3.weforum.org/docs/WEF_Future_of_Jobs_2020.pdf

[7] http://www3.weforum.org/docs/WEF_Future_of_Jobs_2020.pdf

[8] https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2019/02/these-4-trends-are-shaping-the-future-of-your-job/

[9] http://www3.weforum.org/docs/WEF_Future_of_Jobs_2018.pdf

[10] http://www3.weforum.org/docs/WEF_Future_of_Jobs_2018.pdf

[11] http://www3.weforum.org/docs/WEF_Future_of_Jobs_2020.pdf

[12] http://www3.weforum.org/docs/WEF_Future_of_Jobs_2020.pdf

[13]https://www.mckinsey.com/~/media/mckinsey/featured%20insights/future%20of%20organizations/the%20future%20of%20work%20in%20europe/mgi-the-future-of-work-in-europe-discussion-paper.pdf

[14]https://www.mckinsey.com/~/media/mckinsey/industries/public%20and%20social%20sector/our%20insights/converting%20education%20to%20employment%20in%20europe/education%20to%20employment%20getting%20europes%20youth%20into%20work%20full%20report.pdf?shouldIndex=false

[15] http://www3.weforum.org/docs/WEF_Future_of_Jobs_2018.pdf

[16] http://www3.weforum.org/docs/WEF_Future_of_Jobs_2018.pdf

[17] https://www.linkedin.com/business/talent/blog/talent-strategy/global-recruiting-trends

[18] http://www3.weforum.org/docs/WEF_Future_of_Jobs_2020.pdf

Loading...