In a fast-changing world â and workplace â what are the most coveted skills that one must have to stand out? A new study by professional networking platform LinkedIn offers some answers.
The "Future of Skills" report by LinkedIn, focussed on the Asia Pacific region, highlights 10 skills that have experienced "exponential growth" over the past five years.
The report identifies "rising skills" of the workforce, based on behavioural insights and data points gathered from member engagement across 13 countries in Asia Pacific on the platform.Â As part of the study, LinkedIn analysed data listed by members on its platform and also surveyed 4,136 employees and 844 learning and development professionals across Australia, India, Japan and Singapore.
This skills data can help companies make sound business decisions and shape the future of roles within their organisations, according to LinkedIn. But it warns that â
the skills that got you to where you are today are not the skills youâll need to prepare for the future of work and businesses need to be aware of thisâ.
LinkedIn said there are three times more demand for professionals with rising skills compared to other professionals. But up to 82 percent of Indian employees feel the skills needed to succeed in their industry are rapidly changing, it said.
Their fear is not misplaced because 42 percent of core skills are expected to change by 2020, according to the 2018 research from WEF Future of Jobs Report that the report cites.
Below are LinkedIn's 10 rising skills in Asia Pacific and in India:
Robotic Process Automation (RPA) RPA is the use of software with artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning capabilities to handle high-volume, repeatable tasks that previously required humans to perform.Â Typically, Banking and financial services use RPA to manage trading, speed up transactionsâ¨and resolve discrepancies. In telecommunications, bots are used to manage customer complaints while in insurance, they manage new customers and check policies. Artificial Intelligence (AI)
AI is a field in computer science that uses machines to perform human or human-like tasks. Business decisions are now informed by data. AI, such as machine learning, allows organisations to more efficiently mine and analyse their data for insights. As new data enters into the system, a computer can monitor and make decisions from it. For example, Airbnb used visual recognition and machine learning to understand what photos are most useful and attractive to potential guests.In financial services, hedge funds use machine learning to monitor huge amounts of data, make predictions and determine trends. Autonomous technology, such as driverless cars, uses AI to respond and manage various situations. In higher education, AI is used to improve research.
In a globalised environment, data protectionâ¨ is a primary concern. For any organisationâ¨ that collects, handles or uses consumer data, demonstrating rigorous compliance with privacy and data protection standards is vital to securing trust and, ultimately, business.The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a set of rigorous regulatory standards on how companies collect and manage data. It was designed and adopted by the European Union in 2016, and came into effect from May 2018. This in part has led to the rise of the Chief Data Officer, who is responsible for the handling and governance of data, rather than solely the collection of it.
Social media adoption continues to grow in APAC. More than a third of Facebookâs 2.3 billion monthly active users are in the APAC region.
There are also the regionâs own local networks. China has WeChat, Japanâs social media network is Line, while Korea has KakaoTalk, in Vietnam itâs Zalo, and India has Hike.Social media is now key for brands wanting to reach new and existing consumers. LinkedInâs data shows that social media marketing skills are in demand across industries.
As industries become digital first, a key business priority is ensuring the integrity of networks. Continuous testing is vital because software and code are updated frequently.
Developing deploying testing can be time consuming, and means developers spend more time deploying than developing.Continuous integration allows developers to automate troubleshooting of new code as it is integrated, and identify problems early. As the mantra goes, better to fail fast than fail slow.
When developers were building a digital currency, one problem persisted â how do you stop money being fraudulently spent twice? The answer is blockchain: a highly-secure universal ledger that grows with each transaction.
The peer-to-peer network has been adopted beyond financial services.Online education uses blockchain to securely identify students, while logistic companies can keep track of goods. In advertising, blockchain keeps track of ad space bought by programs, ensuring no overlap and improving transparency.
Front-end Web Development
More than half of the worldâsâ¨global online retail sales stem from the APAC region. By 2021, it is expected to reach $3.5 trillionâ¨in e-commerce sales. Consumers expect seamless interaction ââ¨a recent report by Google and Accenture found in APAC if a mobile site takes longer than three seconds to upload, 53 percent of users will abandon it.
Clearly having a site that is responsive and easy to load is the rst hurdle in attracting consumers. This affects all industries that are trying to attract digital consumers â from online banking to e-commerce. Remote and e-learning is becoming more common. For education providers, easy-to-use websites that are reliable for students are vital.Front-end web developers are key to attractive websites. They must use the latest technology, like cloud-based platforms, and ensure queries run quickly and results are delivered easily.
Gesture Recognition Technology
Gesture recognition technology (GR) aims to close the gap between humans and devices by teaching computers to read human movements. By 2025, the market is expected to be worth $30.6 billion.
Financial services and banking establishing digital branches use GR to recognise customers and securely deliver services, without aâ¨human teller.Higher education and e-learning use immersive experiences to take students to historical sitesâ¨or test the outcomes of various experiments. Marketing and advertising use GR to create engaging advertisements or to let consumers try before they buy.
Work flow Automation boosts productivity, standardises data collection, manages basic administration and performs repetitive tasks. This frees up talent to use soft skills such as creativity, critical thinking and problem solving in other areas.
These rising skills are emerging in tech-heavy industries such as information technology and services, computer software and internet.Healthcare is also using automation to track patients, monitor drugs, and free up medical staff to focus on those they are caring for.â¨ In financial services and banking, automation can manage and analyse data, identify patterns and produce reports.
âHow can I make the userâs experience better?â That is the fundamental question that drives human-centred design.
The overwhelming majorityâ¨of experience designers have traditionally been found in tech companies, where they improve apps and websites. However, they are now spreading out across industries.
With all eyes on mobile screens, there is a demand for sophisticated apps and engaging mobile content.
This affects all industries, from retailers who need to make online sales as frictionless as possible, to higher education where students are increasingly learning outside of classrooms.
What about India? Â In India, the Top 3 âRising Skillsâ observed are: Robotic Process Automation Compliance Continuous integration Â According to LinkedIn, it was observed that in India: 62 percent employees find it challenging to navigate through the rapid pace of changing skills which are needed to succeed on the job. 45 percent have left an organization because it lacked L&D opportunities. 60 percent of employees feel that time is the most significant challenge in undertaking L&D at work. 60 percent of employees feel that online learning is important for career progression 46 percent companies feel that engaging learners can be a major barrier in successfully delivering L&D. 42 percent Â of Gen Z would prefer to learn on their mobile. If you have any of the following skills, make sure to highlight them on your LinkedIn profile. Innovation and creativity Critical thinking, problem solving Adaptability and flexibility Communication Soft Skills
According to the LinkedIn report, both employees and L&D professionals place greater value on soft skills compared to hard skills.
Nearly 89 percent of executives said that it is difficult to find people with soft skills. This is congruent with the survey done by World Economic Forum; Even as demand for technology competencies increase, soft skills such as analytical thinking, active learning and creativity will retain or increase their value.
While robots and automation may displace routine work done by humans, 44 percent of surveyed APAC talent thought higher level thinking would remain vital in a tech-dominated world.
"Adjusting to robots in the workplace will require soft skills," said the report.
Regionally, Australian L&D professionals donât place as much value on soft skills (50 percent) as their APAC counterparts â India (61 percent), Japan (64 percent) and Singapore (54 percent).
Â Critical Thinking
Critical thinking consistently emerged across regions as the most important skill in the future of work, according to employees surveyed by LinkedIn.
Aside from critical thinking, however, the desired skills for the future of work vary by market:
In Australia, the top skills are adaptability & flexibility (61 percent), critical thinking (60 percent) and industry-specific knowledge (58 percent).
In India, the top skills are critical thinking (76 percent) and innovation and creativity (77 percent).
Explanation of the skills and their application in jobs have been sourced from the LinkedIn study.