What will the world be like in 2030? Well, obviously, no one knows for sure, but we have some interesting predictions: According to Dell, 85% of us who are in work will be doing jobs that don’t exist yet.
In a WEF video, Danish politician Ida Auken predicted we would "own nothing and be happy" as everything is provided as-a-service.
Will we be dealing with the devastating impact of climate change? Or, as others - more optimistically - are predicting, will increased spending and growing awareness mean the world of 2030 will be greener and cleaner than it is today?
It might seem like a long way into the future, but – here’s a scary thought - for those starting high school this year, 2030 will be the year they graduate.
So here’s my pick for what the first graduates of the next decade will want to have on their CVs if they want to impress - and what the rest of us should focus on to stay competitive too.
According to the WEF, more than half of the jobs that we do in 2030 will require an understanding of digital technology. This means that people who are able to effectively use digital tools and platforms to solve problems and create value will be increasingly in demand. I would go as far as saying that those who lack digital literacy will be at a severe disadvantage when it comes to competing for jobs and business opportunities by 2030, whatever career path they decide to follow.
Ai and automation will revolutionize many industries between now and 2030. Augmented working involves developing the ability to use automation to bolster your own skills and abilities. This may involve learning how to use AI to automate the routine and mundane elements of your work, freeing up your time to concentrate on the more complex or human-centric side of your role.
The world will only hit its green targets and avoid climate catastrophe if businesses put significant resources into getting their own affairs in order. This means minimizing waste, recycling where possible, switching to green energy sources, and reducing pollution and carbon emissions. By 2030 I believe that everyone will be expected to play a part in this, as it relates to their own role and responsibilities. Whatever your job is, if you demonstrate to potential employers that you will do it in a cleaner and greener way than the next candidate, you’ll be a more attractive proposition.
Critical Thinking and Analysis
The world throws a lot of information at us, and sorting out what’s valuable from what’s just noise – or even worse, misleading – is a vital skill for the future. This means developing the ability to analyze and assess anything from opinions to plans and use critical reasoning skills to determine whether information has value or is something we should discard. Like most of the skills we’re discussing here, it’s something that isn’t likely to be automated soon – AI isn't necessarily going to be great at determining whether news is fake or real, for example – and therefore, it's a skill that employers will continue to value as we move into the next decade.
Every industry is becoming more and more data-driven, and the world is continuously generating data of increasing richness and variety in larger volumes. By 2030, practically all of us will be expected to understand how data affects our roles and responsibilities. As well as where to find the information we need and what tools we can use to analyze it, we will be expected to understand the rules and regulations that need to be followed to work with data fairly and ethically. Learning how to use the flow of information to do our jobs more efficiently and effectively will be high on the list of skills that employers look for in 2030.
Virtual Collaborative Working Platforms
The way we work is changing, and the routine of commuting into a nine-to-five office shift is fading from relevance for a lot of workers. This means that we are increasingly relying on remote, online tools for tasks that require teamwork and collaboration. Remote collaboration requires a whole different skill set from sitting face-to-face around a desk or in a meeting room, and a new range of tools is emerging to cater to this shifting dynamic. By 2030 we may be used to working in virtual reality or in the metaverse. Those that are able to play their part as team players while effectively bringing groups together in these new environments will be hot property.
Coming up with new ways of doing things, solving problems in an imaginative way, and imagining how things could be changed for the better. These will all be important to many jobs in 2030 as it’s unlikely they will be taken on by AI. As the pace of change – driven by digital transformation – accelerates, businesses and organizations are likely to find themselves thrown into new and unfamiliar situations with growing frequency. This means that those who are able to think "outside of the box" will be necessary for developing innovative solutions as challenges arise.
This isn't a personality trait, as some may think, but a skill set that can be honed and developed in order to become better at understanding how an individual’s emotional responses impact their abilities and the way they work. This applies to both ourselves and other people. Learning to take a person’s thoughts and feelings into consideration is something that will be very difficult for machines to ever replicate. This skill set includes developing empathy – the ability to step into another person's shoes and see the world from their point of view.
Long gone are the days when we might expect to be set for a “job for life” after finishing education and a spell as a trainee or apprentice. Today’s fast-paced digital transformation means industries are constantly changing and tools or technologies that are cutting-edge on the day will be outdated the next. With the routine and mundane tasks managed just fine by machines and AI, we will be expected to handle new and out-of-the-ordinary tasks, and that means consistently learning and keeping up-to-date with the changing world around us. The ability to take in new knowledge and use it to develop new abilities and competencies will be one of the most important skills that there is, as new industries emerge, creating entirely new types of jobs and opportunities.
As we’ve seen, machines can be great at carrying out routine tasks and making mundane, minute-to-minute decisions, but one thing they aren’t very good at doing is inspiring people!
Good leadership involves the very human ability to identify strengths and weaknesses in order to bring out the best in people. Whether you are managing a small project, a team, a department, or a business, leadership skills build on many of the other skillsets we've discussed here – problem-solving, emotional intelligence, creativity – to guide others along the path towards a common goal of business success. Importantly, it means that as well as achieving success, it’s done in a way that enables everyone on the job to grow, develop and thrive. Individuals that are able to demonstrate these leadership qualities will find themselves immensely valuable and always appreciated.