Tomorrow's workers will need soft skills as well as hard skills but one fact is clear: The workers of tomorrow who will have the most job security will be ones versed in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. According to a Yahoo News Article it's clear from the conversation with CEO Julie Sweet of Accenture North America, that millennials who have these particular skills will be in large demand from large companies.
Her company, Accenture, has partnered with Code.org, the nonprofit that promotes better computer science education to bring digital skills into the classroom, to help students prepare for the competitive job market they will be facing. Ms. Sweet says the schools are failing at the task.
So what does the average student need to know about skills needed for the 21st century job market? Here are 10 such things.
Computer Coding/Android Device Programming
Whether you are in technical support or a project manager, you need to "speak the language." You can't support or manage what you can't understand. Learning the latest programming languages can be achieved by taking online courses, and/or self study certification prep. As new programming tools for android and other devices require specialized knowledge, tomorrow's worker needs to be ahead of he curve, not following behind the crowd.
The global marketplace means you will no longer be working alongside people who live in your town, or graduated from your local college. Understanding customs, language and etiquette of other nations will help you succeed. Whether it's consumers, colleagues, or clients, being able to collaborate with others who don't share your politics, religion or background is crucial for workplace success.
Your "Webutation" Must Be Impeccable
Today's headhunters not only perform a thorough background check, they snoop on your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapcat accounts. Posting remarks, photos or memes that can be construed as sexist, racist, or otherwise irresponsible can be the reason you weren't selected for the next round of interviews. It's best to keep a benign online presence. A 2011 Forbes Online article had made a prediction that is clearly coming true, as companies are recruiting based on your online reputation, as well as your hard credentials.
Time Management Skills
Tomorrow's worker certainly won't have their boss standing over their shoulder, in fact their boss might be half way around the world, counting on their subordinate to bring the project in by deadline. Being able to work independently and maximize your allotted time will keep a worker productive without burning out. Being able to carve out your own work/life balance will be necessary for survival when you don't punch in and punch out on a time clock.
Team Work: The days of the "Lone Cowboy" worker are a thing of the past
Even if you are the self-proclaimed office genius or have seniority, without a cohesive working team a company cannot succeed. Therefore, they will deliberately look to hire and advance those who will keep their egos in check for the sake of achieving a common goal. Prima donnas need not apply in tomorrow's workplace. Being willing to take direction and listen to other's input to make the best decision is key.
A budding author may find fewer opportunities than ever with large, traditional publishing houses. Being able to make a new plan, like starting your own blog, Youtube video channel, and/or self-publishing via Amazon Kindle may be the way to get his or her work in front of readers. A digital artist may need to feature their own work on social media to create a buzz, instead of having a gallery show their work. It's all about having a finger on the pulse of what 's trending, and having the courage to self-promote.
Millennials who have a new idea or invention may not be able to get traditional backers. By using crowd funding sites like Indiegogo and Kickstarter, an enterprising individual or company may get backing in exchange for letting others in on the ground floor of the company, or letting them pre-order their hot new product. The field is still wide open for entrepreneurs, if they know how to follow financing trends. Even if you don't use crowd funding to sponsor your business or enterprise, you need to know it exists and what your competition is doing.
An old skill that is never out of style, every worker needs to keep track of mileage, expenses, and losses, as many workers in the future marketplace will be independent contractors rather than employees. Even if a worker is employed full time for a specific company, corporations want to be sure their workers are also watching their bottom line, and maximizing profits. Although modern accounting is computerized, it's imperative to know how to enter and retrieve financial data on the fly.
Knowledge of Law
You don't need to be an attorney, but you need to think like one. Having the ability to scrutinize a contract or be able to fight back if your rights are infringed is crucial. OSHA's Website is still a good place to start. The tight job market might mean young people today may be working harder than their parents for the same amount of pay; however, millennials need to be sure their rights are protected.
Knowing every legal aspect of the business you are in, including copyright and cyber security laws is a value added skill that employers need. Staying up to date with latest legal decisions that affect your business can be as easy as subscribing to trade blogs and news reports.
Web Research Skills/Information Mining
Young workers may not know all the answers, but they will undoubtedly be held accountable for finding them. Being able to quickly sort out credible sources from unreliable ones and how and when to use information published by others is critical. Just presenting someone's article or research as your own with a few adjustments called "spinning", an electric form of plagiarism, and tighter laws concerning intellectual property are being passed all the time.
Written by Garrett Parker
Read more posts by Garrett Parker