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Renaissance jobs in digital: What skills do you need to survive a 21st century career

Renaissance jobs, also otherwise known as hybrid roles are a mishmash of more than one skill, a combination of expertise in more than one domain. You might have come across roles such as experience architect, user experience consultant, or even customer wrangler, all of these typically involve technical knowledge, excellent communication and management skills. All of these roles are a completely foreign concept for most of our parents. The 21st century has brought with it remote work, chief growth officers, and a globalised workforce among other things.

According to Dell’s report authored by the Institute for the Future (IFTF) and a panel of 20 tech, business and academic experts from around the world, 85% of jobs that will exist in 2030 haven’t been invented yet. So, what does that mean for todays graduates?

This article hopes to explore some of the essential skills recruiters are looking for knowing well that the landscape of careers is ever changing, helping you (and me) navigate unchartered waters when it comes to finding your next job.

Globalised workforce: how does that affect your career?

A globalised workforce is a concept that has been playing a leading role in how careers are changing. Having an international pool of talent now means that there is more competition, not only are you competing locally for a job, but also globally. It has also introduced new work concepts like remote work, flexible working, and the chance of travelling the world has become more of a reality than ever. It’s not all bad or good, it’s different.

I think for our generation, and the one after us, this transition is less of a shock than for our parents. Having the internet from a relatively young age, being able to explore and use social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram has brought the world closer to us. My dad gave me this wonderful explanation of what Instagram was in his time, it was called a “Korzo” a place to see and be seen, as he put it. It was the main street where girls and boys would dress up and go to meet. We live in a different reality, and technology will reshape how many will live and work in 2030.

Without most of us quite noticing when it happened, the web went from being a strange new curiosity to a background condition of everyday life. – Oliver Burkeman, Forty Years of the Internet: How the World Changed Forever.

Let’s talk about 2019 for a second. Out of all of my friends I am the only one working in a fully remote company. No offices, 100% location independent, flexible working hours, and autonomy. I am also the only Serbian employed, but just in my department I work with people from six other nations.

FishingBooker, that has offices in Belgrade has a 100% office policy, also has expats from all over the world working, and leading team. A globalised workforce isn’t a remote workforce necessarily.

A globalised workforce means a larger talent pool, which won’t only affect you it will also affect companies looking to hire top talent. Both employees and employers will have to change the way they work. It won’t just be a race to the top for graduates, but probably it will be even more stressful for companies.

Instead of expecting workers to bear the brunt of finding work, work will compete for the best resource to complete the job. – The next era of human machine partnerships.

Like I said it’s not all bad. Now more than ever it’s about who you are, and what you can bring to the table.

How can you stay current, and employable for the next 10 years

Back to our parents. The advice I got was pick a good company, and stay there for at least, 3 or 5 years. That shows loyalty, dedication, good team work, and career progress, and it did. A new statistic by The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says that today’s learners will have 8 to 10 jobs by the time they are 38. That means if you graduate by the time you are 22, on average you will be changing jobs every 2 years. You probably didn’t expect that, right?

That means you will probably have more jobs, and roles in your career that both of your parents put together, so how can you stay current in this new landscape. The Deloitte Insights gave a great overview.

The ability to learn is worth more than any of your skills

Expertise has an ever-shorter shelf life. With the many jobs and roles that await you the expertise will change from one technology to another, but also your skillset will be worth less. Once being exceptional in one field was extremely sought after, now it’s about your ability to adapt your skillset to a new role. I remember asking my younger sister what she wanted to be when she grew up, and she said “I want to be the best in one area of research“. Luckily, she changed her idea and is an aspiring all-rounder. Employers are looking for people who are ready to embark on a life-long journey of learning.

I look for proactivity in learning, and in doing and changing the reality around you. It’s about taking the long-term approach with life when it comes to knowledge, and achievements. – Vukan Simić, CEO of FishingBooker

By 2030 the ability to gain more knowledge will be valued higher than the knowledge that you already have. So, if you have left university make sure you keep training your brain to learn, as you will need it to stay current in your career.

The arts are becoming as important as math and statistics

I can’t stress enough how important math, statistics and logical thinking is to any digital career. As someone who thrived in drama school it pains me to admit, but comfort with data is essential for your 21st century career. If I have managed to swim in big numbers, so will you. What’s interesting is that the Deloitte Insights predicted a shift.

While the core need for technical skills remains strong, another theme has entered the job market: the need for people with skills in communication, interpretation, design, and synthetic thinking. – Deloitte Insights

What Deloitte is talking about is the arts, it’s us. It’s all the sociology, language, literature, creative writing and the rest of us humanities students. Empathy is still the number one requirement in successful communication, and is something which hasn’t yet been technologized. I am not sure it ever will be, well at least not in our lifespan.

Thinking like an entrepreneur is essential

I wanted to finish drawing from Dell Technologies in-depth study that lists all of the individual skills and traits that will become essential for you to succeed in your 21st century career. The one that stood out to me is that we all need to adopt an entrepreneurial mindset. Here they are:

  • Contextualised intelligence: nuanced understanding of culture, society, business, and people
  • Entrepreneurial mindset: applying creativity, learning agility, and an enterprising attitude to find workarounds and circumvent constraints
  • Personal brand cultivation: a searchable and favourable digital identity as basic work hygiene
  • Automation literacy: the nimble ability to integrate lightweight automation tools into one’s own work and home life
  • Computational sense making: ability to derive meaning from blended machine and human-based outputs

Conclusion

I think that it’s important to realise how much business has been affected by technology, and that unless you are planning on being a doctor, or a dentist jobs that are affected less by the technological changes, you will find yourself in this career ecosystem that’s new to navigate. We can dwell on both the positives and negatives (and please if you want to drop me a message I love talking about this), but what is really important is that you give yourself the best chance at success. Our careers are a big part of our identity, and that’s something that won’t change in 2030, so embrace what’s coming and be proud of who you are professionally too.

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Written by
Nevena

I am the creator of Digital for Students. I wanted to create a space to help Humanities Students learn more about digital careers. It's all the information I wish I had when I was throwing my graduation cap.

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