Skills of the Future: 10 Skills You’ll Need to Thrive in 2020

We are on the verge of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, an age that will require a new set of skills for the workforce of tomorrow.

Industrial revolutions are major turning points in history when almost every aspect of daily life is influenced in some way by new manufacturing processes or new industries that drive economic growth while de-emphasizing other industries, thereby causing some jobs to disappear.

In the First Industrial Revolution (late 1700s), water and steam power mechanized production. In the Second Industrial Revolution (late 1800s), electric power created mass production. In the Third Industrial Revolution (late 1900s), electronics and information technology automated production.

The Fourth Industrial Revolution is building on the digital revolution of the last century. It will focus on innovations that harness the potential of emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things (IoT), self-driving vehicles, nanotechnology, renewable energy, quantum computing, and biotechnology.

According to the World Economic Forum, workforce needs are changing. This will require jobseekers to prepare for the new in-demand skills of the future. Five job families currently in decline are construction, installation/ maintenance, manufacturing/ production, arts/ entertainment, and office/ administrative. Five job families on the rise are architecture/ engineering, computers/ mathematical, management/ business, finance and sales.

The top five industry sectors in 2020 will be:

  1. Technology/computers
  2. Caregiving
  3. Social intelligence/new media
  4. Lifelong learning
  5. Business

The ten most in-demand jobs in 2020 will be:

  1. Data analysts
  2. Medical technicians/physical therapists
  3. Sales and marketing specialists
  4. Customer service representatives
  5. Management analysts
  6. Computer programmers/software developers
  7. Veterinarians
  8. Product designers/creatives
  9. Teachers/trainers
  10. Accountants/auditors

Top skills you’ll need to thrive in 2020 and beyond:

  1. Critical thinking/problem solving
  2. Creativity
  3. People management
  4. Coordinating with others
  5. Emotional intelligence
  6. Judgment/decision-making
  7. Service orientation
  8. Negotiation
  9. Business acumen/adaptability
  10. Cognitive flexibility

World-renowned futurist Alvin Toffler once said, “The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.” The future is here and it’s already brought a multitude of changes. Learn more about changing workforce needs and skills of the future in this infographic:

Infographic courtesy of Please visit for more timely and actionable career tips.

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