Do you have the skills valued for the work of the future?

Research shows the most valued professional skills by 2025 -- and what we should improve to adapt to a digital job market.

The advancement of technology is driving us to develop new skills to work, increasingly and better, in partnership with algorithms and machines. It is no coincidence that half of the people who are employed today will need to improve their skills by 2025 to keep up with the digital world, according to the latest report study by the World Economic Forum about the future of work.

Over the next four years, the time spent on a company's tasks will be divided equally between machines and humans, according to the study. Hence the importance of flesh-and-blood professionals differentiating themselves, thinking critically, solving complex problems and displaying creativity and the ability to influence people — some of the skills that will be most valued by employers.

Anyone who thinks that this scenario is only happening abroad and is far from reaching Brazil is mistaken. “Those who are graduating today, especially in the technology area, already face competition from candidates from other countries for vacancies. Therefore, it is important to prepare”, says Luiz Douglas, Greater São Paulo and Capital Regional Manager at CIEE (Center for School Business Integration).

Like many experts in the world of work, he emphasizes that one of the fundamental skills is the ability to learn throughout life (known as lifelong learning).

“In the past, graduation was enough. Today, we only talk about continuing education. People will have to continue studying, often outside their area of specialty, to take advantage of the best professional opportunities”, comments Luiz.

High emotional intelligence

If, on the one hand, basic physical and cognitive skills should be less valued, the demand for technological, social and emotional skills will increase, concludes a search carried out by the McKinsey Global Institute with 18 thousand people in 15 countries in 2021.

According to the consultancy, in a job market increasingly automated, digital and dynamic, those who can bring together skills to fit into three criteria desired by the market have an advantage: adding value by differentiating themselves from machines, knowing how to work in digital environments and continually adapting to new ways of working — and even new occupations.

The research concludes that the main characteristics of those who want to remain attractive in the job market are the ability to adapt and deal with uncertainty, know how to synthesize messages, be achievement-oriented and promote inclusion.

To go further and guarantee a good salary in the future, the research says that you will need to know how to develop work plans, have organizational awareness and be self-confident, able to ask the right questions and deal with technology.

Empathy and respect

Empathy and respect for differences, for Luiz, will be even more valued characteristics. “As technology today allows us to work remotely with people who live in other cities and other realities, it is essential to know how to coexist in an environment of diversity”, he concludes. “After all, companies are already moving to have more diversity, more women, black people, indigenous people, 50+, LGBTQIA+. We even see interns over 40 years old.”

Gone 2025


of people employed today will need to learn new skills by 2025


of companies expect employees to learn new skills — in 2018, there were 65%

The 10 most valued skills for 2025

  • Analytical and innovative thinking
  • Proactivity to learn
  • Solving complex problems
  • Critical thinking
  • Creativity
  • Leadership and social influence
  • Use of technology
  • Technology programming and design
  • Resilience
  • Argumentation ability

Source: Future of Jobs 2020 (World Economic Forum)

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