Salamanca 21/22 may - IV RECTORS' MEETING
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The Leaders of Tomorrow – The Essential Skills within the New Job Market

In a world which is going digital, workers must contribute with skills that guarantee their employment in the future and their adaptation to new forms of coexistence.

• Society is undergoing a transformation process, which makes it embrace Information and Communication Technologies in almost every field.

• Employment is one of the areas where technological revolution has become more obvious.

Thanks to the evolution of new technologies, current industries have dozens of machines and robots capable of performing the same tasks as humans at a lower cost and with a lower margin of error. This process, in which Artificial Intelligence and Robotics expand swiftly, is known as automation. While it is expected that the tasks of various industries can be automated and therefore developed by machines, there are areas of work where this transformation will take longer to penetrate.

By way of educational resources, but essentially by developing new skills, workers can do their best to reduce the impact that automation will have on their future employability.

The report The Future of Jobs (by the World Economic Forum indicates that these improvements in technology will result in a loss of over 5million jobs by 2020. At the same time, we must keep in mind that new technologies create millions of jobs relating to new knowledge and business areas.

Therefore, there is an urgent need for students and workers to start preparing for the revolution.

Soft Skills – Essential Skills in the Digital World

Even though the most mind-blowing figures regarding automation are those relating to lost jobs, it is important to point out that this process generates new jobs, corresponding to fields of study relating to Engineering, Technology, Information Technology, Mathematics, Robotics and Artificial intelligence. These specialities are cross-cutting, that is, their advances take place within multidisciplinary and multisectoral fields, which require experts in each of these areas of development; business experts capable of embracing the benefits of new technologies.

In order to make the most of this job creation process, workers must be able to develop a set of skills that allow them to live in a world in a technology-driven environment. That is, a set of skills to increase their employability characterised by adding value to human skills.

The job market of tomorrow requires better handling of digital skills, but also special attention to the so-called soft skills. These skills, also known as social or interpersonal skills, include competencies such as:

• autonomy,

• self-leadership,

• coherence,

• integrity,

• ability to pay attention and listen,

• self-regulation,

• interest,

• curiosity,

• authenticity,

• personal and social responsibility,

• self-reflection,

• proactivity,

• passion,

• intrinsic motivation,

• divergent logic,

• humility,

• continuous learning,

• empathy,

• ability to synthesise and argue,

• time management

• or trust.

Sharing and Negotiating – Skills in the Work Environment

However, there are some skills that are especially important for work in the job market of tomorrow. They could be considered as essential to get adapted to the unavoidable changes that will arise from the evolution of technology in the world of employment, which some authors have called the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

David Deming, a professor at the Harvard University and a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research, has pointed out that in the future workers should have two fundamental skills: sharing and negotiating. Those who develop their ability to negotiate, and thus to persuade, and who also get to understand the importance of working as a team and sharing both ideas and responsibilities, will experience a guaranteed success in the era of robots.

Other experts in the subject indicate that fundamental skills are those such as creativity to think of problems and solutions in a way which is different from the usual, and empathy to develop healthy working relationships with colleagues at the workplace.

University is an active agent in these reflections and applies conclusions more and more effectively every year. The objective is to guide, innovate, increase the employability rate, and encourage entrepreneurship as a great protagonist and significant social actor in an environment of change.