Skills in demand in the future economy

The Skillsfuture Movement recently released the 2022 edition of the Skills Demand for the Future report to illustrate the types of skills and certain areas of the economy that will be highly requested going forward.

The report highlights three economies, namely the green, care and digital economy, as the industries that will dominate job demand in the future.

On top of the three economies, the report also highlights the need for mid-career workers, particularly those in industries that will soon-to-be disrupted by technology and innovation, to upskill or make a mid-career switch, in order to be competitive and relevant.

Being ahead of the curve when it comes to skillsets and commanding higher salaries are the key to keeping up with rising costs, too, according to NTUC’s Secretary-General Ng Chee Meng.

The report also touches on the implications of Industry 4.0, whereby automation and factory innovation will drive manufacturing in the future. Critical Core Skills, which are soft skills that will help employees better adapt to the pressures of their jobs, were also mentioned.

To future-proof your career, you speak to a Skillsfuture ambassador. NTUC LearningHub also offers training courses that can help you level up your skillsets.

Here are four key takeaways from the report.

  1. Green economy

Corporations are quickly adopting environmental, social and governance (ESG) reporting. This will lead to a demand of green skills, as companies try to meet compliance and sustainability targets. 

Areas such as environmental and sustainability management, decarbonisation, green infrastructure, and sustainable finance are some fields that should drive job demand going forward.

Green facilities management and decarbonisation strategists are two examples of green jobs that will be in high demand and with some transferability. 

Jobs that are in high in both demand and transferability are in ESG reporting and carbon footprint management. 

Transferability refers to the applicability of a particular skill across different job roles. For example, somebody who specialises in ESG reporting could be recruited to put sustainability measures in place, as head of sustainability in a corporation.

Those with existing jobs in related fields may want to consider upskilling to make successful crossovers. For instance, accountants can enrol in a sustainability professionals course to learn more about sustainability reporting, and to assist in their clients’ carbon reduction strategy.

  1. Digital economy

The pandemic has ignited widespread digital transformation across a multitude of sectors. As a result, digital skills are in hot demand and it looks to be that way in the near future. Some areas that will see job growth are:

  • AI, data and analytics
  • cloud, systems and infrastructure
  • cyber security and risk
  • software development
  • e-commerce and digital marketing

According to the report, software development skills, as well as skills in implementing and planning cloud systems, look set to be in demand. Customer experience specialists will also be in urgent need, as companies race to make the best digital product and to increase their market share.

  1. Care economy

Singapore’s ageing population and a pandemic-led rise in the awareness of one’s well-being will drive growth for jobs in the care economy.

Person-centred skills, which are needed to provide a holistic and more individualised approach to caring for ageing patients, or for people with special needs, are an area of healthcare that will underscore job demand.

Career coaching, learning and professional development are some examples of opportunities in the teaching and learning sector. More organisations are now treating employee learning as a strategic priority, to prepare their employees for changing business needs and to promote their career growth, adds the report. 

Skills to design and implement workplace learning modes for better employee engagement will be in demand, and it continues.

  1. Critical core skills

To put it simply, critical core skills are soft skills that help employees better handle their day-to-day work, interactions with colleagues or their team members, as well as any challenges or crises that come their way.

Skillsfuture notes that “individuals who demonstrate a combination of soft and hard skills are seen as talents in demand”. This is particularly true in a competitive market.

Soft skills such as creative thinking, strong communication and efficient decision-making are examples of skills that will boost one’s capabilities at the workplace.

Different job scopes require different soft skills. For instance, someone in a role that requires constant interaction or management of team members could benefit from sharper communication skills, such as being concise in their instruction to their team.

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