What will the key skills for the future be?

Analytical skills including the ability to be a strategic thinker, data analysing and risk analysis will be important skills for the future, according to a survey commissioned by the Association of Accounting Technicians.

Skills

 

Analytical skills including the ability to be a strategic thinker, data analysing and risk analysis will be important skills for the future, according to a survey commissioned by the Association of Accounting Technicians.

The YouGov survey of 1,000 senior decision makers across industries looked at the skills and characteristics that are most required in today’s workplace and which of these would rise or fall in importance over the next 15 years.

While the ability to communicate, problem-solving and being adaptable and proactive were the most popular skills, respondents rated all these as diminishing in the next 15 years while skills such as being a data analyser, being innovative, being fearless and strategic thinking were all seen as growing in importance.  However, the biggest reduction was in characteristics was motivation, productivity and accountability.

Moreover, while 78% rated working well in a team as important now, only 60% thought it would be vital in 15 years.

Mark Farrar, Chief Executive of the AAT, said: “If the decision makers we spoke to prove correct, then employees will need to better develop their data analysis skills over the coming years if they wish to charm their potential future workplace’s recruiters.

“The rise in importance of skills such as being a consultant and strategic thinking shouldn’t come as a huge surprise when we look at recent office evolution. When computers accelerated in use in the workplace for example, many people thought that this would lead to the decline of accountants and bookkeepers. However, automation has removed more mundane manual tasks, freeing them up to concentrate on the more interesting and added value areas of accountancy such as the production of management information and trend analysis.”

He added: “It’s disappointing to see the rate at which managers feel that teamwork may diminish in the future, which can probably be attributed to the rise of automation leading to employees working more flexibly and having less ‘team’ interaction.

“Successful businesses are always about people and teams, so it’s my firm belief that this aspect of working life will retain significant importance. It will be fascinating to see what actually unfolds over the coming years.”



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