Technology advancements, the way we work, and market conditions are changing. And they’re shaping six trends driving future workplace skills for 2023.
Technology is evolving. The way we work is changing. Conditions in local and global marketplaces continue to shift. These developments are reshaping the skills we need in our workplaces to keep up or move ahead.
We looked to thought leaders, published studies, and other insights to discover these six trends driving the evolution of future workplace skills – and what to do about those trends in 2023.
1) Digital Transformation Requires a Shift in Future Workplace Skills for Technology
Technology advancements continue at a fast pace globally, with new capabilities, systems, and solutions constantly emerging and evolving in the business world. For technology professionals, then, skills must evolve just as quickly to keep up.
As Bernard Marr, a world-renowned futurist, influencer, and thought leader in the fields of business and technology points out in a recent Fortune article, “Jobs are changing – to the point that it’s been predicted that 85% of the jobs college leavers of 2030 will have, haven’t been invented yet. This means that skills will have to change, too.”
“85% of the jobs … of 2030 … haven’t been invented yet.”
Here are Marr’s top five in-demand technology skills for jobs in 2023 – and some insights into why they are so important:
- Data Communicator/ Storyteller. By 2025, 70 percent of jobs will involve working directly with data. This means that every organization will need people with the skills to interpret, translate, and communicate what that data means to the people who need to use it .
- Cyber Security. Although every employee is expected to take responsibility for the security of the data they are entrusted with, up to 10 million(!) professionals are predicted to be employed in cybersecurity in 2023.
- UX Design. User experience (UX) design, and the closely related field of user interface (UI) design, will become increasingly valuable skills due to the extent to which digital transformation is effectively turning every company into a tech company and every job into a tech job.
- Digital Marketing. Digital marketing involves harnessing the cumulative power of any number of technological solutions designed to get the attention of customers and put company products and services at the front of their minds.
- Augmented Working. Says Marr about working with artificial intelligence (AI), “The ability to spot opportunities to augment your or your organization’s human skillset with AI, and put tools and platforms to work to do so, will
2) Leaders Must Lead Through Change
Some leadership skills are timeless, or durable. All managers and leaders are expected to be able to have a vision; deliver communications that inspire; and consistently make sound decisions.
Other competencies – such as leading through abrupt change, effectively managing remote workers, harnessing an intergenerational workforce, and leading an increasingly diverse workforce – may be developed in response to market conditions or strategic company initiatives.
Analyst, author, educator, and global talent market thought leader Josh Bersin is actively engaged in an “Irresistible Leadership” study to examine the leadership skills needed for the world we are in right now. “With five generations in the workforce, and innumerable socio-economic and political changes impacting the work and workforce, every company is on the journey of adapting their leadership models, values, strategies and leadership development approaches,” he says.
Bersin sees a need for leaders to bring together the business goals of productivity, sustainability and growth all within a human-centered leadership approach.
3) Soft Skills Are (Still) Here to Stay
Just as technology and leadership skills evolve to keep up with the times, so, too, do soft skills. As a category, soft skills have a longer “shelf life” than many of the point-in-time perishable skills that are needed to stay current with technology.
Released earlier this year, the Pearson Skills Outlook examined the capabilities that will power the world’s economy and people’s careers. Pearson, a leading learning content company, looked at the current and future talent skills needs of employers, as well as the capabilities required to maintain and enhance economic productivity by 2026.
Pearson identified five “Power Skills” that have dominated job ads and are the most sought-after capabilities for workers:
- Customer Service
- Problem Solving
4) Remote and Hybrid Work Reality Shapes Future Workplace Skills for 2023 and Beyond
McKinsey research published in June 2022 confirmed that most employees prefer to work remotely, at least part time. Against a backdrop of continued low unemployment, employers are debating whether and how to offer jobs with flexibility to attract and retain those employees.
Remote and hybrid work is expected to stay throughout 2023 – and, likely, beyond. So, companies must be aligned with this reality in at least three ways related to skills:
- Remote and Hybrid Worker Skills. Employees who are working in a remote or hybrid work environment need to hone their skills to ensure that they and their teams are efficiently advancing projects and other work products, regardless of worker location.
- Manager Skills. Managing a remote or hybrid team is different from steering a traditional in-person team. Managers need to be able to build connections, collaborations, performance goals and feedback, and career opportunities for all team members, regardless of worker location.
- Skills Training. As this Forbes article reminds us, training and online learning must be flexible. “Online training can be the way for companies to keep their employees up to speed and up to skill,” says Forbes Council Member, Graham Glass.
5) “Degree Reset” Shines a Light on Employee Skills and Skill Development
In 2022, people were talking about the increasing number of employers who are moving away from requiring a college degree for many of their jobs. That trend is expected to continue to and through 2023.
The Burning Glass Institute looked at this shift and published a report that takes a closer look at this employer “degree reset” trend. The report, “The Emerging Degree Reset: How the Shift to Skills-Based Hiring Holds the Keys to Growing the U.S. Workforce at a Time of Talent Shortage,” offers a number of insights that may shape your skill-related plans and initiatives next year.
- Skills-based Job Descriptions Better Communicate Skills Needs. Burning Glass found that, too often, a college degree served as a (poor) substitute for describing job skills. “When employers drop degrees, they become more specific about skills in job postings, spelling out the soft skills that may have been assumed to come with a college education.”
- Skills-based Hiring Helps to Close Skills Gaps and Expands Talent Pools. When employers shift to a skills-based hiring approach, they can better close important skill gaps – AND compete in a tight labor market by expanding the pool of candidates they consider.
- Incumbent Workers May Be the Workers You Need. Often, employers fail to assess their current skilled workers who lack degrees. “Opening pathways for incumbent workers to advance, regardless of their degree status, allows employers to fill an important position with the confidence instilled by the contents of a personnel file, rather than the representations made in an applicant’s resume and job application.”
- Custom Learning Can Build Key Employee Skills. Google and other employers are launching career certificates in areas such as Project Management and Data Analytics. Graduates of the employer’s curriculum will have the precise skills the employer needs and expects.
6) Global Talent Market Outlines Future Workplace Skills: 2023 and Beyond
We are all part of a larger, global marketplace. That means we have access to a larger talent pool. It also means that U.S. workers and companies need to compete in the world’s labor market.
In this ATD article, Coursera CEO Jeff Maggioncalda introduces the company’s 2022 Global Skills Report. It’s an in-depth look at the state of skills globally, with data drawn from 100 million learners in more than 100 countries. The report “highlights how the acceleration of digital transformation, inflation, and global instability are driving increased demand for the digital and human skills needed to thrive in the new economy.”
If your company operates internationally or in the global market, the report offers some data points about how well the U.S. stacks up – and where other countries may have best practices to emulate. Here are a few of the reports findings that may play into your 2023 strategic skills planning:
- Target Skills Are a Moving Target. By the middle of this decade, an estimated 85 million jobs may disappear, while another 97 million new ones will take their place. In the middle of these changes, it can be difficult to know what skills workers need to develop to stay ahead.
- Digital Literacy is Required. Digital skills are the shared language of the modern economy. Not every worker needs to learn how to code, but every worker needs to be literate in digital skills.
- U.S. is “Competitive”. Among the countries examined, the U.S. fell into the “competitive” category – the top 50 – 75 percent of companies. Europe and parts of the Asia Pacific made up the “Cutting Edge” (75 – 100 percent) category. This year, the U.S. held steady in its overall skills proficiency ranking—yet it lost meaningful ground in core technology and data science skills.
Whether you’re looking inside your company, in your community, or around the world for trends and best practices, monitoring trends that matter will help you drive the future workplace skills you’ll need to succeed.
If you’re looking for ways to better shape the skills and competencies of your workforce for 2023, download our Competency Management Toolkit to get started. Or contact us to find out how Avilar’s WebMentor Skills™ competency management systems may support your next steps.
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