According to UNESCO, ‘Futures Literacy’ (FL) is a capability. It is the skill that allows people to better understand the role of the future in what they see and do. Being ‘futures literate’ empowers the imagination, enhances our ability to prepare, recover, and invent, as changes occur.
Take a good look around, and you will notice that the most in-demand occupations or specialties you see, did not exist ten, or even five years ago.
Some of the jobs today probably have not been heard of, at that time. Even if it did cross the minds of many, none thought a proper career out of it. It is also estimated that school-going children of today, may also end up with jobs that do not even exist at this very moment.
This brings us to the question of, what skills should we equip ourselves with, for times to come, and how can we prepare to be of relevance tomorrow?
Here are some skills essential in today’s workforce, and what every working person will require in future.
Commitment to Lifelong Learning
To excel in any field, today, or tomorrow, one must cultivate the habit of continuous learning to grow. Acquiring new skills and knowledge should be a life-long endeavour. Skills and tricks picked up throughout your learning process will come in handy one day, knowingly or not. Do not confine yourself to gaining knowledge from books alone, but develop an open mind and positive attitude about the dynamics of the world itself, and how changes are contributory to shaping the future workforce.
New Media/Digital Literacy
Effective use and understanding of digital literacy skills are crucial, as it plays a key role in non-verbal communication. Now when we say media literacy, it simply refers to the understanding of different mediums, and the messages they are sending. To be able to identify work or business opportunities, one must be able to adapt to the use of non-traditional sources. With the fast-evolvement of digital literacy through the various platforms, familiarising with the practices of today will keep you in the game, and you will not be found lagging.
Big data is part of today and will be very much a part of tomorrow. It will be one of the key pillars that will be leading industries for many years to come. All sectors play by data, from health to public, finance to insurance, even manufacturing and education. Acquiring data is one thing, understanding it is another. To be able to convert data into business growth opportunities and key decision makings, make you an asset to any company.
Change will not wait for us. Hop on the boat now or risk being left behind. Was this pandemic an opportunity or a threat? You decide how this has, and will affect you. And by you, I am not referring to jobseekers, or current employees alone.
Preparing for future skills, starts from the home – parents, educators, employers, business owners, entrepreneurs, governments, and the like. In short, the future workforce needs to prepare and align its skillset to keep pace.