At IE University, not only do we help students refine their hard skills in tech and data, we also nurture their vital professional skills, encouraging every student to grow into competent, well-rounded leaders and critical thinkers.
It’s no secret that the tech industry is one of the fastest growing sectors in the world. The advent of remote working, in light of the COVID-19 crisis, has not only led to businesses rapidly seeking to improve their workforce’s digital skills, it has also increased the demand for professionals who are proficient in the use of the latest technology. Digital progress remains an integral priority for nations across the globe—in spite of (and partially due to) the pandemic.
Moreover, while the general job market is looking rather bleak, a high demand remains for tech and data professionals. In fact, in the UK, Tech Nation showed a 36% increase in tech-based vacancies between June and August 2020. Forbes also suggests that tech and data skills, such as an understanding of software development or cybersecurity, are still some of the most lucrative skills to possess in the job market.
This all goes to show that it is essential for all professionals to demonstrate some competence in digital technology. However, in the new working world, it’s not enough to simply possess tech skills.
The new generation of workers now flooding the job market are more digitally competent than any other preceding cohort, but are still lacking essential soft skills. At IE University, we aim to nurture these analytical and interpersonal skills, including teamwork, leadership, communication and problem solving. We give our graduates a well-rounded professional edge when it comes to finding a fulfilling career path in the working world.
The ability to think critically is one of the most vital skills that any tech and data professional can develop in order to thrive in the new world of work. In light of the rapidly evolving professional climate, it is essential for workers to have the ability to analyze and evaluate situations in order to make informed judgments. Self-reflection is an integral aspect of critical thinking.
Critical thinkers do not jump to conclusions or make rash decisions. Instead, they take their time to weigh up all of the relevant facts at their disposal, and use their critical intuition to reach decisions.
The digital transformation of various industries is leading to many professional functions being carried out digitally. It is therefore essential for tech and data professionals to be able to use a critical mind in order to overcome any challenges.
The challenges which professionals face in the new world of work may be interpersonal, technical or business-based. The ability to analyze a problem rationally is thus essential to allow professionals to manage any such scenario with competence and ease. It is also vital to maintain an open mind and be able to reflect upon both past mistakes and past successes in order to evaluate different approaches to the situation at hand.
It’s impossible to overstate the significance of strong communication skills in the modern, new world of work. Target Jobs argues that communication is one of the most essential professional skills to have. This includes the ability to listen effectively. This will not only make the working environment more productive, it will foster respect among your peers.
For tech and data professionals who are just starting their career during the rise of remote working, the ability to communicate well is even more significant. Many of the people you will be speaking to will be in another part of the globe, with a different culture or a different first language.
In this new working world, much of your communication will take place through the medium of technology—be this over email, video call, or private messenger. Consequently, the importance of eloquent written and verbal communication has never been more apparent.
With the new world of work becoming increasingly global and diverse, due to the ever-increasing popularity of telecommuting, it is more essential than ever to be able and willing to collaborate effectively with fellow members of your workforce.
Forbes lists the ability to collaborate as one of its top 10 essential skills for professionals in the modern working world. They note that in a world which is becoming ever more automated, thanks to the rise of AI technology, businesses will be looking to hire people based on their uniquely human skills. Teamwork is a big one.
Another essential aspect of working in a team is making every member of a group feel respected and heard. Forbes highlights the importance of using compassion in the workplace—something which has become all the more apparent in recent months.
Unfortunately, this professional competency is often overlooked, but emotional awareness is crucial for any tech and data professional hoping to become a leader. Not only will you gain the respect of your team, but you will cultivate a generally more positive and productive working environment.
Leadership and project management
Managing a team of people is all about being able to understand the needs and perspectives of your teammates. All of the above skills are vital to do so: effective communication, active listening, critical thinking, problem solving and more will be an integral part of your daily life as a team leader or project manager.
In the new world of work, with many operations running remotely, it may be increasingly challenging to manage projects and run teams. However, by developing this skill early on in your career, you will be able to face all of the challenges which may come your way in the professional world.