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10 most important job skills in demand by employers

1. DATA LITERACY

The ability to derive meaningful information from data - this has become an important asset to have.

2. CRITICAL THINKING

Critical thinking skills allow you to analyse a situation and find workable solutions.

3. TECH-SAVVINESS

Technical skills will be required by employees doing just about every job since digital tools are becoming commonplace.

Artificial intelligence, Internet of Things, virtual and augmented reality, robotics, blockchain and more will become a part of all workers' everyday experience, whether the workplace is a factory or a law firm.

So, not only do people need to be comfortable around these tools, they will also need to develop skills to work with them.

4. ADAPTABILITY AND FLEXIBILITY

All businesses face the challenge of keeping up with the breakneck speed of technological and other changes. This means employers see adaptability - being able to rapidly learn new skills and behaviours in response to changing circumstances - as an essential work skill.

5. CREATIVITY AND INNOVATION

While creativity is the ability to produce new and unique ideas, innovation is the implementation of that creativity - that is, the introduction of a new idea, solution, process or product. Regardless of how many machines work beside us, humans are still better at creativity. Companies are always looking for workers who are able to invent, imagine something new and dream up a better tomorrow.

6. EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE

An area where humans have the edge on machines is with emotional intelligence - our ability to be aware of, control and express our emotions and relate to the emotions of others.

7. CULTURAL INTELLIGENCE AND DIVERSITY

Organisations are increasingly diverse, and effective employees must be able to respect differences and work with people of a different race, religion, age, gender or sexual orientation. This is important as businesses are increasingly operating across international boundaries.

8. LEADERSHIP SKILLS

If you think leadership is a soft skill that only senior management needs to possess and cultivate, think again.

In today's fast-moving business world with flatter hierarchies, every professional needs good leadership skills.

9. JUDGMENT AND COMPLEX DECISION-MAKING

The skill of complex decision-making is needed where there is no one obvious right solution to a problem, but multiple solutions that can lead down multiple paths.

Those with this critical skill are able to identify key factors which will affect the outcome of a decision.

They are able to evaluate options and establish priorities.

They are also able to anticipate outcomes and see logical consequences before arriving at a solution.

10. COLLABORATION AND TEAM WORKING SKILLS

The ability to work with a group of people to achieve a shared goal or outcome in an effective way is very much in demand by organisations.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 20, 2020, with the headline '10 most important job skills in demand by employers'. Print Edition | Subscribe