The shelf-life of our existing skill sets is getting shorter. What skills do you need to unlearn and learn to be employable in 5 years time? The rapidly changing nature of work means the way we’ve done things in the past may not be fit for the future.

The World Economic Forum produced a report recently on The Future of Jobs. It anticipates the Fourth Industrial Revolution being in full swing by 2020. This is about things like advanced robotics and autonomous transport, artificial intelligence and machine learning, advanced materials, biotechnology, and genomics.

Two job types are seen as emerging across nearly all industries and geographies: data analysts, to deal with the mass of data caused by technological disruption, and sales representatives, to sell the new products and services.

The report produced a list of the top 10 skills that will be needed in 2020 compared with those in 2015:

Top 10 Skills 2020

Einstein - creativityThe 3 skills that are predicted to be even more important than today are creativity, emotional intelligence and cognitive flexibility. The report suggests that technical skills will need to be supplemented with strong social and collaboration skills.

The traditional approach would be to apply today’s approaches to them and think you had future-proofed yourself. Einstein has a lesson for us all here! Not only what you learn, but the way in which you learn will need to change.

An unsafe building is a danger to the public, and must be demolished before a newer, more functional and safe building can be constructed in its place. It is the same with theories and beliefs that are past their sell by date.    Steve Wheeler, Plymouth University

glass overflowingImagine an overflowing glass of water. You can’t keep filling it without defeating its purpose. When you’re feeling overwhelmed with stuff in your head, emptying your mind creates the space for new thinking. Unlearning may have to happen to make space for new learning.

What do you need to unlearn and learn now to position yourself better for what lies ahead?