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The Future of Work

  Jun 5, 2020

The topic of the future of work is not a new one and has been an ongoing debate for the past decade or so. The sudden drastic shift brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic has brought this topic into sharper focus.

The future of work arrived sooner than we expected as many companies, across the world, shifted their operations online and to remote working. Remote virtual meetings are now commonplace and economic activity has increased on a range of digital platforms.

Speaking during an Open Class for undergraduate programmes at SBS, Carl Wagner, Academic Director of the Global CEO Programme urged the students to start working towards their future careers early and determine their career anchors from the onset of their university education.

He further emphasized the need for undergraduate students to think critically about their career future. “When thinking about your future career, think about what you need to do now and position yourself for that future,” he said.

Skills Needed for the Future of Work

  1. Bold Agility. You need to be able to quickly adapt to and embrace changes. New changes will keep cropping up in terms of skill sets, expectations, shifted workplaces among others. At the end of the day, change is not a burden but rather an opportunity to innovate and grow.
  2. Creativity is a core skill and will only become more important in the future. New ways of thinking and creativity cannot be replaced by technology; robots cannot compete with humans on creativity.
  3. Emotional intelligence (EQ).  This refers to a person’s ability to be aware of, control, and express their own emotions as well as being cognizant of the emotions of others describes their emotional intelligence. A machine cannot replace a human’s ability to connect emotionally and show empathy thus making this a key skill in the future.
  4. Critical thinking.  This will help in the creation of innovative solutions to solve complex problems through reasoning and logic. For instance, people with strong analytic thinking will be crucial in navigating the division of labor between humans and machines.
  5. Active learning. Due to the constant changes brought about by technological developments, the ability to learn fast will be very important.
  6. Communication skills with technology taking over many aspects of work, the ability to effectively communicate will be a goldmine. People who are effective know what to say, what tone of voice to use, and how body language can be used when putting messages across.
  7. Decision making. Human decision-making will become more complex in the future workplace. While machines and data can process information and provide insights that would be impossible for humans to gather, ultimately, a human will need to make the decision recognizing the broader implications the decision might have on other areas of business, personnel and the effect on other more human sensibilities such as morale.
  8.  Technology skills. The 4th industrial revolution is fueled by technological innovations such as artificial intelligence, big data, virtual reality, blockchains, and more. This means that everyone will need a certain level of comfort around technology. At the most basic level, employees in most roles will be required to access data and determine how to act on it.

It is imperative that the students trained today are not only educated but are properly skilled and prepared for the future workplace. The future of work has already started manifesting itself in the Covid-19 new normal. We need to embrace the future and begin preparing for it which is why it is important that the students trained today are not only educated but are properly skilled and prepared for the future workplace.

Strathmore University Business School students are mentored by our prestigious faculty and renowned industry experts. We focus on developing students holistically and preparing them to thrive in their chosen professions.

1.The Bachelor of Financial Services (BFS) programme

This programme aims at unifying the financial services sector by providing a firm foundation in the world of work in financial management, business analytics, and skills of people working in the financial sector, microfinance sector, banking sector, financial cooperatives sector, and emergent financial services providers in general. Learn more here

2. The Bachelor of Supply Chain and Operations Management Programme

This programme is designed to integrate supply chain, logistics, operations, and digitization. Special emphasis is placed on Production, Logistics, Big Data, Blockchain, Automation, and Artificial Intelligence, and how they will impact supply chain and operations management in the near and far future. Learn more here

Article by Juliet Hinga 


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