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  • From education to business, the coronavirus pandemic has had a fundamental impact

  • on the workforcein some cases, accelerating the digital revolution; and, in others,

  • disrupting industries and making jobs redundant.

  • Existing industries were exponentially growing.

  • That has many wondering about the jobs of the future

  • and what might be the skills needed to secure them.

  • What is the next set of skills that I can acquire for myself to put myself out there

  • in the job marketplace and be in demand?

  • To understand more, I'm in Singapore speaking to job experts and mid-career professionals

  • to find out how we might prepare for a rapidly changing landscape.

  • I think the pandemic has definitely accelerated people's need to learn new skills,

  • mastering new skills, as well as the move towards looking for new roles.

  • On a typical day, Kevin Ng works with bankers at Credit Agricole

  • to develop risk analysis tools using Java software.

  • We develop tools to help these bankers conduct their analysis,

  • keep track of all the loans and the risk.

  • No one would have guessed that barely a year back, the 29-year-old was a flight attendant.

  • After shuttling between cities for six years, Kevin was restless.

  • In 2019, he decided to trade his flight attendant uniform for the books,

  • picking up a new skill entirely from scratch.

  • My goals were set out quite clearly: I wanted to do work that's more cumulative.

  • I tended towards technology.

  • It's just this thing that tech draws people in.

  • Kevin is a graduate of a 12-week Tech Immersion and Placement Programme, a tie-up between

  • the Singapore government and coding school General Assembly,

  • which helps workers with no experience in tech transit into such careers.

  • Motivated to move to a career with solid long-term prospects, Kevin is now a software engineer

  • after securing the job virtually during Singapore's lockdown period.

  • He is one of many mid-career workers and fresh graduates

  • picking up new skills in a tight labor market.

  • In the first half of 2020, more than 5,000 Singapore citizens were retrenched,

  • while unemployment in the city-state hit its highest level in more than a decade,

  • rising from 2.4% in the first quarter to 2.9%.

  • The downturn has affected the labor market, prompting a renewed emphasis

  • on learning new skills for employees and job seekers alike.

  • In a recent study, 86% of employees in Singapore said they are motivated

  • to upskill or reskill in the next 12 months.

  • There is a huge movement in terms of forcing professionals to think very differently about,

  • what else do I need to master?

  • What other skills do I need to have?

  • Between July 2019 and June 2020, professional networking site LinkedIn saw a 300% increase

  • in time spent on its learning platform in Singapore, compared to the preceding period.

  • The most popular courses in Singapore this year include a mixture of technical skills,

  • such as Excel and programming language Python, as well as soft skills

  • like strategic thinking and building resilience.

  • LinkedIn's Asia Pacific vice president of talent and learning solutions, Feon Ang,

  • said that reflects the diversity of skills needed for the future workplace.

  • If we look at the top 10 courses in Singapore, as well as globally, we're seeing six out

  • of the 10 courses are actually soft skills-related.

  • Meanwhile, the pandemic has led more people to think about

  • safeguarding themselves in an unpredictable future.

  • It's a combination of the lockdown really challenging people to say

  • what else do they need to do to upgrade themselves.

  • I think there's also the need in terms of how they're seeing companies moving.

  • The hiring has decreased in some major sectors.

  • For example, in the construction, in the consumer goods.

  • And in order for you to be staying in the workforce, people just need to pick up new skills.

  • Since the start of 2020, the most sought-after jobs in Singapore include software engineers,

  • business development managers, project managers and business analysts.

  • Meanwhile, its top trending skills include project management, JavaScript,

  • Java and sales management.

  • That has placed Kevin in good stead for the future.

  • That sense of satisfaction that you get when you manage to write a code that runs well,

  • and you get your desired results.

  • That clicked for me.

  • As of August 2020, 96% of General Assembly's

  • immersive program graduates secured a job within 180 days.

  • The course is one of several initiatives designed to equip citizens

  • with the skills needed for a digital future.

  • In 2015, the government unveiled SkillsFuture, a national movement at encouraging lifelong learning,

  • with S$1,000 in credit given to every Singaporean aged over 25.

  • Of that amount, S$500 was allocated in 2020 as the pandemic forced many businesses

  • and even industriesto modernize quickly.

  • Singaporean venture capital firm Golden Gate Ventures, an early backer of some of the region's

  • rising companies including Gojek, Carousell and Redmart, has a knack for identifying future trends.

  • One of the bigger questions we got from our investors were,

  • what are some of the big trends that you're seeing?

  • And it was more about trends you already saw end of last year and beginning of this year,

  • and it just accelerated over the last few months.

  • The pandemic has supercharged rising industries that have moved to embrace technology,

  • says Michael Lints, a partner at Golden Gate Ventures.

  • Examples include education, healthcare, logistics, retail and agriculture.

  • People now understand that tech is here to stay.

  • If you look at homeschooling.

  • Anything related to e-commerce or logistics, a big boom.

  • If it's around productivity, we see a big uptick.

  • Invoicing online, accounting online, all of those companies are really picking up really fast.

  • And we're seeing more and more companies that are now advantageous

  • in the AI space and deep tech as well.

  • That could present new opportunities for people who can develop specific expertise

  • in these high-growth areas.

  • Getting a skillset in something that is new and making sure that you're able to implement

  • it in a business case is becoming more and more important.

  • Or even mid-career workers who are reinventing themselves.

  • I'm pleasantly surprised when I see people that come from a very different skillset.

  • And they decide to reskill themselves.

  • And this usually comes down to someone doing a lot of research and a lot of analysis on

  • a certain aspect of the business or a certain industry and then become a specialist.

  • I think that is very valuable.

  • In fact, that ability to adapt and respond to constant changes could be the real long-term strategy.

  • Regardless of how the pandemic pans out, experts agree that developing a diversity of skills

  • and a mindset of continuous learning is the best way forward in a rapidly evolving landscape.

  • I think diversity of skills allow you to pivot from one to another.

  • The hard skills is essential in terms of the core job; the soft skills is one that is going

  • to enable you to work across different parties.

  • The current times teach us that we have to be very flexible and be able to adapt.

  • And so, staying curious also means that willingness to learn, willingness to take on feedback

  • and act on that as well.

  • That will likely be a win for proactive learners like Kevin in the competitive job landscape.

  • Picking up all these skills actually helps you to be more versatile in whatever you're doing.

  • You never know that there's a rainy day that comes by and you will need these skills.

From education to business, the coronavirus pandemic has had a fundamental impact

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Old dog, new tricks: What are the skills needed to land your next job? | CNBC Make It

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    Summer   posted on 2020/09/14
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