In today’s fast-changing digital world, we see technology reshaping the nature of work. According to a study from Microsoft and IDC Asia Pacific, 79% of jobs in Hong Kong are expected to be transformed by 2021 to meet the needs of the digital age.
A more recent study suggested that AI will more than double the rate of innovation and employee productivity gains in Hong Kong by 2021. To unlock the full potential of an AI future, developing the right skillsets is important for businesses and individuals alike. The good news is that 87% of businesses are prioritizing upskilling and reskilling of workers for the future, however, 73% of them have yet to implement plans to help their employees acquire the right skills.
As the city progresses on the digital transformation journey, how should businesses and individuals prepare for the future? What are the most critical skills to focus on?
Soft skills in highest demand
When thinking about the future of work, thoughts tend to go straight to technology skills. In fact, the study has revealed that Hong Kong business leaders value soft skills much more than workers expect. To harness the power of AI, we need to understand how to use these emerging technologies and prepare ourselves for the jobs and demands that are yet to be defined.
As we enter a world augmented by AI, our human qualities, such as creativity, empathy and problem solving, will be more important than ever. Whilst we all need to invest in technological trainings, developing soft skills are increasingly critical in helping us navigate the jobs of tomorrow.
1. Analytical thinking
Thanks to technologies like AI and big data, we now have access to much more data to help inform and support key business decision making. As a result, organizations need people who can think analytically and make smarter business decisions based from these insights
According to the World Economic Forum, analytical thinking will be the top growing skill in 2022. When we consider how humans and AI will increasingly work together, analytical thinking will be vital to unleash the full power of this collaboration.
2. Adaptability and continuous learning
As AI continues to transform the nature of work, it will lead to the creation of new exciting roles, such as data scientists and AI strategists, across different business functions. There will be jobs we can’t yet imagine, just as no one could have imagined roles like a cybersecurity analyst or a social media manager before the internet.
It’s essential for all talents, no matter what your educational background is, to start developing a growth mindset of lifelong learning to become future-ready
3. Digital skills
In a world being transformed by technology, developing digital skillsets is now more important than ever before. However, while there’s a growing need for digital skills such as AI, big data and cloud, we still face a widening skills gap.
To future-proof our careers, we should equip ourselves with digital skills that are critical to succeeding in this digital world. Through online programs such as the self-learning platform Microsoft Learn, we can now easily access numerous learning resources and obtain various industry-recognized Microsoft certifications to highlight our skills and advance our career.
Businesses should also start looking for new ways to reskill and upskill their workforce to thrive and stay competitive. Another useful program is the recently launched AI Business School, a master class series featuring lessons, insights and research-driven recommendations from executives and experts that have experience using AI to accelerate and drive their core business. Such initiatives will help business leaders lead with confidence in the age of AI.
To unlock the full potential of AI for a brighter future, we all have the responsibility to address the skills gap in Hong Kong and build a future-ready workforce to drive the city forward.
Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT” @microsoft) enables digital transformation for the era of an intelligent cloud and an intelligent edge. Its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.