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The Future-Proof Skill Set: Work Skills 2020

Last year, a study called Work Skills 2020 [pdf] was published by the Institute for the Future at the University of Phoenix Research Institute. In their research, they identify Ten Skills for the Future Workforce.

Ten Skills for the Future Workforce


  • Sense-making. The ability to determine the deeper meaning or significance of what is being expressed
  • Social intelligence. The ability to connect to others in a deep and direct way, to sense and stimulate reactions and desired interactions
  • Novel and adaptive thinking. Proficiency at thinking and coming up with solutions and responses beyond that which is rote or rule-based
  • Cross-Cultural Competency. The ability to operate in different cultural settings.
  • Computational thinking. The ability to translate vast amounts of data into abstract concepts and to understand data-based reasoning
  • New-media literacy. The ability to critically assess and develop content that uses new media forms and to leverage these media for persuasive communication
  • Transdisciplinarity. Literacy in and ability to understand concepts across multiple disciplines
  • Design mind-set. Ability to represent and develop tasks and work processes for desired outcomes
  • Cognitive load management. The ability to discriminate and filter information for importance and to understand how to maximize cognitive functioning using a variety of tools and techniques
  • Virtual collaboration. The ability to work productively, drive engagement and demonstrate presence as a member of a virtual team


I say forget 2020, many of these skills form the foundation for effectiveness in our workplaces in 2012. 


Reader Comments (1)

I completely agree Leona -

November 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDiane Horton

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