Ten skills you’ll need in the workplace by 2020

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The World Economic Forum (WEF) has drawn up a list of the top ten skills people will need to thrive in the workplace of the future.

The ability to solve complex problems is seen as the most important skill to have by 2020, following by critical thinking. While both of these skills ranked highly in the WEF’s top ten for 2015, creativity has jumped from last place in the table to number three.

Creativity is set to overtake negotiation as a key workplace skill by 2020. Picture: Mark Lennihan/AP

Creativity is set to overtake negotiation as a key workplace skill by 2020. Picture: Mark Lennihan/AP

“With the avalanche of new products, new technologies and new ways of working, workers are going to have to become more creative in order to benefit from these changes,” the WEF said.

“Robots may help us get to where we want to be faster, but they can’t be as creative as humans (yet).”

While negotiation and flexibility were high on the list of skills for 2015, they will begin to drop from the top ten in 2020 as the rise of “big data” is predicted to herald in an era where machines and computers begin to make more decisions for us.

READ MORE: How to build the perfect data scientist

A survey carried out by the WEF’s Global Agenda Council also shows that people expect “artificial intelligence machines” to become part of companies’ boards of directors by 2026.

The WEF added: “Active listening, considered a core skill today, will disappear completely from the top ten. Emotional intelligence, which doesn’t feature in the top ten today, will become one of the top skills needed by all.”

The WEF’s top ten workplace skills for 2020

1: Complex problem solving

2: Critical thinking

3: Creativity

4: People management

5: Co-ordinating with others

6: Emotional intelligence

7: Judgement and decision making

8: Service orientation

9: Negotiation

10: Cognitive flexibility

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