Demographics, cultural trends, and new technologies are rapidly changing the job market.

People are living much longer than we used to. New technologies and automation are rapidly replacing repetitive jobs. New communication tools are eliminating formerly popular mediums for disseminating information (good-bye printed newspapers) at the same time as requiring more advanced media literacy skills for most new jobs.

These are going to create a massive shift in the kinds of jobs that we do – and in the skills that we will need to do them – in the very near future.

Our friends over at The Top 10 Online Colleges have put together a report summarizing the biggest drivers of change causing upheaval on the job market, and the most important on-the-job skills we will need to develop to thrive in the jobs of 2020.

The 10 essential skills for the careers of the near future:

    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: A 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: An ability to critically assess and develop content that uses new media forms, and to leverage these media for persuasive communication.

    Transdisciplinary: Literacy in and ability to understand concepts across multiple disciplines

    Design Mindset: Ability to represent and develop tasks and work processes for desired outcomes.

    Cognitive load management: Ability to discriminate and filter information for importance, and to understand how to maximize cognitive functions

    Virtual collaboration: Ability to work productively, drive engagement, and demonstrate presence as a member of a virtual team.

Check out the infographic showing which drivers of change are causing the demand for each of the emerging skillsets for the job market of 2020. (Click to view a larger version on

See also:

  • Career trending: Where the jobs will be through 2020 and beyond
  • Ten jobs that will not exist ten years from now
  • Ten in-demand jobs that didn’t exist ten years ago
  • The 10 skills that employers are actively recruiting for now
  • _______

    Peter Harris
    Peter Harris on Twitter