Future proof your skillset
If I could travel back in time and give myself one piece of advice, it would be ‘future proof your skillset’.
For example, the top 10 in demand jobs in 2010 didn’t exist in 2004 and we are currently trying to prepare children for jobs that don’t exist yet, using technology that hasn’t been invented, in order to solve problems that we don’t are problems yet! What this means for students studying a 4 year technical degree is that half of what they learn in the 1st year will be outdated by their 3rd year.
Not going anywhere soon
One thing I can say with some certainty is, as we are currently in discussions with FE, HE and Welsh Government as to the content of courses and curricula, some skills and techniques are definitely being asked for by Industry.
Problem solving, communication, continuous improvement, decision making (data driven) and team working are but a few of the skills that, even with the digital revolution or factory of the future, drive productivity and bottom line improvements.
As technology is a key driver in every organisation that we work with, it makes sense to remain ‘tech-savvy’. But the important thing to remember here is that technology is only beneficial if it produces a benefit. Implementing new tech for the sake of it will often have the opposite effect.
Resilience often needed
One thing academia doesn’t and can’t really is teach you is that in work life there will be disappointments and failures and it’s your ability to deal with these that will often distinguish you from your peers. That’s why it’s important to have confidence in your ability, your methods and your decision making and a solid, robust digital platform can be a great tool to launch from.
The other obvious fact about the world today is how global everything is, from services to products. Getting exposure to multiple environments, cultures and industries is definitely going to be seen as a positive for the future employee.
There have been many times where a project that I’ve been involved in has a problem and the fix has been seen before but in a different environment or exhibiting slightly different symptoms and it’s these broad experiences that will help when problem solving, brainstorming and many other times.