Deloitte mentioned the concept of “superjobs” in its “2019 Global Human Capital Trends” report, as an evolution of traditional jobs brought about by the growing adoption of technology at work and in organizations. A new category of “superjobs” that have changed the map of the future of work completely.
As technology, artificial intelligence, machines and robots have taken over routine and repetitive tasks leaving humans with the more analytical and creative missions, jobs have evolved into this super-category.
The World Economic Forum, in its 2018 report, already warned that automation would displace some roles, namely 75 million jobs, but at the same time would create 133 million new jobs by 2022. The effects of this new wave of digitalization have been precipitated with the arrival of COVID-19 and we can already see a global market where the critical skills to deal with them are scarce.
What are SuperSkills?
As jobs have evolved, so have the necessary skills. We are not only talking about new skills, but also new combinations of skills that had not been considered before the influence of technology and digitalization. It is about breaking down preconceived barriers in order to: on one hand, take advantage of what technology can provide us in terms of efficiency and intelligence and, on the other hand, skills that help us expand our possibilities (and, therefore, our productivity and growth potential) and, consequently, our experience.
The SuperSkills will, therefore, be those combinations of skills needed to face a world that is increasingly based on technology and constant change. If we have learned anything this 2020, it is that the ability to adapt to unforeseen events is fundamental and that, in addition, these events will become more frequent.
The SuperSkills make us relevant to the future.
Relevance is a marketing concept that could well be applied here. It is the degree of visibility and positioning of a brand, in this case, the personal one, in the world, especially in the digital one. Having or not having the necessary skills will position us and allow us to take some control of the future of the work.
If we think about it, acquiring these skills is almost the only variable we can control in an environment of uncertainty. A variable that has and will have a great impact on the social and economic level.
What are these SuperSkills?
As we mentioned above, SuperSkills do not refer exclusively to the emergence of new skills that were previously unknown, but to consider certain skills in certain jobs where they were not previously necessary which force us to recycle.
As far as new skills are concerned, and here we are referring mainly to hard skills, we find those related to, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, automation and robotics, 3D, virtual reality, cybersecurity, Big Data, Digital Marketing… These are skills that are acquired through training and experience. For example: programming, handling of certain software, mathematics, engineering…
These are skills that serve to perform a specific job and should be defined according to the needs of the business, taking into account the state of the art and technology. They are acquired and extended through their implementation in the workplace and/or through continuous training.
On the other hand, there are the soft skills, which are not new, but which have begun to be required in more technical roles and have been evolving around the digital transformation of companies and society. From business vision and strategy to adaptation to change and resilience, for example. All positions, including technical ones and especially those involving leadership, are going to require soft skills elevated by the digital transformation: the superskills.
Why is it important for companies to consider SuperSkills?
Technological and digital acceleration and the advance of automation are moving jobs at a faster rate than we might have expected a few years ago. We cannot doubt here the huge social impact of the destruction of 75 million jobs that will take place, predictably, in 2022. There are 75 million people around the world who are going to see their jobs replaced by machines.
It is true that automation will create another 133 million jobs, but who is going to fill them if we do not have the necessary skills to fill them?
The gap between talent supply and demand is a social problem. And automation brings with it social consequences that we cannot ignore.
A Commitment from All
The digital gap which was considered as the greatest inequality of the 21st century has gone from being the inequality between countries to being an everyday, common inequality. 75 million people will be out of work due to the automation of tasks, and that is a more than obvious social inequality.
It is not only a problem of companies, which do not find the talent they need at the necessary pace, but it is also already a social and global problem. It will require a joint and coordinated effort between governments, organizations and individuals, which is by no means easy.
The efforts will have to go not only in preparing future generations with training programs adapted to the real needs of companies and society; but also in helping all those professionals who see their jobs threatened by automation. It is a question of getting on a train that is moving, is going at full speed and will not stop.
Some professionals will have to acquire new skills in order to be able to carry out their work or a completely different one, in accordance with technological advances – we will talk about reskilling or professional retraining – and others will have to acquire additional skills to help them carry out their work more effectively – we will then talk about upskilling.