According to LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner the biggest skills gap isn’t what you might think. During the age of coding boot camps and a growing number of ways for technology to remove human interaction from the equation, it turns out the biggest skills gap has nothing to do with technology.
In a recent article Jeff Weiner, who heads the world’s largest professional-networking site LinkedIn, explained, “the biggest skills gap in the United States is soft skills.”
What most employers want, Weiner says, are written communication, oral communication, team-building, and leadership skills. These skills are increasingly hard to find in a world where people are glued to their phones. It turns out that real life communication skills just so happen to be the building blocks of a good company.
“As powerful as AI will ultimately become and is becoming, we’re still a ways away from computers being able to replicate and replace human interaction and human touch,” Weiner said at a Wired forum on the future of work. “So there’s a wonderful incentive for people to develop these skills because those jobs going to be more stable for a longer period of time.”
In other words, we’ve all been told that robots are coming to take our jobs but surprisingly the jobs that are the safest from automation are those that require social and interpersonal communication skills.
Enter the gap year. In a world where learning how to have a conversation is valued (see soft skills) more and more young people are seeking the development of these in-demand skills. Up with People (the original gap year) has known the value of soft skills for a long time.
The core of Up with People’s global education program is based on a robust curriculum that not only enriches the tour experience, but brings key lessons to life through exploration, formal study, and action. Delivered in an experiential learning format, cast members leave their tour with a deeper commitment to lifelong learning, with the tools and abilities to navigate the complexities of today’s interconnected world. A core pillar of Up with People’s curriculum is to strengthen individual communication skills, including personal communication and public speaking and interviewing, develop facilitation and presentation techniques that will help them excel in the companies of tomorrow.
According to Fast Company, another job sector that will not suffer from the “robot apocalypse” will be creatives. Not only do these people tend to have strong “soft skills” but this job category qualifies as well within the “safe zone” which includes artists, singers and musicians.
Until artificial intelligence and robots can replicate productive conversations, those looking for job security in the future may want to consider investing in the development of these often overlooked soft skills.
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Topics: Gap Year Abroad, Insider
Up with People is a global education organization which aims to bring the world together through service and music. The unique combination of international travel, service learning, leadership development and performing arts offers young adults an unparalleled study abroad experience and a pathway to make a difference in the world, one community at a time. Click here to learn more about the internationally acclaimed program, Up with People.
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