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For the past decade, automation has frequented countless lists of top tech trend articles. The technology is innovative, intelligent, and always developing into something far more advanced than anyone thought it could be.

We’ve entered the age of automation. A time where business process automation, a technology that reduces the need for human intervention in business tasks, has evolved into what’s being referred to as hyperautomation. As the name implies, it’s an advanced way to enable end-to-end process automation, almost entirely removing employees from common business tasks like data acquisition, data entry, and platform migrations.

Across the board, these types of automation technologies are becoming more advanced, enabling them to complete more aspects of essential business processes.

What does this technology mean for jobs?

While it is highly unlikely that jobs will be entirely replaced by automation, many aspects of daily work are likely to be cut out of employees’ responsibilities. This means that traditional skills, like data entry, Microsoft Office proficiency, and basic computing are soon going to become unimportant to hiring organizations.

As routine tasks and exercises continue to be automated across industries, it will be more important for job seekers to focus on their cognitive abilities to ensure that they stand out. Continuing to sharpen skills and develop new ones will ensure any worker can have a successful career alongside automation technology.

Soft Skills or Hard Skills: What’s more important?

What’s the difference between hard and soft skills?

If you aren’t sure what the differences between hard and soft skills are, it’s nothing to worry about. You likely have already developed some of both. Hard skills describe the specific tasks you are able to do and soft skills are the way you do them.

Hard skills are typically specialized or technical abilities, such as coding, writing, or scientific computing. In contrast, soft skills are less tangible; they describe employees’ personal traits, behavior, and way of thinking.

Which type of skill is most valuable to hiring organizations?

It’s important for job seekers to understand that there is no “one-size-fits-all” answer to this question. Think of it like an inch wide and a mile deep; skills that are better developed will be the most valuable to any company.

When considering what new skills to develop, you should factor in your line of work and what would be most valuable in your specific job field. Here are some of the top skill sets for job seekers to have in the age of automaton.

Soft Skills

1. Critical Thinking

Most hiring organizations look for critical thinking skills in job seekers. This is because critical thinking indicates the ability to solve complex problems. If an issue arises, employers want to know that their workers can handle the situation independently.

You can further develop your critical thinking skills by being aware of your mental processes, asking questions, and adjusting your perspective.

2. Creativity

When business processes are automatable, employees are left to focus on cognitive, creative work. Show hiring organizations that you are cut out for this work through creativity and outside-the-box thinking.

Creativity isn’t just being artistic, it’s also about looking at situations and problems in a new way. Sharpen your creative skills by always looking for another way to do things, when you start to work outside the norm, you will begin to look at everything in a more creative light.

3. Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence has a different meaning to different people, but it can generally be explained as the ability to recognize emotions. These include your personal emotions and the emotions of others.

Companies look for emotional intelligence because it signifies strong leadership. You can improve your emotional intelligence by being more in-tune with how others around you feel and react in different situations. Look for signs that signify when someone is upset or happy and you will start to be more aware of emotional trends.

4. Communication

Having strong communication skills can make you a valuable player when it comes to team projects and company goals. This is why hiring organizations often look for strong communication skills in potential hires to set their company up for success.

This skill is one that can be strengthened by learning to voice your opinions and disagree in a respectful way. If you can communicate what you like and dislike to colleagues while also valuing their opinions, you will work better together.

Hard Skills

1. Automation Testing

Automation is becoming a dominant technology across industries, meaning there will be a rise in the need for humans to manage automation platforms. If you learn the necessary skills to test and manage different automation software, you can provide value to any company that has automation in place.

Most automation providers have online training programs to better equip you with the skills needed to test their technology. Not only can you walk away with the necessary knowledge to manage automation, but you’ll also get a certificate to prove your abilities.

2. Blockchain

You might think that your job field has nothing to do with blockchain, but you’d be surprised. Since blockchain is a solution in search of problems, more companies are looking for candidates with blockchain knowledge or experience.

Blockchain as a digital ledger opens opportunities beyond the financial industry. From shipping and tracking to transaction management, understanding blockchain can give you a competitive edge in your job search.

3. Cloud Computing

Cloud computing is a safe way to store and manage company data that also enables remote access to company platforms. If you develop cloud computing skills, you offer the ability to advise a potential employer on how to best manage their cloud. From remote data storage to multi-cloud, understanding the different levels of cloud computing is important to many hiring companies.

You can find technical courses on cloud computing online to fully develop your skills and even get you certified.

4. Coding

Coding can be found at almost any company. Whether you’re managing a website in HTML or testing software with Java, there are many opportunities to prove yourself valuable with coding skills.

There are many different levels and types of coding. Start by learning the basics like HTML and CSS and build on your foundation by learning more popular coding languages like Python and JavaScript. You can take structured coding certification courses online or teach yourself using free websites like W3Schools.

When it comes to being valuable in the age of automation, it’s important to consider your current skill set and how it can be improved. The skills presented here are good ones to help you stand out in your job hunt, but to be as valuable as possible you should consider further questions:

How should you move forward in the age of automation? What skills are most relevant to your desired line of work? What skills do you lack that an employer might want?

Use these questions to drive your skill development journey and help you get the job you want.

 

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