Soft skills – the focus of the future?

With the rise of automation, we will see an upward trend in the demand for soft skills across all industries. The need for finely developed social and emotional skills will rapidly grow to accompany the adoption of advanced technologies in the workplace – skills that computers are a long way from mastering.


It is estimated that by 2030, demand for social and emotional skills will have grown across all industries by 26 percent in the United States and by 22 percent in Europe. While some of these skills, such as empathy, tend to be linked to personality, others, such as advanced communication skills, can be taught and sharpened.

Demand for higher cognitive skills, such as creativity, critical thinking, and decision making will see rapid growth with a 33 percent increase in the United States and a 32 percent rise in Europe. The requirement for employees with leadership and management skills will also increase, as will the demand for entrepreneurship.


The most in-demand soft skills

According to Udemy’s 2020 Workplace Learning Trends Report, a having a growth mindset — or the ability to continue learning in order to adapt to change — will be considered the most important soft skill. Other soft skills that will be in high demand include:

  • Creativity: Developing new ideas, applying new solutions to address existing problems
  • Focus mastery: Harnessing concentration to make better short- and long-term decisions
  • Innovation: Improving upon an existing idea, concept, process or method to achieve a desired outcome
  • Communication skills: Interpreting information though speaking, listening and observing
  • Storytelling: Organizing thoughts and data points into a comprehensive, holistic narrative
  • Culture awareness: Ability to effectively interact, work and develop meaningful relationships with those of various cultural backgrounds within the organization
  • Critical thinking: Objective analysis and evaluation in order to form a judgment on a topic
  • Leadership: Providing guidance within an organization
  • Emotional intelligence: Practicing control, expression and observation of interpersonal relationships among people in a workplace