Future Work Skills

07Aug12

Devin Fidler of the Technology Horizons program at the Institute of the Future writes about new skills needed for the decade ahead. He outlines 10 specfic skills in Information Outlook July/August 2012 (subscription required). Definitely read the entire article “Understanding Work Skills for the Decade Ahead.”  I agree with the need for computational thinking as the huge growth of data requires skill development in understanding algorithms. But such skill alone would be inadequate as “sense making” or the ability to synthesize insight from the data for higher-level skills like policymaking or decisionmaking complements computational thinking. It’s good to know that what my dad called “common sense” still counts for something. This is an area that librarians will excel in as they are expert researchers supporting subject matter experts. Fidler also sees the future as having complex  sometimes intractable problems so the ability to “converse in a the language of a broad range of disciplines (“Understanding Work Skills for the Decade Ahead, p. 11) coupled with the lifelong learning will be necessary for successful information professionals. Social intelligence is another vital skill, which has a lot of existing literature. I believe that we can adapt to improve communications with others to collaborate and build relationships. Fidler’s article is a call to arms as information professionals to need to adapt to fundamental changes in the world of work.

– Brenda Wong

More Reading:

Social Intelligence : The New Science of Success by Karl Albrecht

Wikipedia entry on Social Intelligence

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