The Covid-19 pandemic has created a wide range of opinions related to personal health choices and what is considered reasonable precaution vs panic-induced hysteria . With the beginning of a new academic year, things are slowly starting to resemble life pre-pandemic. There is still a concern whether we are truly post-pandemic or in the midst of a new wave. Either way it’s imperative for our country’s morale and financial health that three truths on career skills are discussed and planned into action.
Three Truths on Career Skills
Despite diverse opinions on Covid and our current state of being in post-pandemic or not, there are three truths that we need to acknowledge for future career skills.
- Tech careers have shifted
- We need to move forward in 2021 and into 2022 in whatever normal looks like
- In-demand jobs outpace the number of qualified applicants
Tech Careers Have Shifted
The Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in our culture accepting a new normal. In 2016 Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairman of the World Economic Forum stated that Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) was upon us. The boundaries of what is physical and part of the metaverse have become blurred. Just as in the previous revolutions, a change in culture and demand requires a new type of training for post-pandemic skills.
Employers across the globe have learned by necessity that providing their employees with remote and flexible work options have provided a variety of benefits. The work from home option has helped keep personnel safe and also improved employee satisfaction and reduced the overhead of maintaining office spaces and facilities. As employers are shifting again deciding what the office (or out-of-office) will look like, there is an expanded need and appreciation for virtual education opportunities. Members of the “Great Resignation” movement are actively researching what post-pandemic skills they should invest in.
Moving Forward in 2021 and 2022
With the acceptance that we are needing to adopt a new normal, we are able to better plan and strategize for growth and improvement. Schools and government organizations are taking note of the needs of the students and the needed reskilling and upskilling of their employees to succeed in a virtual and remote world.
With the increased education and short-term certificate opportunities through resources like Amazon Web Services (AWS) Academy and Google Professional Certifications, there are ample opportunities to earn specialized and in-demand certifications in the tech industry. This also presents a prime opportunity for leaders in business and governments to focus on reducing the digital divide that can still be a detriment to many rural and underserved populations.
By bridging the digital divide, schools and businesses can provide better jobs and educational opportunities to 1 billion people over the next 10 years. With this newly trained talent, organizations are able to expand the demographics and create more inclusive workplaces and prioritize health and overall mental and physical well-being.
How to Provide Training for In-Demand Jobs
How can we prepare for this new revolution in work and build the skills to meet the demand? With more than 90% of the students worldwide being affected by school closures, the digital divide was forced to be noticed. Ohio grants like the Ohio Residential Broadband Expansion Grant Program have been developed to help communities build and acquire the resources needed to provide equal opportunity.
With the continued automation of society and repetitive tasks, the demand for “higher-level” work is paramount and as a developed nation, we’ve moved at a pace to adapt…but we’ve still not been able to keep up with a pace of change. The new 4IR is here and has created a demand for more skills-based and creative work than the repetitive tasks that automation has begun to take over. Jonathan Reichental, CIO of the city of Palo Alto stated the two skill areas in high demand during this revolution are cybersecurity and data science and there is an insufficient supply of talent to meet the demand for these well-compensated careers.
Whether we are in the post-pandemic or not, the reality is there is a new normal for the here and now. It’s imperative that we continue to invest in communities, students, and the workforce to ensure they have the skills to succeed in this normal.