The Future Of Work Is Skills, Not The Number Of Degrees

A four-year college degree is not the only path to a well-paying job
This outdated thinking is partially to blame for holding back America’s growth and blocking many business opportunities. The reality is the future of work is about skills, not just degrees. To be clear, we continue to value college and advanced degrees, and there no question of their relevance. But the talent that fuels a global organization is increasingly diverse and includes people who do not have a four-year college education.

Since technology is changing the way that people work, companies should be better at providing pathways to good jobs that everyone can access no matter their zip codes or background. And this can only be possible if businesses and educators work together and partner on developing curriculums and apprenticeship’s which offer students on-the-job training.

Community colleges are known as an affordable and attainable option that exist in nearly every community. And community colleges educate 13 million diverse students a year and are often overlooked as a source of talent.

Returning citizens and unskilled refugees deserve a chance to secure a job at any company. And barriers should be eliminated by dropping questions about fluency in English, college degree etc. from job applications. Hiring these people and developing their skills is good for business and is right thing to do.

Top Real Skills and Attributes

What skills are most important to employers? Which skills motivate them to choose the candidates they hire?

Soft Skills

There are some skills and qualities employers seek in all their employees, regardless of the position. These are called soft skills, and they include the interpersonal skills and attributes you need to succeed in the workplace. They are also commonly referred to as professional hard skills those that maintain a healthy workplace environment.

Hard Skills

In addition to soft skills, there are other, more tangible or technical skills that most projects require. These are called hard skills and they are the specific knowledge and abilities required to do the job. You’ll need both hard and soft skills for any job, and it’s important to show employers that you have the combination of hybrid skills you need when you’re applying for jobs.

In order to get your application noticed, be sure to incorporate in your resume and cover letter the skills you have that are required for the position. Also, highlight your most relevant skills during job interviews by being able to provide real-life examples.

Top Skills Employers Look For

While this list is not exhaustive, these are some of the top skills employers say are most important when recruiting and hiring employees.

Analytical Skills

Employees need to be able to confront a problem, think it through, and decisively apply solutions. These are known as analytical skills. The level of analytical skills required will vary, depending on the job and the industry. Closely aligned with analytical skills, employees are expected to organize, plan, and prioritize effectively.

List of Analytical Skills

Communication Skills

The ability to communicate effectively — both verbally and in writing — is both essential and rare. Those with strong communication skills are in high demand, regardless of the job or industry. You need to be able to communicate successfully with employees, managers, and customers in person, online, in writing, and/or over the phone.

Interpersonal Skills

Interpersonal skills, also known as people skills, are the skills you use to interact and engage with others. Many are hired quickly based purely on their ability to connect with people. Interpersonal skills can (at times) trump the other skills employers are seeking, so be sure yours are up to par.

Your interpersonal skills will be evaluated during job interviews, so be sure you prepare for the interview. You can develop the emotional intelligence and self-awareness you need to connect with a hiring team.

Leadership Skills

When companies hire for leadership roles, they seek employees that can successfully interact with employees, colleagues, and customers. Even if you’re not applying for management jobs, leadership is a valuable skill to bring to the employer. Many companies prefer to promote from within, and as such, they often look for strong leadership qualities, even when hiring for entry-level positions.

Positive Attitude

Attitude may not be everything, but it’s extremely valuable. Employers want employees that are positive even in stressful and challenging circumstances. Positivity denotes your level of resilience. Employers want to hire applicants with a “can do” attitude that are flexible, dedicated, and willing to contribute extra effort to get the job done in the face of challenges.


Regardless of the job, employers want to hire people that are team players — people that are cooperative and work well with others. They don’t want employees that are difficult to work with. When you are interviewing, be sure to share examples of how you worked well on a team. Your level of teamwork indicates your ability to collaborate effectively with a wide variety of people.


The technical skills you need will vary, of course, depending on the job. However, most positions require at least some technical skills. This includes experience using industry software, completing higher-level education (such as college degrees or vocational certifications), or being experienced at highly-specific tasks.

More Important Skills

These days, technology shapes the world we live in. That’s why many employers want the people they hire to come already equipped with certain technological skills.

Scan any of the job postings online, and you’ll probably notice a trend: technological skills are vitally important.

If you lack technological skills within your industry, it’s a good time to brush up on the following skills:

Social media skills: If you’re working in a specific field that involves communications, you’ll likely need to sharpen your social media skills. This doesn’t just mean learning how to use the platforms, though. You should also know how to use social media sites effectively, and employers often ask you to demonstrate that you are a “power user” of a particular social media channel. Learning how to get your message across on social media will help make you an attractive candidate.

Computer skills: Having at least some computer skills is a given in almost any job out there. Most jobs now require some computer literacy, whether using Word, Excel, or even more advanced software. If there’s specific software that a company is using, you’ll probably get trained on it. This may include content management systems (CMSs) or specific data entry tools. If you are not experienced in all the software programs highlighted in the job posting, it would be helpful to demonstrate to the employer your ability to learn new software quickly.

Problem solving skills: This may seem a little like analytical or interpersonal skills, but problem-solving is often considered a separate skill. You may have to deal with problems arising that require a quick response and resolution. Being able to think on your feet and solve problems at a moment’s notice is an important asset every employer longs for.

Showcase Your Skills

To be sure you are showing your top skills during your job search, make a list of the skills and qualities that best reflect your background. Incorporate them into your resume and cover letters.

Also think of real-life examples where you applied these skills to achieve success on the job, in the classroom, or in volunteer work. Share these examples with your interviewer so they know exactly how much of an asset you will be when you’re hired.

Transferable Skills

If you’re switching jobs or industries, you’ll need to focus on the skills that are transferable from your old position to the new one.

Need Skills?

Skill sharing has become increasingly popular, allowing people to connect online or in their communities, and to exchange useful tips, valuable information, and invaluable skills. Find out how skill sharing can help you upgrade your skills.

Please click on this link FINDSOMETHINGNEW.ORG and check the training sources available for many important and real skills.

Disruption happen at the Fringes

Society has been obsessed with the concept of traditional education for decades. We send children to school, encourage route memorization, test knowledge via standardized tests, and finalize the assembly line of education with a paper certificate. The issue is that we spend all of our time teaching students what to think rather than how to think.

The general knowledge that schools are based on can now be accessed in milliseconds via the internet. What was the date of a specific event in history? How do you compute that math equation? Which country is a certain city in? It isn’t that this type of information is not valuable, but rather that it is less important than the mental models and first-principles perspective that ultimately leads to value creation. You can think of it like this — the internet now serves as the database for most of the information that our schools previously obsessed about downloading into students’ brains.

Critical thinking skills are moving from a nice-to-have to a need-to-have skill in the modern world. Most people have access to the same information, so how you process that information — and how you apply it — becomes the differentiator. Let’s look at some historical examples of people who used their lack of general knowledge in industry to ultimately become successful:

Elon Musk was an outsider to the automobile and space industries. He was able to drive innovation in both by critically thinking of specific problems from a first-principles perspective. Today we have semi-autonomous electric vehicles and reusable rockets as a result. Musk was able to apply computer science, mental models, to physical products, which increased technological innovation and decreased costs.

Oprah Winfrey grew from television news anchor to daytime show host to successful billionaire. At each inflection point, she applied a business owner mindset to her compensation, while the industry incumbents were focused on talent deals. When they were seeking cash deals, she was seeking equity deals. When they were looking for equity deals, she was asking for equity and royalties. When they were looking for royalties, Oprah was spending $16 million of her own money to buy back the content IP from the distribution company. This type of outsider thinking kept her one step ahead of the competition and ultimately led her to build one of the largest media empires in recent history.

Mark Spitznagel has a unique investing strategy — he intentionally loses money every day. Spitznagel’s strategy is to purchase out of the money options that only pay off when there is a significant market decline. He loses money every day until this moment, but when the market decline occurs, Spitznagel will drive thousands of percent in financial returns. His hedge fund returned more than 4,000% earlier this year, which made him the greatest hedge fund manager in the last decade. He has done the exact opposite of what every investor is trying to do — lose money — but his first principles thinking and intellectual courage created outsized returns.

Cathie Wood, a multi-billion dollar hedge fund manager, prioritizes the hiring of people with non-traditional backgrounds for her investment team. Her thesis is that a scientist may not initially know how to invest, but they are better suited to evaluate the prospects of a company’s gene-editing technology. The same is true with a battery engineer who is dissecting the electric vehicle industry — investing may not be a core skill, but they will understand the technology better than almost anyone else. Wood and her team can teach someone how to invest, but the non-consensus thinking and industry expertise has proven to be a game-changer for her investment business. As of this writing, Cathie Wood and her team manage 5 of the 10 best performing ETFs so far in 2020.

Chance the Rapper turned down many record deals in order to pursue his music aspirations as an independent artist. It was previously believed that the only way to find success in the music industry was to leverage a record deal and the plethora of resources and experience that came with them. Chance and his manager decided that they would attempt the seemingly impossible — go it alone. Their strategy was to cut out the middle man and execute a digitally-native campaign that focused on building a fanatical base of followers. This differentiated approach ultimately led Chance the Rapper to success, where he now regularly sells out arenas, has made millions of dollars from his merchandise business and is the sole owner of his music.

These examples highlight that there is no single recipe for success. You can do it the traditional way or you can forge your own path. However, true innovation and disruption come from those outsiders courageous enough to believe they can enter a field and do it differently. The lesson here is that how you think is always more valuable than what you think.

The ability to think from first principles may be the most highly-coveted skill in today’s technology-driven world. The greatest innovators of our time have proven it over and over again. Maybe we should start paying attention.