White-collar professionals today face the same problem factory workers had during the Industrial Revolution. With Artificial Intelligence (AI) transforming almost every industry and developments occurring at such breakneck speeds, some experts are worried about the ramifications and unintended consequences this may have on society.  

Today, the fact of the matter is professionals who want an edge need to be at the frontier of the latest tools available for their field. The best accountant from the previous century wouldn’t be able to hold a candle against an average accountant today using the latest tools to process large transaction volumes. 

Becoming a Generalist in the Knowledge Age

It’s become apparent that the skills required for professionals to succeed and climb the corporate ladder have greatly changed with every generation. The gradual widespread adoption of AI in businesses means that employees must be equipped with the skills to work alongside AI systems effectively. But what skills will be needed with the possibility of Artificial General Intelligence (AGI) looming in the future? 

For most professionals in average white-collar jobs, having experience and interest in multiple disciplines will open more opportunities for you than if you just stuck to one. In David Epstein’s book Range: How Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World, he argues that generalists are better equipped to take advantage of innovations and make connections between distant disciplines than experts with very narrow specializations.  

Of course, there will always be a place for high degrees of specialization and mastery in niche and narrow fields, such as neurosurgery or corporate law. It just makes more sense to trust someone with a lot of experience and knowledge for some matters. 

The Career Skills for the Future 

But in the age of AI, professionals need to be more adaptive and curious because, with the current rate at which technology evolves, newly essential skills and knowledge today could just as quickly become obsolete tomorrow. Being adaptive means being brave enough to reinvent oneself and learn new skills that may contradict their assumed career identity—think of health professionals who decide to shift to IT. And being curious means being willing to explore and learn new things—even ones entirely outside your comfort zone. 

Professionals who cannot or are unwilling to adapt risk becoming obsolete in their field and industry. In contrast, those who are adaptive and curious will be better poised to take advantage of the opportunities that arise from the AI revolution and better equipped to shape the future of their industries. 

While there will always be a place for technical skills and knowledge, those opportunities are becoming increasingly narrower and smaller. What is needed from most employees now are skills that can help extract maximum value from the productivity boost of AI tools. 

Given all that, here are three essential skills that will likely impact how many opportunities will be open for your career in the future: 

Data Literacy 

Data literacy is a fundamental skill crucial for professionals in the age of AI. With the foundation of AI being based on data analysis, it is imperative for employees to possess a strong understanding of data and how to interpret it. Data literacy goes beyond just basic data analysis; it encompasses the ability to analyze complex data sets, draw meaningful insights from them, and make informed decisions based on those insights. 

data analysis

In addition to data analysis, professionals should be proficient in using data visualization tools to effectively communicate their findings. Data visualization is a powerful tool for presenting complex data in a visual and easily understandable format, allowing stakeholders to grasp the insights quickly and execute strategies based on informed decisions.  

So, get started on taking those Excel and Power BI courses!

Creativity and Innovation 

While AI systems excel at automating routine tasks and data analysis, they lack the inherent ability to be creative and innovative. This is where human creativity and innovation become even more valuable in the age of AI. Professionals who can think outside the box, develop innovative solutions to complex business problems, and develop new ideas to improve processes and operations will be highly sought after. 

With AI taking care of repetitive and mundane tasks, professionals will have more time to devote to creative thinking and problem-solving. This can lead to the development of new products, services, and strategies that can give organizations a competitive advantage. Professionals who can leverage their creativity and innovation skills to work in conjunction with AI systems will be in high demand in the future job market, as they can drive organizations to stay ahead of the curve and adapt to changing business landscapes. 

This is however a skill that’s not so easily learned or taught. The best way to develop this skill is to constantly expose yourself to new ideas and ways of looking at the world. 

Advanced Problem-Solving Skills 

As advanced as AI technology may be, it is not perfect and can encounter errors and unexpected situations. Professionals with a keen sense of how to diagnose an issue and develop an appropriate solution without needing too much instruction will be invaluable to any organization. Identifying and solving problems that arise when working with AI systems, troubleshooting issues, and identifying the root cause of problems is a critical skill set for any career in the future. 

In addition to troubleshooting, having a deep understanding of the AI algorithms and systems being used is essential for effective problem-solving. Problem-solving skills in the context of AI require a combination of technical knowledge, critical thinking, and analytical skills to effectively address challenges and ensure the smooth functioning of AI systems in organizations. A little bit of programming knowledge can also go a long way here, as it can help you code solutions by yourself. 

An Open Mind for An Uncertain Future 

An Open Mind for An Uncertain Future

Futurologists say that professionals will need to constantly upskill and reinvent themselves throughout their careers in the next few decades. To some, this will sound frustrating. Continually learning new skills and being a beginner does not seem like a good foundation for a stable career. But to people who embrace the philosophy of lifelong learning, this is an opportune time to emulate the “Renaissance man.” 

Remember that skills translate. There really isn’t much point in worrying about what’s going to happen to your career 10, 15, or 20 years from now, as no one has a good guess of what will happen that far in the future. The best course of action now is to hone your skillset and keep an open mind in learning new tools and skills. 

Professionals who possess a combination of technical and soft skills will be best positioned to thrive in the age of AI. With AI systems automating routine tasks and generating vast amounts of data, employees need to have strong data literacy skills, creativity and innovation, and problem-solving skills. These skills will enable professionals to work alongside AI systems effectively, leverage AI to improve their work, and drive organizational growth. 

iSupport Worldwide: Equipping Professionals with Skills for the Future

iSupport Worldwide is a leading offshoring solutions provider that caters to US-based businesses. We have a proven track record of excellence with our inclusion in the INC 5000 for two consecutive years.  

iSupport Worldwide is a standout choice for professionals seeking a new adventure in their career journey. Our commitment to fostering employee growth and development goes beyond simply providing training and upskilling, we also ensure that the work environment we create is conducive to collaboration and creativity. 

At iSupport Worldwide, you’ll have the opportunity to hone your skills, expand your knowledge, and take your career to new heights.  

Join our talented team today and unlock your full potential.