Over the past two decades, the ubiquitous advice to “learn how to code” has permeated high schools and universities worldwide as a preparation strategy for future careers. However, a crucial aspect often omitted is that more than 50% of jobs in major technology firms, such as Google and Meta, require zero coding skills.

This prevailing narrative overlooks the essential reality that, beyond coding, technology-forward businesses demand a diverse skill set to solve complex problems. These skills encompass the ability to evaluate, learn, and utilize new technologies, as well as proficiency in written and verbal communication, data research, project management, decision-making, and more.

In a recent interview with the global higher education community FOHE, Paul LeBlanc, President of Southern New Hampshire University, highlighted the increasing demand for “human-centered” professions as AI evolves and potentially takes over manual or repetitive jobs. Human decision-making, relying on nuanced factors like relationships and instincts, becomes paramount in these roles.

As AI becomes more proficient in systems-oriented tasks, the need for individuals skilled in leveraging relationships and building trust to solve intricate problems will rise. The ability to adapt relationship-building and problem-solving knowledge across various technologies, sectors, and job titles will be highly valued. These skills are cultivated through hands-on experiences with humans, tackling challenges that require creative thinking and collaboration.

The example of Steve Jobs, who founded one of the most significant technology companies without coding experience, underscores the importance of focusing on design, usability, and deep product understanding. With the evolution of Artificial Intelligence, effective communication of business use-cases to machines will become crucial, emphasizing the need for foundational knowledge in technology innovation rather than coding proficiency.

The future of technology-enabled careers prioritizes advanced written and verbal communication skills. Exceptional communicators will stand out, securing leadership roles and opportunities, even without direct domain knowledge. The ability to persuade, organize talent around technological advancements, and use technology to test hypotheses will become key.

For those seeking to stay competitive, the path involves learning by doing and creating opportunities to develop communication skills. Real customer feedback, blogging, podcasting, and community engagement are suggested avenues. As AI transforms our lives and work, the key to future-proofing careers lies in a combination of technological savvy and the adept use of technology to address humanity’s ongoing challenges.

By Impact Lab