We read all the ‘Future of Work’ articles so you don’t have to – Here’s what you need to know to prepare for the post-pandemic future

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A post-pandemic world won’t make work less

Around May, we noticed a trend: the rise of the “future of work” articles. Published by consulting firms, professional associations, and business influencers, these articles and reports asked, “What will work be like when Covid-19 is over?”

It’s a good question, one we’re all asking.

The articles and reports kept coming over the summer and into the fall. In total, we read over 40 of them published by leading organizations including McKinsey, the World Economic Forum, and the Society for Human Resource Management. Some were brief. Some were full reports with survey data. Congizant’s, which took a future-looking-back perspective, was the most creative.

We found a significant amount of overlap in most of the content, and a few ideas that are original and deserve more consideration. Below, we summarize the findings. Together, these ideas can help your team prepare for an uncertain future, pushing us closer to an answer of what work will look like in the future.

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Inside China’s iPhone factory: Fascinating footage shows Apple components being made in a fully automated plant manned by robots

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The manufacturer in southern China’s Shenzhen is entirely staffed by robots

The automated plant is dubbed ‘lights-out’ factory with AI-powered machines

It can save costs on labour and energy while improving product quality, it is said

Apple devices and iPhone components are now being produced in a Chinese out-source factory from dusk till dawn without any human workers.

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The 10 highest-paying IT certifications of 2020

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COVID-19 isolation might be a good time to add to your IT skill set, as we’re seeing several new entries on our annual list of the 10 highest-paying IT certifications. Cloud technology, information security, and project management certs are on the rise this year.

IT is one profession where the optimal skill set is a constantly moving target. We keep track of the ten highest-paying IT certifications on a running bases, and for 2020, we’re seeing some of the highest-paid certifications challenged yet again by new entrants while average salaries are on the rise across the board.

Fortunately, if you’re trapped in your home during the coronavirus pandemic, you’re far from helpless if you want to learn new skills. Many certifications are fully optimized for remote learners with most of the guided lessons, practice sandboxes, and even the certification exam itself being fully available online and on demand. This preparing for and achieving a new certification com pletely viable for people that are working from home.

Hot specializations range from information systems management, networking, cloud computing, project management, and security. Eighty percent of IT professionals say that certifications are useful for their careers, the challenge is determining which area to focus on.

We looked at data provided by professional development solutions and course provider Global Knowledge to determine the highest-paying IT certifications in the world right now. The data is based on what Global Knowledge’s customers are studying as well as the jobs they find after they graduate. We’ve broken down the top choices based on a description of the specialization as well as a corresponding pay range. Cloud and project management certifications currently dominate the top five spots.

Kindly note that these figures change from year to year, so we update this piece whenever Global Knowledge releases new data. Be sure to return to this list to check out which certification tops the rankings the next time you’re thinking of changing career gears. Let’s look at the most in-demand certifications for 2020 and their corresponding salaries.

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The 5 most in-demand skills at America’s top start-ups, according to LinkedIn

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According to LinkedIn, start-ups seek key job skills like programming proficiency and data analysis.

 Learning some new technology could go a long way in landing a new job.

As the coronavirus pandemic forces companies to shift parts of their business online, employers are searching for candidates who are proficient in tech or can learn quickly. Among the top 50 start-ups in the United States, in fact, the five most in-demand skills are all tech-related.

That’s according to new data from LinkedIn, which analyzed the skill sets of recent hires at across the country’s top start-ups, which include familiar names like food-delivery app DoorDash and bedding company Brooklinen. Overwhelmingly, the findings show, employers hired job seekers with data savvy, programming acumen, and strength in sales and marketing.

“When you receive 150 applications for one opening, employers care ever more about quality and about qualifications,” Julia Pollak, labor economist at ZipRecuiter, told Grow in October. “If you can take some time and invest in a certification or some online qualification, that can make you more competitive in the future.”

Here are the five most in-demand skills in America’s top 50 start-ups.

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At least half of people who have a job fear they’ll lose it in the next 12 months

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Job losses are a concern for more than half of working adults.

New survey shows more than half of working adults fear for their jobs.

But two thirds of workers are optimistic about retraining on the current job.

Employment concerns and perceived opportunities to learn new skills vary greatly between countries.

A new Ipsos survey, conducted on behalf of the World Economic Forum, shows that more than half (54%) of working adults fear for their jobs in the next 12 months. However, these workers are outnumbered by those who think their employers will help them retrain on the current job for the jobs of the future (67%).

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These 6 skills cannot be replicated by artificial intelligence

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An interior view shows a self-driving car owned and tested by Yandex company during a presentation in Moscow, Russia August 16, 2019.

Self-driving cars will eliminate many jobs.

Mass unemployment will occur because of robotics and AI.

Hospitality, management and creativity cannot be substituted by AI.

We need to acquire and refine more sophisticated abilities in these areas.

The COVID-19 crisis is going to accelerate a number of changes and transformations in human society. Notably, the pandemic is expected to significantly accelerate the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

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The most fundamental skill: Intentional learning and the career advantage

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Learning itself is a skill. Unlocking the mindsets and skills to develop it can boost personal and professional lives and deliver a competitive edge.

The call for individuals and organizations alike to invest in learning and development has never been more insistent. The World Economic Forum recently declared a reskilling emergency as the world faces more than one billion jobs transformed by technology. Even before COVID-19 emerged, the world of stable lifetime employment had faded in the rearview mirror, replaced by the expectation that both executives and employees must continually refresh their skills. The pandemic has only heightened the urgency of doubling down on skill building, either to keep up with the speed of transformation now underway or to manage the particulars of working in new ways.

Despite this context—and the nearly constant refrain for people to adapt to it by becoming lifelong learners—many companies struggle to meet their reskilling goals, and many individuals struggle to learn new and unfamiliar topics effectively. We believe that an underlying cause is the fact that so few adults have been trained in the core skills and mindsets of effective learners. Learning itself is a skill, and developing it is a critical driver of long-term career success. People who have mastered the mindsets and skills of effective learning can grow faster than their peers and gain more of the benefits from all the learning opportunities that come their way.

This article, supported by research and our decades of experience working as talent and learning professionals, explores the core mindsets and skills of effective learners. People who master these mindsets and skills become what we call intentional learners: possessors of what we believe might be the most fundamental skill for professionals to cultivate in the coming decades. In the process they will unlock tremendous value both for themselves and for those they manage in the organizations where they work.

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These are the top 10 job skills of tomorrow – and how long it takes to learn them

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Founder and Executive Chairman of World Economic Forum Klaus Schwab speaks during a session at the 50th World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland January 23, 2020.

Professor Klaus Schwab says technological innovation can be leveraged to unleash human potential.

50% of all employees will need reskilling by 2025, as adoption of technology increases, according to the World Economic Forum’s Future of Jobs Report.

  • Critical thinking and problem-solving top the list of skills employers believe will grow in prominence in the next five years.
  • Newly emerging this year are skills in self-management such as active learning, resilience, stress tolerance and flexibility.
  • Respondents to the Future of Jobs Survey estimate that around 40% of workers will require reskilling of six months or less.
  • Half of us will need to reskill in the next five years, as the “double-disruption” of the economic impacts of the pandemic and increasing automation transforming jobs takes hold.

That’s according to the third edition of the World Economic Forum’s Future of Jobs Report, which maps the jobs and skills of the future, tracking the pace of change and direction of travel.

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‘Zoom towns’ are exploding in the West

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And many cities aren’t ready for the onslaught.

First, there were boomtowns. Now, there are Zoom towns.

The coronavirus pandemic is leading to a new phenomenon: a migration to “gateway communities,” or small towns near major public lands and ski resorts as people’s jobs increasingly become remote-friendly. This is straining the towns’ resources and putting pressure on them to adapt.

A new paper published in the Journal of the American Planning Association shows that populations in these communities were already growing before COVID-19 hit, leading to some problems traditionally thought of as urban issues, like lack of affordable housing, availability of public transit, congestion, and income inequality. And while COVID-19 has accelerated the friction, the study suggests that urban planners can help places adjust.

There has been a drastic increase in remote work since March, when the pandemic hit the U.S. Nearly 60% of employees are now working remotely full or part time, according to a recent Gallup poll. Nearly two-thirds of employees who have been working remotely would like to continue to do so, according to that same poll. That would seemingly give workers a lot more flexibility when it comes to where they call home.

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A smarter, more capable Flippy robot knows how to fry 19 things

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It makes all the fries.

The restaurant industry has never been for the faint of heart, what with the razor-thin profit margins and continuous churn of employees. Combine that with the economic devastation wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic and, well, it’s no surprise that tens of thousands of eateries across the country have shuttered permanently over the last seven months alone. However, Miso Robotics (makers of Flippy, the burger-flipping robot chef) argue that the path back to financial stability for America’s restaurants will require an autonomous revolution.

Buck Jordan, founder and CEO of Miso Robotics, points out to Engadget that the switch from full-service dining to exclusively take out and delivery has many restaurants “operating a loss and just trying to hang on,” especially when delivery apps like UberEats and DoorDash take upwards of a 30 percent cut out of each order.

“You can see why closing up shop is really the only option for many once your revenue is coming from delivery orders,” he continued. “There’s just so much pressure on the bottom line.”

That’s why the company announced on Tuesday that it is making the latest iteration of Flippy available commercially across the globe. But this isn’t the Flippy that we saw at White Castle in July. This one is smarter, more capable and armored against airborne infection.

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9 soft skills every employee will need in the age of Artificial Intelligence (AI)

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Technical skills and data literacy are obviously important in this age of AI, big data, and automation. But that doesn’t mean we should ignore the human side of work – skills in areas that robots can’t do so well. I believe these softer skills will become even more critical for success as the nature of work evolves, and as machines take on more of the easily automated aspects of work. In other words, the work of humans is going to become altogether more, well, human.

With this in mind, what skills should employees be looking to cultivate going forward? Here are nine soft skills that I think are going to become even more precious to employers in the future.

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