Foundational Skills Teams Need for Success in the Digital Age (Part 2)

With the rise of the digital economy and Industry 4.0, companies in every sector are gearing up to meet the demands of a quickly shifting technological playing field. Automation is rendering some jobs obsolete, while others never even conceived of 5 years ago are being created in the process.

These deep changes raise big questions: How do humans add value in the workplace? What skills do companies need most? How do individuals keep learning to keep pace?

Burning Glass Technologies assessed 150 million unique job postings in the U.S. in order to determine which skills employers are seeking most in today’s job market. The resulting report, “The New Foundational Skills of the Digital Economy,” identifies three overarching categories of New Foundational Skills as essential: 

  • Human Skills
  • Business Enabler Skills
  • Digital Building Block Skills.1  

Human skills are the decision making and cognitive skills that include human judgement. Under this category, Burning Glass identifies communication, creativity, critical thinking, collaboration, and analytical ability as the essential capabilities employers and employees need to develop. These skills are hard to replicate in machines, are transferable, and can be applied to a variety of contexts. This makes them some of the most valuable skills for emerging leaders. Professionals leverage these skills to innovate and develop new ideas, and produce synergistic results by working collaboratively. These skills are especially key for companies seeking to create better products and gain an edge in their industry.

The Burning Glass report cites that 44% of job openings in 2017 requested human skills. This was even higher for senior and manager-level jobs, 62% of which required these skills. LinkedIn also published a report on the skills companies need most in 2019, in which it found that “57% of senior leaders today say soft skills are more important than hard skills.”2 

This is where edX comes in. With courses and programs in analytics for decision-making, communications, and more, edX For Business can help your company develop the soft skills needed at all levels of the organization.

1. “The New Foundational Skills of the Digital Economy,” published by Burning Glass Technologies. 

2. The Skills Companies Need Most in 2019 – And How to Learn Them, published by LinkedIn, 

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