Top 7 Digital Skills to Master The Future of Work
Digital is reshaping the future of work and changing the nature of jobs that need to be done
We all must anticipate and prepare for this future of work in order to stay relevant and valuable.
And that starts by acquiring the right skills. But which are going to be the most in-demand most valuable digital skills of the future?
What should you invest your time in learning?
Let's find out!
Here's seven of the top digital skills for the future workforce, plus our team's favourite resources and favourite courses to help you learn.
Top digital skill of the future number one: Artificial Intelligence
We live in an increasingly artificially intelligent world so leverage it before it leverages you.
Now that's not meant to sound all doom and gloom. But in a world full of AI, it's really important that we understand the tech.
According to a report from LinkedIn, AI skills are amongst the fastest-growing skills on the platform, with a 190% increase in AI skills on LinkedIn from 2015 to 2017.
The good news you don't need to deep dive into Python or become a hardcore coder to empower yourself to leverage AI. So where should you go for your Fix of AI knowledge?
We asked Growth Tribe’s resident data chief Bernardo for his tips and this is what he recommends:
For an in-depth read into AI check out Artificial Intelligence a Modern Approach.
Want to know what AI means for your business, read Prediction Machines, the Simple Economics of Artificial Intelligence.
And get started with machine learning with the 100-page Machine Learning Book
Looking to take a course for a non-technical intro? You could try Courserra’s AI for Everyone.
How about blogs and people to follow? Well, we highly recommend Dataiku.
We'd also recommend following Bernardo (@ThisIsBernardo) himself on Twitter, there's also Kirk Borne (@KirkDBorne) who is recommended by Bernardo.
Then there is Jan Teichmann (@teichmaj), who's currently the head of data science Zoopla, Andry Berkov (@burkov), who actually was the author of the 100-page machine learning book and Google's chief decision scientist Cassie Kozyrkov (@quaesita).
Top digital skill of the future number two: UX Design
UX designers lay the highways and put up the signposts of our digital world. Great UX design requires meticulous research into user personas, user goals and customer journey mapping.
This ensures products meet customer needs in the most satisfying and enjoyable way. If a product has a great UX design, you probably won't even notice it.
But you sure will if a product or programme feels cumbersome or confusing. Therefore, businesses are increasingly recognising the importance of great UX design not just for the user experience itself, but actually for its ability to improve brand equity and ultimately profitability.
Therefore there's a growing demand and organisations are paying well.
So where should you go for learning and development?
Well, for books there's the classic, Don't Make Me Think by Steve Krug about human-computer interaction and web usability.
How about courses? One of our favourites is from Conversion XL on data-driven UX.
You could also check out Hack Design. They have a great weekly email lesson and they also have a Learning Hub full of short and concise, readable lessons.
What about UX Design blogs and influencers?
We also recommend following Scott Belsky (@scottbelsky) who is the Chief Product Officer at Adobe.
You can also check out the UX Collective and Paul Boag (@boagworld), the author of User Experience Revolution and Laura Klein (@lauraklein), the author of Build Better Products and UX for Lean Startups.
Top digital skill of the future number three: Digital Marketing
According to a report from McKinley, nearly 60% of marketing hires will be digital and demand for digital marketing talent sits at 59% while active supply sits at 19%.
The most in-demand marketing skills of the future are of course digital and mastering them can lead to an abundance of career opportunities.
Why? These marketing skills capitalise on new digital technologies to help sell products and build brands, and all businesses crave this expertise.
However, digital marketing is very broad, and there's a tonne of specialisations. Think PPC, social media, search engine optimization, data analysis, conversion rate optimisation, marketing automation, we could go on.
If you want to be in the top 1% of digital marketing talent, it's important to become T-shaped.
The T shaped marketer is the ultimate all-rounder, they possess a broad width of knowledge that's complemented by a deep level of understanding in several expert areas.
You can find out all about what it takes to become a T-shaped marketer by taking our T-shaped marketing quiz over at the growth tribe blog.
Looking to get started or level up?
Here's our recommendation for some books.
It's a classic and we think anyone in marketing or sales should read Influence. The Psychology of Persuasion.
We also recommend you check out Contagious, Why Things Catch On by Jonah Berger.
As well as Russell Brunson’s .com secrets which is coined as the underground guide to growing your business online.
Looking to take some courses, well on the free side of things. We definitely recommend checking out the Digital Garage by Google.
And you could also take a look at HubSpot Inbound Academy.
How about blogs and influencers?
Well, some of our favourites would be Brian Dean who has a great blog and YouTube channel. There's also Seth Godin, check out his blog and on the content side.
Quick bonus on digital marketing.
Digital Marketing is actually transitioning into a new age where marketers are taking ownership of more than just acquiring new customers.
This is known as Growth Marketing, or Growth Hacking and digital marketers can actually transition into this to take a more data-driven approach to their trade.
It looks at the whole funnel, not just customer acquisition, but retention and beyond. It's about building a growth engine. And this is really valuable for businesses.
Some of the books we recommend. Well, there's Lean Analytics by Alistair Crowe and Benjamin Moskovitz. But also check out Traction and Hooked.
Some courses to take. We might be a bit biased, but this is actually one of our areas of expertise.
We recommend checking out our three-day growth hacking crash course we also do a six week and twelves week evening option and of course, we do in house growth hacking training for teams.
Looking for some online resources, go check out growthhackers.com founded by the father of growth hacking Sean Ellis.
You could also look at some other videos on our YouTube channel and perhaps follow some of the Growth Tribe trainers on LinkedIn.
Top digital skill of the future number four: Analytical Reasoning
In a world full of data, businesses require people that can make sense of it and turn it into actionable and smart decisions.
Analytical reasoning is the ability to inspect information and discern patterns and trends that lead to actionable decisions and demand for this is about to blow up.
Why? Well, data science is actually suffering from a last-mile problem.
Businesses are really struggling with this, there's a gap between a business's tech expertise and that operational expertise.
Organisations need to develop what we call analytics translators.
Analytics translators bridge the gap between an organisation's technical expertise and that operational expertise.
They help to convey business goals to data professionals while ensuring data solutions provide insights that the businesses can use to inform decision making.
So where to go and learn?
Well, I turn to Bernardo again for his recommendations on the book front. He recommends Practical Statistics for Data Scientists from Andrew and Peter Bruce.
Some courses to take?
If you're looking for something you can do in your own time, the Microsoft Academy actually has a course on data analysis.
And of course, there's the data course we run here at Growth Tribe.
How about blogs and people to follow?
While Bernardo actually recommends the Field Guide to Data Science by Booz Allen. We'd also recommend you go and check out kdnuggets.com
Top digital skill of the future number five: Design Thinking
According to CIO design thinking is becoming a key pillar in digital transformation.
In fact, Microsoft calls it a key skill of the future.
All the world's leading brands are rapidly adopting the design thinking approach. What is it? And why is it a top digital skill?
Well, in a digital world, it's sometimes really easy to overlook the one thing that really matters...us.
Humans are the endpoint of any product or service, digital or not.
Design Thinking is an iterative process in which we try to understand the user which leads to better product services and internal processes.
So how about some books to read with a focus on human behaviour and the systems that drive the way we think?
We highly recommend Thinking Fast and Slow.
There's also Creative Confidence from the founders of IDEO. This is unleashing creativity that lies within each and every one of us.
Tim Brown also wrote Change by Design. This is about why design belongs at every level of business.
How about some courses to take?
If you want a bit of an introduction to design thinking, go check out Thinking for Innovation by Coursera.
People to follow?
The one we'd recommend is the design thinking blog by IDEO themselves.
Top digital skill of the future number six: Cloud Computing
Our world is moving into the clouds. And as it does, businesses are looking more and more for the people that have the skills to take them there.
In basic terms, cloud computing is about storing and accessing data over the internet, rather than on your local hard drive or computer.
This means businesses, especially large enterprises, really need the expertise, especially in cloud security.
A report from OpsRamp found 94% of IT organisations are actually struggling to find the right talent to build dynamic, flexible and cost-effective cloud services.
In fact, the report is called: From a Cloud-Native Skills Gap to a Full Blown Crisis.
This means that if you can master cloud computing skills, you're going to be in real high demand.
So how about some books to read?
Well, the data team here at Growth Tribe recommends the Data Engineering Cookbook by Andreas Kretz.
What about courses?
Well, as it's so widely used, we recommend the AWS cloud practitioner exam This is a certified exam to help gain a deeper understanding of the AWS cloud.
How about some blogs?
Well, you could go check out Cloud Computing News and there's also the Amazon Web Server Blog itself.
Top digital skill of the future number seven: Digital Project Management
The world is digitising rapidly. So this means more of the work that we do and more of the projects that we run a digital businesses need project managers specialised in delivering digital projects.
So this means to become one, you're going to need a firm grasp of digital technologies, software engineering teams, digital marketing teams, e-commerce businesses all demand digital project managers who make sure shit gets done in a digital world.
So where to go to learn?
We asked our digital project management and operations team here at Growth Tribe for their recommendations.
How about some books?
We recommend Principles, Life and Work by Ray Dalio. He shares his unconventional principles management techniques and methods of making business decisions to drive results in life and business.
Also, check out Inspired - How to Create Tech Products Customers Love by Marty Kagan. While it has more of a focus on product development, and product marketing, all good digital project managers should think of the end-user. It's definitely worth checking this out.
And for a more actionable guide, you might want to have a look at Digital Project Management a Step by Step Guide to Successful Launch by Taylor Olson.
What about courses?
We recommend Introduction to Project Management by UCI on Coursera.
What about blogs or people to follow?
Head over to check out Toggl’s blog.
Future of Work and Skills:
Now in the future of work it's important that we take our learning into our own hands. It's our responsibility to anticipate and to prepare for this future of work.
By doing so you'll ensure you stay relevant and ensure you stay valuable.