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Skills

The future of work is changing as more digital natives join the workforce, so it’s crucial that the next generation of workers is adaptable and properly prepared. But what exactly will that future look like for graduates, and what skills will come out tops?

Dr Priscilla Mensah, Director for Research Development at Nelson Mandela University, shares her insight on the set of skills employees will look for when hiring in the future.

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Is a postgraduate qualification important?

On top of a diminishing job market, the hiring landscape is also changing. Roles that, in the past, only required primarily undergraduate degrees, are advancing and requiring a postgraduate qualification as a minimum. “More employers are realising that the enhanced capabilities of candidates with postgraduate degrees are translating into positive impacts across the board, which is why they are raising the bar in terms of requirements,” says Dr Mensah.

Life-long learning is necessary

Graduates are realising the advantage that lifelong learning offers in shaping a successful career in an ever-changing world, and are considering pursuing a postgraduate qualification rather than entering the working world. “With so many qualified graduates jostling for a limited number of positions, having a postgraduate degree under one’s belt can hold the key to securing full-time employment and a better chance of being promoted in the future,” says Dr Mensah.

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These top skills could get you ahead

New careers are emerging quicker than ever as a result of rapidly advancing innovation and technology. Future businesses will require super-skilled, next-generation candidates to fulfil these roles. In a World Economic Forum report, The Future of Jobs, the top skills employers see as rising in prominence by 2025 include critical thinking and analysis, as well as problem-solving and skills in self-management such as active learning, resilience, stress tolerance and flexibility.

Enhance your personal and professional development

Continuous development and skills are key to excelling in an automated world. Dr Mensah says: “The majority of students study towards an undergraduate degree primarily to fulfil a minimum requirement for their career field. Choosing to study further on a lifelong learning journey presents an opportunity for graduates to enhance their personal and professional development, empowering them to change the world for the better.”  

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