Skills for the workers of tomorrow


1st January 2019

Money Matters

ANALYTICAL skills including data and risk analysing are set to be strong skills requirements for the job specifications of tomorrow's employee from the East Midlands, according to a new YouGov study commissioned by AAT (Association of Accounting Technicians).

YouGov spoke to senior decision makers across the region about the skills and characteristics that were most required in today's workplace, and which of these would rise or fall in importance over the coming fifteen years.

And while skills including the ability to communicate (86 per cent today/73 per cent in 2033) and problem-solving (79 per cent/61 per cent); along with characteristics such as being adaptable (85 per cent/76 per cent) and being productive (76 per cent/63 per cent) are perceived to be important now and in the future for those decision makers in the East Midlands (if falling somewhat in importance), other skills including being a data analyser (38 per cent/46 per cent), risk analyser (41 per cent/43 per cent) and strategic thinking (49 per cent/59 per cent) along with characteristics such as being fearless (11 per cent/17 per cent), being innovative (44 per cent/53 per cent) and being independent (43 per cent/47 per cent) appear set to accelerate in importance.

Mark Farrar, Chief Executive, AAT said: "If the decision makers we spoke to prove correct, then employees will need to better develop their data analysis skills over the coming years if they wish to charm their potential future workplace's recruiters.

"The rise in importance of skills such as being a consultant and strategic thinking shouldn't come as a huge surprise when we look at recent office evolution. When computers accelerated in use in the workplace for example, many people thought that this would lead to the decline of accountants and bookkeepers. However, automation has removed more mundane manual tasks, freeing them up to concentrate on the more interesting and added value areas of accountancy such as the production of management information and trend analysis."

While certain skills and characteristics will rise in the future, managers from the East Midlands also reported that others would be less favourably looked upon due perhaps to the rise of artificial intelligence and flexible working leading to less employees actually being needed in the office.

Working well in a team (86 per cent/64 per cent) and listening (77 per cent/57 per cent) were among skills that are seen as holding diminished importance in fifteen years from now, while motivation (78 per cent/63 per cent), and being passionate (40 per cent/33 per cent) were among characteristics that will be moved away from in tomorrow's business world.

In the accounting industry, AAT has produced a short white paper looking at the role of the future accountant and the impact of technology on the profession. To access this visit the AAT website