Why Human Skills Are Essential For The Future of Work

Sometime in 1983, a lieutenant in the soviet army known as Stanislav Petrov noticed that the computers detected five incoming missiles. Instead of following protocols and escalating it to his superiors, Petrov reported it as a system malfunction because he didn’t believe that Americans would attack with just five missiles. He was right. The computers interpreted a reflection of sunlight on clouds as missiles. His skill and instincts averted a possible nuclear disaster that would have claimed over 2 billion lives.

Many people believe that the fourth industrial revolution will bring automation in full force, and machines will take over several jobs. While this is partly true, it calls for skills that offer what machines cannot. Human factors will determine the impact of artificial intelligence on society and work. When the fourth industrial revolution comes, a lot of people will have to do what Petrov did. As technology develops, more decisions will be left to machines. Abdicating some major decisions to machines could be critical.

Data Patterns Enable Artificial Intelligence

AI machines are being trained with data rather than algorithms. For instance, intelligent machines are a lot like children. They learn from examples. It may be difficult to describe a dog to a child, but by showing them, it becomes easier. As time passes, machines and children understand what a dog is and can recognize it when they see one. This is uncontroversial until a machine is used to predict repeat criminality in cases such as parole. A human judge will fail in competition with machines in research and caseload capabilities. The machines can also apply precedents and laws without making mistakes. However, these machines can only work with the data they are given.

Human skills are essential to remove biases from machines. Humans must be smarter than the machines they made. This is why humans need to hone the skills needed to build and reconfigure machines. Coding skills come in handy here. To meet the demand for coders of the future, online coding bootcamps have been springing up.

Other In-demand Human Skills for the Future

One is creativity. Most people believe that creativity is reserved for others in the arts. This is not true. To be creative, all you need to do is connect the dots when necessary. Throwing ideas together in a bid to build something new is called creativity. Emotional intelligence is another top future skill. It is an intangible thing that helps us in fine-tuning our emotions. It allows us to measure how proficient we are at switching behaviors depending on our internal feelings or the mood of a colleague.

The ability to solve ill-defined, new and multi-dimensional problems in the real world is referred to as complex problem-solving. Decision making and judgment are also part of the essential skills of the future. Data will be used for different things in the future, and this will call for an analysis of numbers, actionable insights, and more to inform business decisions and strategies. This is where occupations like data science come in. Bootcamprankings.com has some information about who a data scientist is and how you can become one.

Cognitive flexibility is also an important skill for the future. It is the mental ability to change your thoughts and think about more than one concept simultaneously. Critical thinking is being able to reason to solve a problem. It involves considering different solutions to a problem and weighing the pros and cons attached to each approach. People management is also important to ensure that teams are motivated so they can maximize productivity.


The fourth industrial revolution is expected to be hinged on technology. Machines controlled by artificial intelligence will be replacing several occupations. However, this does not mean that all jobs will be automated. In fact, this revolution will create new job roles, and this is why these skills are important. Like Petrov, human skills will still be needed to work with intelligent machines. There is also a need to consider tech careers to help build and configure the machines to get the best out of the technology. Learning to code may be a good way to start. It opens your mind to a world of tech.

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