10 Skills in Demand in the COVID & Post COVID Era
The sudden outbreak of COVID-19 has left organisations scratching their heads, forcing them to rethink their forward strategies overnight. It is plausible that working will never be the same again and the lockdown has been stretched as we ride the first wave of the pandemic. However, having been locked indoors, we pondered how things would change post-COVID-19 and what would one need to know to be meaningfully employed in that phase? We noticed that specialising will propel the upcoming careers in a post-COVID era.
We looked at several major sectors and here’s the emerging set of skills that are being sought after by employers: (This is not a one-size-fits-all solution, chase your interests.)
Digital Project Management:
In lieu of shifting business strategies from offline in-person to online & fully digital, a person who can plan, analyse & monitor remotely is highly in demand. Creation of tools that enable such flexible project management will see increased focus and investments. Certifications of Six Sigma, DevOps, Agile are being chased as of this moment as companies prepare for the future.
Digital Curriculum Developer:
Not just schools & educational institutes but even corporates and skilling centres have had to migrate to digital training. A Digital Curriculum Developer creates web-friendly, user-friendly and easy to grasp curriculum content for individuals, corporates and institutes.
HR firms have indicated that the lockdown has led to a 25% Y-o-Y increase in demand for this role in 2020-21.
Financial Risk Management:
These guys are the prudent advisors when it comes to managing investment risk, trade risk, credit risk, market risk and liquidity risk. When the going gets tough, all heads turn to these fellows for their acumen. Individuals with FRM Certification (Financial Risk Manager) are well paid and actively chased by most organisations.
In a country of 1.3 billion, we have only 460 fully qualified actuarial science professionals! What do they do? This is the go-to fraternity when it comes to measuring risk and uncertainty. (different from FRM) The financial sector is inevitably worried about future risks and therefore in need of these experts.
For the uninitiated, Salesforce is the most advanced Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool in the world and is widely used across most organizations. This clustered ecosystem is managed by Salesforce by offering certifications in the administrator & developer arenas.
Sales professionals working across FMCG giants invariably go after this certification and therefore are highly in demand. A research indicates that the Salesforce platform by itself will cover 3.3 million jobs by 2022.
CNC Machine Programming:
As automation continues to be driven across sectors, one strongly reliant sector is manufacturing. In order to increase productivity, CNC machines are deployed to do heavy machining with the accuracy a human cannot achieve. Programming a CNC machine is essential before every job as each job is one of a kind. As two-person jobs go out of fashion, this skill will better place junior workmen to be given individual responsibilities on machines and hence this will be quite useful in the coming days.
If the pandemic continues to wreak havoc among us, social distancing norms will have to be enforced everywhere irrespective of the workplace. Under such circumstances, workplace layouts will change to promote better ventilation, hygiene & housekeeping. Plant layouts will have to factor in the implementation of hygiene systems in adherence to safety norms.
Computer Aided Design & Automation:
With the increasing economic impact, companies are downsizing their workforce, thus propelling the need for more automation. Requirements and operations are also becoming more complex and therefore machines will have to be made capable enough to manufacture within stringent tolerances. This will demand design expertise and relevant software training.
Information Privacy Certified Professional:
Cyber security is a matter of concern for not just banking and investment institutions but also governments and individuals. With the work from home culture flourishing in the pandemic, data security and privacy are much in need of addressal.
A handsomely paid role, it is also set to be in demand over the course of the next 8-12 months. HR professionals have pointed out that Chief Privacy Officers will now be needed in the days to come and companies will be willing to pay for their expertise.
UI / UX Designers:
User Interface and User Experience are gaining importance as the world is going digital amid a forced pandemic driven transformation. IT professionals in the banking space are aiming at making the mobile banking experience consumer friendly before upgrading the backend. The role of a UI/UX developer although not glamorous, is sure a much needed one.
Moreover, other skills such as adaptability, flexibility, agility & leadership will be the skill-needs of the hour as workplaces begin to transform and the culture begins to change. Although the pandemic has left our future hanging by a thread, this time can be put to good use by up-skilling yourselves in preparation for the future. Specialists are clearly going to majorly constitute the next generation of workforce.
Voracious reading regimes coupled with a penchant for writing led me away from a glamorous yet mundane corporate career. When nobody's calling, the mountains always are - you'll invariably find me atop one.