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Top five most sought after skills, according to Australian businesses

  • Written by Julian Stevenson, RMIT Online Product and Workforce Development Director

RMIT Online are preparing workers for the skill set of the future as they tackle Aussies lack of critical thinking and problem solving skills.

By Julian Stevenson, RMIT Online Product and Workforce Development Director

While forecasts suggest Australia’s economic growth will slow in 2023, a recent report from RMIT Online and Deloitte Access Economics revealed four in five (80%) businesses expect to hire at least as many people in 2023 as they did in 2022.

And while there is no question digital skills are a critical part of Australia’s skills landscape today, they are not the only skills organisations are on the hunt for. Enterprise skills like critical thinking, problem solving and adaptability are still rated highly by employers, reflecting how enterprise skills are required in many roles.

According to job advertisements data, the most frequently requested skills in job advertisements are communication skills, teamwork and planning. What this tells us, is the skill set of the future is a hybrid one.

This mix is highly valuable, both to businesses and the wider Australian economy, as these skills are difficult to automate and are essential across most industries and occupations, having been found to help boost productivity and increase average business revenue.

To navigate disruption and industry change, we’ll need specific technical skills and a holistic set of analytical, interpersonal skills.

Here are the top five lacking and outdated skills within businesses.

1. Creativity and originality (55%)

Organisations value workers who take innovative and unique approaches to solve problems and overcome challenges. The importance of creativity in business is also what helps employers and employees gain an advantage over competitors and boost productivity.

Faced with more customer information and analytics than ever before, organisations need people who can synthesise raw data and turn it into something new. New ideas. New methodologies.

2. Artificial intelligence or machine learning (46%)

A recent McKinsey report forecast that Al will generate $13 trillion in economic activity by 2030.

Successful business strategies depend on understanding data. But not everyone “speaks data”, and without data-literate people, even the best data teams can struggle to apply their insights to business or gain traction with executives across organisations.

3. Adaptability / flexibility (44%)

The only constant in business is change. That was true 100 years ago, and it’s surely true today. New graduates need to show adaptability more than anything else. When we accept nothing stays the same forever, it gives us room to look for new opportunities to grow personally and professionally.

4. Knowledge of cybersecurity tools or processes (43%)

In the wake of one of Australia’s worst data breaches of all time, it’s no surprise cybersecurity is an IT growth field. There’s plenty of room to move in the cyber world, too. You can become a security analyst, project manager, cryptographer, systems developer, information security auditor, or an IT security engineer.

5. Critical thinking and problem solving (43%)

Critical thinking and problem solving are some of the most sought after skills across multiple industries as they allow you to approach problems in a logical way, breaking them down and using creative approaches to coming up with solutions to solve them.

The business world is ever-evolving. Leaders are confronted with new problems every day and organisations need skilled workers to stay ahead.

To address this issue, RMIT Online in partnership with Deloitte Monitor have launched a short course in Strategic Problem Solving.

It is a six week course specifically designed for aspiring and emerging leaders looking to build strategic capability to access more senior roles and for existing leaders seeking to drive better outcomes, enhance their strategic agility.

Over six-weeks, the course will break down how to appraise an organisation’s strategy against recognised frameworks, develop a problem statement and break it down for an organisational issue, and provide recommendations and associated rationale to a problem.

Enrolments are open now for the first intake commencing 12 June 2023.


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