Technology is advancing. Actually, in the last few decades, the world went through a massive change thanks to fast technology development.

In only a few decades, humanity went from automatic process in fabrics, over global transport connection, to full digitalization.

Today, self-driving cars are a reality, although once upon a time, it seemed like science fiction. That was only twenty years ago.

With such an active technology use and overnight tech development, self-driving cars are the bottom of the tech chain – since people are planning to go to Mars for a quick visit.

This century is all about dreaming big, doing big, and delivering big in terms of solutions, offers, products, and services.

However, in order for people to deliver high expectations and to use technology to serve them, specific skills are mandatory.

Sure, at the beginning of the 20th century, it was enough to have one skill, and people had kind of guaranteed jobs. If someone had technical skills, knew to type, spoke two languages, they would have a good job and a nice salary.

Now, to find a job, one needs to know computer skills and a globally competitive language (meaning the English language).

Since the world moves so fast, skills that were mandatory in 2000 are not identical or the required skills in 2020. With the Fourth Industrial Revolution in the air, the market has never been so demanding.


The world went a long way from the First Industrial Revolution. When the First Industrial Revolution kicked in, people used water and steam power to mechanize production. This was an excellent way to automate some processes and speed up human developments.

Moreover, this Revolution enabled people to do more and thrive for more. Soon after, electric power enabled the Second Industrial Revolution to create mass production.

Then, the Third Industrial Revolution used information technology and electronics to automate production.

The Fourth Industrial Revolution is actually building upon the Third one, and now humanity is reaching full digitalization.

The Fourth Industrial Revolution is ‘characterized by a fusion of technologies that is blurring the lines between the physical, digital, and biological spheres’ and people can witness how much these spheres are intertwined today, and how much they affect people’s life.

Almost everything is transformed today:

  • Food is being ordered online
  • People can actually see how makeup will look on them, before they order the product, thanks to Augmented reality (AR)
  • Everything is streaming
  • You schedule your doctor’s appointments online
  • The economy is shared: shared car rides shared apartments, and so on.
  • People are connected on social media, and online communities are built.

In a nutshell, everything can be done remotely nowadays.

Today, millions of people even work online and remotely. In that manner, markets went from being national to becoming one global market.

The most significant difference between the Fourth Industrial Revolution and every previous is that this Revolution is evolving at a more exponential wave rather than a linear pace.

Therefore, this Revolution is disrupting every industry in every country in the world.

Naturally, these changes are so profound that they herald the transformation of entire systems of three crucial humanity pillars:

  • Production Management
  • Governance

Since the Fourth Industrial Revolution is already happening, people need to deal with numerous challenges and opportunities.

The Fourth Industrial Revolution has so strong potential that it can even raise global income levels and improve the quality of life to people around the globe.

However, to use the very best form of these new waves, people need to learn how to deal with challenges and opportunities.

Moreover, they will have to learn how to be relevant to the job market.


The Fourth Industrial Revolution is all about new solutions and new technologies that can actually provide new, better, and faster solutions.

Simply said, the Fourth Industrial Revolution is a global change. That being said, the Fourth Industrial Revolution brings:

  • Machine-learning
  • Artificial intelligence
  • 3D printing
  • Robotics
  • Nanotechnology
  • Biotechnology

With such intense new areas, people may feel overwhelmed and not ready for this new job market.

Therefore, predictions that by 2020 the Fourth Industrial Revolution will bring robotics are accurate. Now, they are changing the way we live.

The main question here is if – are we ready for a future workforce that is happening now?

A new Forum report, The Future of Jobs, reflects on the skill, workforce, and employment strategy for the future.

The primary purpose of the report is to challenge global leaders to rethink the current job market and see how global recruitment over various industries can be shaped to meet the market’s needs.

Without a doubt, one thing is certain in this uncertain world of change, and that’s – the workforce will have to adjust its skillset to keep gallop.

To understand better what are the much-needed skills in 2020 and beyond, let’s see the mandatory skills for 2015. That being said, let’s take a step back so that we can understand the future better.

The year 2015 wasn’t so far away. If you pay close attention to changes and trends around you, you can probably notice that everything that happens around you is affecting your strongly.

And as a professional, you probably had a chance to witness how your workplace changed in the last five years. Just five years ago, the top 10 skills that promised high-paying jobs were:

  1. Complex problem solving
  2. Coordinating with others
  3. People management
  4. Critical thinking
  5. Negotiation
  6. Quality Control
  7. Service orientation
  8. Judgment and decision making
  9. Active Listening
  10. Creativity

It’s important to note that the skill itself may vary from industry to industry, just as the nature of change will depend on the industry itself.

For example, the investment sector and financial services have yet to be thoroughly changed, even now five years later.

From 2015 a lot of things changed. That means that needed skills will change as well. With the rise of the machines, emotional intelligence becomes one of the most relevant skills in 2020.

Change won’t wait for anyone, as we had the opportunity to witness.

Now, let’s see how the market really changed and what are the ten skills that you will have to possess if you want to thrive in the Fourth Industrial Revolution.


Skill is, based on numerous definitions, possibility seen in talent or expertise, need to do a task or a job. Specific skills can get you through everyday life, such as:

  • Cooking
  • Making your bed
  • Preparing lunch for a week
  • Organizing tax payment
  • Booking online

On the other hand, some skills are more business-oriented, such as:

  • Typing fast
  • Using Google Drive
  • Sending an e-mail

Then, you have skills that can help you in every area, making your life easier. These skills are more abstract. How? Well, if you tell someone that your technical expertise is operating with Excel, your speaker will know that you can:

  • Create an Excel file
  • Operate with formulas in Excel, and that
  • You are good with numbers, that you love them, and that you see the usefulness in using Excel

Moreover, your speaker will know that you:

  • Had an Excel course held by a professional 
  • Had intense one on one course, or
  • You are self-taught

Either way, your speaker will have an idea of how you got to learn Excel in the first place. However, when you tell someone that your skill is – creativity, well, you can expect different reactions.

In most cases, when people hear creativity, they envision someone drawing on a white paper with a colorful felt pen, and the truth is so far from that image. Take a closer look at the above-listed skills in 2015.

You will see creativity listed as the last skill. Surprisingly to some, this skill moved to the top three skills needed for a stable future.

Let’s see what are the mandatory skills in this era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and how they can be explained in reality.


Since the 4th Industrial Revolution is changing the way we work and live, it comes as no surprise that some skills are mandatory in order to thrive.

These top ten skills include:

  1. Complex problem solving
  2. Critical thinking
  3. Creativity
  4. People management
  5. Coordinating with others
  6. Emotional intelligence
  7. Judgment and decision making
  8. Service orientation
  9. Negotiation
  10. Cognitive Flexibility

Emotional intelligence is vital. As you may see, in 2015, emotional intelligence was nowhere to be seen on the list.

However, in 2020 that’s one of the hottest skills. Emotional intelligence will be needed by everyone, especially that machines are taking upon so many jobs.

Emotional intelligence is one of the most important ‘human skills’ that machines won’t be able to learn, ever.

Many are worried that machines will replace humans and take upon the world. However, that’s more an area of imagination, science fiction, and Hollywood.

Still, this doesn’t mean that machines won’t be able to learn these skills. The truth is that they will need decades, if not centuries, to be able to replicate these skills.

The only thing that should worry humans regarding machines is to teach them the right skills, because dramatic storyline – machines rising in rebellion against humans, is unlikely to happen.

Did you know that Toyota actually replaced its robots with humans? The reason for this action is simply – robots can’t propose ideas for improvement. 


However, just knowing what the skills are is not enough for people to implement them at a glance. First, people must understand what these skills really are, and secondly, how they can master them.

So, let’s break down what skills for the Fourth Industrial Revolution really are.

1. Complex Problem Solving: this is a skill that can enable a person to see a link between industries and create unique and creative solutions to various problems.

In general, complex problem solving can identify complex problems, review information related to those problems, and evaluate its options for solutions. Moreover, this skill enables the implementation of different solutions. In reality, this skill can keep people up with AI machines.

2. Critical Thinking: by the ancient essential undertaking of thinking, these skills combine a set of five skills.

Actually, the top five essential thinking skills are creativity, analytics, creativity, open-mind, and problem-solving. Now, critical thinking is more oriented to humans ability to turn data into useful interpretations that can be interconnected in various fields, such as:

  • Biology
  • Engineering, and
  • Computer silence

Proper critical thinking can create numerous benefits, such as leading to better decisions, career success, well-informed opinions, and in some cases, it can even improve personal relationships.

3. Creativity: An idea is just an idea unless the execution happens. Still, the idea is a mandatory step and very first impulse that will eventually lead to proper solutions. Moreover, creativity is the ability to shape random thinks, situations, and thought into something. Anything can be built out of an idea, as long as it’s communicated properly. This skill will always pay off. Now, and in the future.

4. People Management: by definition, people management is human resource management (HRM), and it is built from numerous, different but yet intertwined, tasks, such as:

  • Recruitment
  • Management, and
  • Ongoing support

So, in the world of robots and hard mathematical skills, people matter.

No machine can replace the perfect worker, or manage a team, or create leaders. Therefore, leadership and managerial skills are mandatory, and new times require people skills.

5. Coordinating with Others: in general, coordination always refers to whether a child can get legs and arms to work together. In a world of an adult person, coordination with others refers to effective communication and team collaboration. This skill will be high in demand in any industry.

6. Emotional Intelligence: intelligence comes in many forms. No one is intelligent in the same way.

Some are more confidential with numbers; others are amazing with communication in written form, while others are natural in emotional intelligence and ability to understand its own and others’ feelings and hidden emotions.

Therefore, emotional intelligence is someone’s ability to understand and evaluate others. The most typical qualities that are linked to emotional intelligence are empathy and curiosity.

Intelligence comes with five different components:

  • Self-Awareness
  • Self-Regulation
  • Motivation
  • Empathy
  • Social Skills

7. Judgment and Decision-Making: this skill is tightly linked with one’s ability to condense a vast amount of data, using data analytics and interpret data in a way that will offer the right decision. The idea for this decision is to lead to a solution that will be useful in the digital era.

8. Service Orientation: Overall, the judgment in decision making is all about the cognitive process of reaching a decision that will draw a solution. Moreover, this process can also lead to individual opinions, conclusions, or making critical distinctions that are about people, ideas, situations, or even different events.

9. Negotiation: The ability to negotiate is much appreciated in everyday situations. This skill can help a person deal with everyday family situations, getting a better price, or simply coming to a win-win situation.

Overall, this skill will be highly needed in affected industries of the modern world. Also, this is a skill that helps people settle differences.

10. Cognitive Flexibility: this skill is all about the brain’s ability to transition from thinking about one concept in a satisfying way or another.

This skill is about switching from one dimension to another. This way, one can expand its level of cognitive flexibility. So, said in new terms: cognitive flexibility is the ability to transit between different personal to meet various challenges at hand.

These skills may sound scary to some, or like too much of a challenge, but in reality, they are self-taught if you are just willing to embrace them and implement in your life.

So, how do you learn emotional intelligence or master cognitive flexibility?

This is actually a no-brainer with these straight forward guidelines.


Every skill can be learned. Naturally, some people can learn some skills faster than others, and that’s just because they are more natural to them.

Therefore, some people may need extra time to master specific skills, meaning that they will have to put more effort into it.

Given how significant the potential benefit is with these skills, it’s worth it.

So, how can one master these skills?

1. How to learn complex problem-solving?

Complex problem solving is a skill from which everyone can benefit. This skill is highly needed as we all confront issues on a daily level.

So, the ability to solve all problems fast and effectively, without difficulty, is much required, but… How can one really learn this skill?

First, always think about the bigger picture. Secondly, keep it simple. Surprisingly, smooth moves can help you develop these much-needed skills, such as:

  • Working on logic games and logic puzzles
  • Keeping an idea journal
  • Being physical
  • Practicing mind maps
  • Constantly visualizing problems

2. How to learn critical thinking?

To master this skill, curiosity is needed. Actually, curiosity and a strong urge to explore and demystify the world are fundamental pillars of critical thinking.

People usually think that they are not smart enough to think critically because of all fancy-language written books written from a crucial point of you.

Truth be told, those are just reviews, and personal views on specific matters.

Critical thinking is beyond that, and yet much more straightforward. Critical thinking can be taught in seven simple steps:

  1. Ask direct and basic questions
  2. Don’t assumption – explore and wait for an answer
  3. Whenever possible reverse things
  4. Always evaluate the existing views, solutions, ideas, and evidence
  5. Think for yourself
  6. Make sure that you understand that no one actually thinks all the time critically
  7. Be well-aware of your thinking processes

3. How to learn creativity?

Creativity is beyond writing the best-seller or painting the next Mona Lisa. Creativity is about how you envision the world around you.

Therefore, creativity can be seen as a process, as a skill that you improve with time, and improve it with time, effort, and training. By definition, creativity is turning ideas or visions into reality.

The ability to perceive the world, and existing solutions, in new ways, is the way of creativity.

Creativity is such a universal occurrence that everyone can see what type of creativity fits them the best. With that said, here are ten easy-to-follow ways to spark your creativity:

  1. Always explore the unknown
  2. Write morning pages, filled with goals and reflection on yesterdays actions
  3. Keep an idea book and write down any idea that comes to your mind
  4. Use mind maps
  5. Write a list of 100 (things to do, skills to master, movies to watch, books to read and so on)
  6. Find your mentor or muse
  7. Create a vision board and place it on easy-to-spot place
  8. Exercise your imagination
  9. Participate in creative practices
  10. Learn from famous and creative people from creative industries

4. How to learn people management?

Managing people is not easy. Luckily, it can be taught with proper surrounding and right tasks.

The most important thing about managing people is your desire to manage people, or at least understanding the importance of managing people. This skill is not reserved only for top managers.

A cashier great in people management can benefit enormously from this skill.

A nervous customer can cause several problems. However, even a cashier knows how to calm prison down, and talk about the problem out; both sides can benefit.

However, if your position is in top management, managing people should be one of your main goals.

So, how can one learn people management? Truth be told, this always-popular skill can be learned in 12 simple steps:

  1. Always outline your goals first
  2. Determine what you need to improve in terms of communication and handling people
  3. Talk to your team members and understand their strength and weakness, and use to navigate team better
  4. Be organized
  5. Learn about leadership and leadership styles
  6. Educate yourself on leadership
  7. Learn how to be an active listener
  8. Practice Rewarding
  9. Find a mentor, preferably from your industry
  10. Learn how to communicate effectively
  11. Be transparent in your actions
  12. Create and nurture a feedback system

5. How to learn to coordinate with others?

Coordinating with others can be achieved through clear and effective communication, mutual work, and precise expectation settings.

This is often easier said than done, so it’s important to be well-aware of different personality types and act accordingly. That being said, it’s important to respect everyone’s needs and social preferences.

Also, being organized and organizing with others can lead to an ability to foresee potential problems and obstacles before they even happen.

6. How to learn emotional intelligence?

Some people have emotional intelligence, or otherwise named EQ as a natural talent, while others have to learn it. Luckily, it can be learned. EQ can be learned through self-awareness, motivation, empathy, social skills, and self-regulation.

It’s essential to interact with people, listen to them, and create a healthy relationship. Altogether, it should lead to a strong understanding and use of emotional intelligence.

7. How to learn judgment and decision-making?

The good judgment includes the consequences of one’s decision.

To master this skill is easy – you only have to think twice before you act or even speak.

Try not to be impulsive and not to react first. Clear decisions within an organization can lead to tactical and strategic decisions and proper planning.

When it comes to decision making, it is vital to have proper surroundings, to investigate the situation in detail, and explore your options.

You should know your alternatives and choose the best solution from those alternatives so you can evaluate your plan and communicate your decision. Once you deliver your decision, you can take action.

8. How to learn service orientation?

The core of any company is excellent customer service.

Therefore, service orientation can only be mastered through work with people on solving specific real-life situations. To learn this skill, you should:

  1. Practice active listening
  2. Empathize with customers
  3. Always use positive language and power words
  4. Improve your technical skills, so you address different problem son different platforms
  5. Always know products and services
  6. To communicate clearly
  7. Analyze and be open for customer feedback

9. How to learn to negotiate?

Negotiation is a way for someone to bargain on something and create a win-win situation.

In negation, it’s essential for both sides to feel satisfied with the final deal.

This skill is useful on a daily base and when dealing with serious business contracts and so on.

Negotiation skills can be strengthened with these eight easy steps:

  1. Always be prepared. Never go unprepared for a meeting. Proper preparation will help you understand the situation better and run through various scenarios.
  2. Have goals. Know exactly what do you need and why.
  3. Have alternatives. You should never step into a negotiation ring without a back-up plan.
  4. Set reasonable goals. Always strive for the best, but keep is realistic. Therefore, if you genuinely believe that you deserve something, ask for it.
  5. Take your time. Always write down your essential points, listed to the other party, and carefully consider everything discussed.
  6. Communicate. Don’t rush with the conversation. You or the other party won’t be able to reach mutual goals if you rush into the outcome. Maintain professional body language and be calm.
  7. Always listen carefully. 
  8. Seek a win-win solution. Don’t just think about your goals, or goals of the other side, but think about both sides. Think about how you can benefit and what would be well enough for the other hand.

10. How to learn cognitive flexibility?

Cognitive flexibility can’t be learned overnight, but it can be developed through specific situations. Those who are lucky enough to be cognitively flexible are able to learn more quickly.

Cognitive flexibility can be acquired through altered everyday routines, new experiences, meeting new people, transferring your learning, and even challenging your morals.


Undoubtedly, the Fourth Industrial Revolution brought numerous changes. In this era of technology and digitalization, it becomes more and more challenging for people to respond to job market needs.

Since technology develops so far, new skills and professionally with those skills are high in demand. The predictions are that only in 2020, around 5 million jobs will disappear.

Therefore, people need to follow new trends, explore new jobs, and skills related to new job requirements.

Self-awareness or merely knowing what you know and how you learn can help you work toward gaining the right skills and put you in the right direction.

It’s important to note that specific skills will be high in demand in the near and far future. Jobs such as construction, maintenance, installation, media, production, and manufacturing, next to the office and administrative positions, will only rise.

To many, this may be an excellent opportunity to develop their skills to meet these market requirements.

Some jobs will always be in demand, such as production, construction, and maintenance, so not the entire future will be robotic and heavily burdened with machines.

The 10 skills you need to thrive in the Fourth Industrial Revolution

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