Between artificial intelligence, big data, machine learning, the Internet of Things and more, many of today’s most cutting-edge technological advances are iterating at a dizzying pace. Add to that fears of automation and an upcoming recession, and employees are facing serious pressure to stay relevant in an ever-changing work environment. But what exactly is on the horizon, and how can you prepare for it now?
To find out, we turned to the winners of Glassdoor’s Best Places to Work in 2019, some of the most innovative organizations out there today. Here’s what they said employees need to know — master these skills now, and you’re guaranteed to stand out above the rest.
Sharpen Your Data Skills
At this point, “data” has become a ubiquitous buzzword in the business world — but for good reason. Technological advances over the past couple of decades have provided companies with an unprecedented level of information, and even the most traditional companies are embracing it in order to make more strategic decisions.
“I’m seeing a few key trends continue and emerge as we look ahead to the new year, including the importance of being data-led. As a team, we’re leveraging our data to field new ideas and innovation and inform decisions,” said Rick Jensen, Senior Vice President, People & Places at Intuit.
“Developing digital skills is more important than ever,” agreed Kevin Peesker, Microsoft Canada President. “I am not speaking about coders or programmers — the shift is every role being impacted by digital, and possessing an awareness of technical and data-infused possibility will be fundamental to making an impact.”
Data proficiency means more than just glancing at numbers and drawing a conclusion, though. Matin Movassate, CEO of data analytics firm Heap, points out that today’s employees need to be able to determine whether or not their data is reliable.
“This grand, AI-driven future can’t happen without a complete, trustworthy dataset,” Movassate said. “So if prospective data engineers, data analysts, data scientists and business intelligence leaders can maintain a maniacal focus on the completeness and quality of their data, they’ll be well-prepared for anything the future has in store.”
Commit to Continuous Learning
Data interpretation/analysis is certainly one skill that will be essential to the future, but with how rapidly technology is evolving, today’s workers need to stay abreast of as many cutting-edge areas as possible. After all, any one of them could completely rewrite the rules of work.
“If you think about certain roles today — cognitive data scientist, machine learning engineer — many of those roles didn’t exist 10 years ago and not only did they not exist, we hadn’t even imagined what they could be. We believe it will be the same in 10 years from now,” Peesker said.
A few trends to stay on top of in particular include “SaaS, cloud computing, mobile, user experience, AI and machine learning,” shared Aron Ain, CEO of HR technology company Kronos Incorporated.
“New ways of working will include more design thinking and working in an agile environment. The rapid development and creative application of new technologies will be applied across the business spectrum, from blockchain to supply chain,” added Manny Maceda, Worldwide Managing Partner at Bain & Company. “Job seekers can prepare by committing to ongoing, self-directed learning.”
Not sure where to start? Subscribing to publications that delve into these topics is always a good idea — a quick Google search should yield plenty of results — as is exploring relevant courses on online platforms like Coursera, edX and Udacity.
With all of the rapid innovation occurring today, it’s critical that workers are able to keep up the pace when the inevitable changes occur.
“Technology is changing at a breathtaking pace, both with the products we develop and offer, as well as the products we use to run our business. We remain deeply focused on embracing new technology, innovating in all areas, breaking what is not broken to make it better, [learning] from our competitors as a means to improve and on and on,” Ain said. “We’re not only going to be part of the future of work — we’re focused on helping to shape it.”
This breakneck speed isn’t just limited to technology companies, though. Other industries, like aviation, have adopted a nimble mindset as well.
“To be successful in [the aviation] industry, one must be agile and able to manage large volumes of change,” explained Greg Muccio, Director of People at Southwest Airlines. “There are many variables that are outside of our control that impact our operations, so there is more pressure to adapt. Change is constant in the airline industry.”
Put Customers First
It might seem counterintuitive, but as technology continues to revolutionize the way we work, a human-centered approach becomes increasingly important. That’s why Intuit puts such an emphasis on what they call “customer obsession.”
“Intuit was customer-obsessed before it was popular, but we’re continuing to hire for, and teach, capabilities that fall in love with the customer problem — not the solution. We want and need all of our employees to really fall in love with the problem in order to best solve it,” Jensen shared. “Diversity of thought, background and craft will help us move the needle on solving problems for our customers quickly.”
Human connection is especially crucial in industries like healthcare, where positive patient-provider relationships are key to favorable outcomes.
“At the end of the day, healthcare candidates must be able to stay connected to the human side of research and patient care. Approaching patients with care and compassion are traits that technology can never replace,” said Dana Bottenfield, VP of Human Resources at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
Build Strong Relationships With Colleagues
A people-centric approach isn’t just for those outside of your organization, however.
“Successful job seekers need to have a balance of strong subject matter expertise with a focus on getting results through teamwork,” Bottenfield explained.
“Job seekers need to be comfortable working collaboratively with a broader range of people — data scientists, software developers and design thinkers — to deliver results,” Maceda elaborated. “The new norm is being able to work in new ways and with a more diverse set of talent.”
And as companies grow larger and more complex, maintaining this connection — no matter your location — is imperative.
“As companies continue to move to platforms with more interdependencies across the entire organization, top talent needs the ability to work seamlessly across the organization,” Jensen added.
The key to doing that? Trust, Ain said.
“Technologies like our own are empowering employees to work their way, from anytime, anywhere. Trust is a two-way street, one that’s earned through transparency, reliability, communication and performance. This world of flexibility can be wonderful — and trust is key to making it work.”
Interested in refinancing student loans?Here are the top 6 lenders of 2019!
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1 Important Disclosures for SoFi.
2 Important Disclosures for Earnest.
To qualify, you must be a U.S. citizen or possess a 10-year (non-conditional) Permanent Resident Card, reside in a state Earnest lends in, and satisfy our minimum eligibility criteria. You may find more information on loan eligibility here: https://www.earnest.com/eligibility. Not all applicants will be approved for a loan, and not all applicants will qualify for the lowest rate. Approval and interest rate depend on the review of a complete application.
Earnest fixed rate loan rates range from 3.89% APR (with Auto Pay) to 7.89% APR (with Auto Pay). Variable rate loan rates range from 2.54% APR (with Auto Pay) to 7.27% APR (with Auto Pay). For variable rate loans, although the interest rate will vary after you are approved, the interest rate will never exceed 8.95% for loan terms 10 years or less. For loan terms of 10 years to 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 9.95%. For loan terms over 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 11.95% (the maximum rates for these loans). Earnest variable interest rate loans are based on a publicly available index, the one month London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR). Your rate will be calculated each month by adding a margin between 1.82% and 5.50% to the one month LIBOR. The rate will not increase more than once per month. Earnest rate ranges are current as of March 18, 2019, and are subject to change based on market conditions and borrower eligibility.
Auto Pay discount: If you make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic, monthly deduction from a savings or checking account, your rate will be reduced by one quarter of one percent (0.25%) for so long as you continue to make automatic, electronic monthly payments. This benefit is suspended during periods of deferment and forbearance.
The information provided on this page is updated as of 0318/2019. Earnest reserves the right to change, pause, or terminate product offerings at any time without notice. Earnest loans are originated by Earnest Operations LLC. California Finance Lender License 6054788. NMLS # 1204917. Earnest Operations LLC is located at 302 2nd Street, Suite 401N, San Francisco, CA 94107. Terms and Conditions apply. Visit https://www.earnest.com/terms-of-service, email us at email@example.com, or call 888-601-2801 for more information on ourstudent loan refinance product.
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3 Important Disclosures for Laurel Road.
Laurel Road Disclosures
However, if the borrower chooses to make monthly payments automatically by electronic funds transfer (EFT) from a bank account, the fixed rate will decrease by 0.25%, and will increase back up to the regular fixed interest rate described in the preceding paragraph if the borrower stops making (or we stop accepting) monthly payments automatically by EFT from the designated borrower’s bank account.
However, if the borrower chooses to make monthly payments automatically by electronic funds transfer (EFT) from a bank account, the variable rate will decrease by 0.25%, and will increase back up to the regular variable interest rate described in the preceding paragraph if the borrower stops making (or we stop accepting) monthly payments automatically by EFT from the designated borrower’s bank account.
4 Important Disclosures for LendKey.
Refinancing via LendKey.com is only available for applicants with qualified private education loans from an eligible institution. Loans that were used for exam preparation classes, including, but not limited to, loans for LSAT, MCAT, GMAT, and GRE preparation, are not eligible for refinancing with a lender via LendKey.com. If you currently have any of these exam preparation loans, you should not include them in an application to refinance your student loans on this website. Applicants must be either U.S. citizens or Permanent Residents in an eligible state to qualify for a loan. Certain membership requirements (including the opening of a share account and any applicable association fees in connection with membership) may apply in the event that an applicant wishes to accept a loan offer from a credit union lender. Lenders participating on LendKey.com reserve the right to modify or discontinue the products, terms, and benefits offered on this website at any time without notice. LendKey Technologies, Inc. is not affiliated with, nor does it endorse, any educational institution.
5 Important Disclosures for CommonBond.
Offered terms are subject to change. Loans are offered by CommonBond Lending, LLC (NMLS # 1175900). If you are approved for a loan, the interest rate offered will depend on your credit profile, your application, the loan term selected and will be within the ranges of rates shown.
All Annual Percentage Rates (APRs) displayed assume borrowers enroll in auto pay and account for the 0.25% reduction in interest rate. All variable rates are based on a 1-month LIBOR assumption of 2.5% effective February 10, 2019.
6 Important Disclosures for Citizens Bank.
Citizens Bank Disclosures
|2.54% – 7.12%3||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.54% – 7.27%1||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.67% – 8.96%4||Undergrad & Graduate|
|3.23% – 6.65%2||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.69% – 7.43%5||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.98% – 9.72%6||Undergrad & Graduate|