As we stand with one foot onto the arena of the new decade, we must envision what the path looks like. What is the composition of the skill set that we navigate for the coming decade? From research reports, field experts, to business tycoons, to your neighborhood bards, have all tried to decipher this question. Well, lucky for you – I have been listening, and would like to summarize it for you. The overwhelming quantum of wisdom (‘gyaan’) cut short to – ‘the top 5 avatars in you to be unveiled’.

The versatile techie

Yes, you read it right, in the years to come being a just a techie not make the cut. We know that automation is the way ahead, and the technical know-how is now becoming a skill as common place as spoken English. If STEM was a buzz yesterday, today it’s SMAC (social, mobile, analytics and cloud), and tomorrow it would be something different. This is where versatility comes in, to be able to keep up with the trends, to be able to learn the field where the tech is applied, and moreover be treat your tech profile only as a necessary criteria and not a sufficient one. How does one acquire this versatility? To begin with it’s through a quest of knowledge, in the world of internet of things one needs to develop plural interest, they need to continuously refuel their minds. But more than that, it’s a process of not letting strip than to put on cognizance. One needs to de-coagulate by means of maintaining the problem solving and critical thinking abilities.

The artist

What if I told you it is the procrastinator in you who will help you make big bucks in the coming decade? Stay with me, it is a long string of a logically coherent argument. If it was work we were competing with machines for, we are definitely set for losing, I mean unless you are a super human clocking in 24 hours workday. Let’s turn this argument around on them robots and say it is indeed our procrastination that is our USP. How is it a USP you ask? I will let Adam Grant, a professor of management and psychology at the Wharton School, Harvard, answer that. He found through an experimental enquiry that procrastination is a virtue for creativity. This could also be ‘explained’ by Vox – it’s our lucid mind that stimulates a process of imagination, that of creation. And the day dreaming during procrastination that is the part getting stimulated. Hence, maybe the next decade taking a hot chocolate and getting back into bed might be the best we can do to stand out, from amongst the robots.

The negotiator

Have you been always seen yourself midst of disputes, imparting placatory wisdom to the aggravated parties? Basically, are you the go to buddy for conflict resolution? Well, in that case the coming decade would be a baller time for you. Humans might not be so complex in the computational work they carry out, but oh lord there isn’t a bigger emotional mystery to be deciphered. Human emotions are what makes us unique, and what will also inevitably cause our doom, but it’s the negotiators who save the day. Be it an international relations expert, an investment banker, or a mere traffic clearance volunteer, they all have one thing in common – their skill is not going out of fashion. Well, it is only getting more vital as we are in the complex phase of conversion, or oneness as Masayoshi Son, the owner of Soft Bank, puts it.

The social animal

We live in an era where loneliness and escalated networks co-exist, where one has over 100k Instagram followers and battles loneliness at the same time. What we have already seen is a boom in the social network based industry of influencers, but that’s not what I intend to talk about. Here we talk about the psychologists, the neighborhood priests, the human resource personnel. The fields requiring the social skills, empathy, emotions, are going to gain traction. The reason for it is simple, and you don’t need any report and stat to tell you that, because there is a good chance you have already felt it – the world is becoming a lonelier place. And the irony of the situation is every person craving social affinity, is also contributing in creating the hostile community. Hence, in the coming decade, we will see the need for people who can help create the bigger picture.

The explorer 

‘Thinking outside the box’ – haven’t you heard this term a one lakh forty five thousand times before you saw it here? But, these are one of those things that never get old, but merely re-invents itself in its application. As Crimson, a student aid provider, made the list of top 5 jobs in 2030, interestingly all of the had names alien to my knowledge. From commercial space pilot, to extinct species revivalist, to organ/body part creator, every single one of them had an uncanny ring to it. Moral of the story being – explore the depths of your conscious, and give something new to the world. There is a good chance whether it is a venture capitalist, or a netizen, the payback would be higher when the newness of your thought intimidates them.

Final thoughts

You might by now be wondering who I am, and why do I sound like a grand-parent sitting by the alley peeling peanuts? Well, when connecting dots seems to be the only means to deal with existentialism, believe me a 22 year old and a fossil starts rendering unsolicited advice alike. I recently crossed paths with a company trying to reinvent the way children learn coding, to the extent that most of their coding lessons are unplugged. They call themselves moveForward (yes, I know, they have a random capitalization in between their name – it is a nerdy ode to a coding cult called camel case). Coming back to the point, they asked me to answer this question for them, it was a conformism they seeked as to are they on the right path for the coming decade. The results are out and they happen to be killing it! To begin with they chose their target audience right, as the children haven’t masked their artist, negotiator, versatile, social, and explorer avatar, to put on the act of being a drab dressed in formality. And, to have these ‘naïve’ beings molded into their coding path with creativity, cognitive flexibility, social skill and the versatility enhanced – I can envision another Vita (an 8 year old Chinese coding genius) in making.