16 January 2024

Top 10 Highly Sought-After Skills for 2024

Businesses are swiftly embracing skills-based recruitment and workforce development to use the potential of new technologies. As we navigate the early stages of the AI age, the demand for specific skills is growing, falling into two main categories: technology skills and “soft skills” that support our human qualities.

Here are 10 skill sets crucial for the next 12 months and beyond:

Generative AI: Master the capabilities of AI tools such as Google Cloud Platform (GCP), Microsoft Azure AI, and ChatGPT to efficiently complete tasks, identify opportunities, manage change, and address ethical considerations. The accessibility of generative AIs, often compared to an “iPhone moment” for AI, allows individuals to effortlessly create, automate, and optimise their aims. The key is to develop skills in recognising opportunities, creating efficient solutions, adapting to change, and responsibly handling ethical implications, making these skills highly sought-after in 2024.

Sustainability Skills: Businesses are prioritising sustainability, recognising the importance of operating with minimal environmental impact. Strategic goals now include achieving net-zero targets, and smaller businesses aiming for partnerships or collaborations often need to show a commitment to sustainability. Consequently, skills related to identifying and implementing green solutions are highly valued in today’s business landscape.

Project Management: Skills in managing people, technology, and problem-solving are crucial, and AI tools play a key role in various aspects of project management. 

Whether overseeing humans or machines, there’s a growing demand for individuals who can integrate people, technology, and problem-solving skills. While AI tools excel at specific tasks, tasks requiring high-level oversight, strategic objective setting, and prioritisation of work and resources still require human expertise. Those in such roles can leverage AI for tasks like prototyping, research, scheduling, testing, and ensuring compliance, creating new opportunities for efficiency and collaboration.

Communication Skills: Effective communication is vital, especially for interpreting data analytics and conversing with machines in natural language. Professionals are increasingly sought after to bridge communication gaps and convey actionable insights.

In today’s business environment, there’s a growing demand for individuals who can identify messaging opportunities and bridge communication gaps within organisations. As data analytics insights become increasingly important, professionals who can interpret and communicate these insights in a clear and actionable manner are in high demand. Moreover, as the practice of communicating with machines using natural language becomes more common, organisations need individuals who can engage with them effectively to achieve optimal results.

Clinical Healthcare Skills: Healthcare professionals with emotional intelligence and empathy remain irreplaceable, with a continuing demand for human qualities in healthcare roles. The global shortage of healthcare professionals persists, with many tasks resisting full automation. While AI tools enhance skills, qualities like emotional intelligence and empathy remain crucial. Healthcare jobs in developed economies are well-compensated, reflecting specialised skills. Working in healthcare continues to be a stable career path for diverse individuals, a sentiment holding true in 2024.

Data Skills: Understanding and transforming data into value is key, with data science skills playing a vital role in ensuring ethical and trustworthy AI. At the core of the AI revolution lies data, and the ability to transform it into value is crucial for business success. Ensuring the ethical and trustworthy deployment of AI, especially in critical tasks like enhancing healthcare and advancing scientific research, demands transparency and explainability. In this context, data science skills play a vital role, ensuring that machines utilise reliable data to make decisions that are comprehensible and trustworthy.

Interpersonal Networking: Building networks based on trust and common goals is invaluable, opening up opportunities for growth and innovation. The skill of forming meaningful connections with the right individuals remains a key factor for success. Building a network of allies who can support both professional goals and personal development is a crucial skill. The ability to cultivate relationships grounded in trust and shared objectives will be as valuable as ever in 2024. In the era of technological advancements offering new opportunities for growth and innovation, those prepared to seize them will find this skill increasingly advantageous.

Cloud Computing Skills: The global market for cloud computing is growing, creating a demand for professionals skilled in assisting businesses with cloud migration. The global market for cloud computing is projected to surge from £451 billion to nearly £1.9 trillion between 2022 and 2030. This substantial growth means an escalating demand for individuals possessing technical expertise to aid businesses, both large and small, in their transition to the cloud. Professionals well-versed in the tools and platforms of cloud computing will maintain relevance and competitiveness, making their skills highly sought after throughout 2024 and beyond.

Machine Learning Engineering: Despite advancements, human ML engineers are still in high demand as the AI revolution continues to evolve. Undoubtedly, fueling the AI revolution creates a rising demand for individuals with the technical proficiency to carry it out. According to the World Economic Forum’s Future of Jobs 2023 report, “AI and machine learning specialists top the list of fast-growing jobs.” Despite advancements in generative AI enabling even the technically unskilled to build AI apps and the emergence of self-replicating AI such as AutoML, human machine learning (ML) engineers will continue to be in high demand in 2024.

Cybersecurity Skills: In a landscape of increasing cyber threats, skills in building security and resilience remain highly sought after. The frequency and severity of data breaches, cyber attacks, and hacking attempts are on the rise, accompanied by escalating penalties for businesses that fall short in safeguarding customer data. Cybersecurity has evolved into an arms race, pitting malicious individuals, groups, and state-sponsored actors against security specialists in a constant battle of deploying faster, more powerful, and more intelligent technologies. In light of these challenges, skills related to building security and resilience are poised to be among the most sought-after in 2024.

Prepare for the future by honing these skills, ensuring success in the dynamic landscape of 2024 and beyond.