Note to future you: These are the skills you’ll need for work in 10 years

“Being cyber aware is a very important thing.”

Note to future you: These are the skills you’ll need for work in 10 years
[Photo: Joshua Ness/Unsplash]

By Davos standards, it was one of the quieter moments during this week’s annual meeting of the World Economic Forum—an event marked by bold proclamations, big personalities, and even bigger bank accounts. At a panel discussion about the future of work, Fast Company editor-in-chief Stephanie Mehta asked four executives from HCL Technologies what skill or trade employees will need to succeed in the workplace in 2030.


Here’s what all four of them said:

Anand Birje: Senior CVP & Global Head, Digital & Analytics

  • Answer: “Adaptability and collaboration”
  • Why? Adaptability will be critical because workers are shifting careers more frequently throughout their working lives. Collaboration, meanwhile, is increasingly important because teamwork skills are a growing commodity in the 21st century. (Side note: We recently wrote about a fascinating Harvard study that revealed how choosing the right coworkers is one of the best things you can do for your career.)

Kalyan Kumar: CVP and CTO, IT Services

  • Answer: “Lifelong learning”
  • Why? Being a “student for life” will be vital in the future, says Kumar, but it will also matter what you learn. “One important thing, which I think everyone should learn, which people are not learning that’s foundational, is cybersecurity. You don’t have to be an expert, but most security issues start with you . . . being cyber aware is a very important thing.”

Rahul Singh: President & Global Head, Financial Services

  • Answer: [Understanding the real-world implications of technology]
  • Why? The relationship between humans and technology is only going to get more complex over time, and understanding how technology affects your life and work will be a fundamental skill, says Singh. Example? “In financial services, we talk about frictionless banking, which means that banking will happen around you . . . You pick up a can of Coke, and it will charge your account. Now, if you don’t have the money power to pay for that Coke can, you still pick up the Coke, not knowing it’s going to hit your account a month later. So that’s what I’m talking about—the consequences of technology and the way it can disrupt day-to-day work.”

Rachel Powers: SVP, Digital Consulting, HCL Technologies

  • Answer: “Being human obsessed”
  • Why? “We talk about ‘customer obsessed’ in the industry, but really it’s about being human obsessed, and really keeping the focus on who you are solving for.”

Davos Dialogues, a series of editorial panels, videos, and news coverage, is produced in partnership with HCL Technologies.


About the author

Christopher Zara is a senior staff news editor for Fast Company and obsessed with media, technology, business, culture, and theater. Before coming to FastCo News, he was a deputy editor at International Business Times, a theater critic for Newsweek, and managing editor of Show Business magazine