We are in the midst of unprecedented technological change. New skills are required to navigate this transformation, but given the speed of innovation employers are struggling to find the talent they need. This skills gap costs companies more than $1.3 trillion per year in lost productivity, but it also represents a $500 billion opportunity in jobs needing to be filled. With the right skill set and right education, the Fourth Industrial Revolution can be yours for the taking. So, how does education need to change to ensure you are prepared?

Fusing a range new skills

One thing is clear, digital skills such as mobile, CRM, and analytics are becoming an essential part of the business toolkit — and not just for technical roles. While the Third Industrial Revolution was about digitization, the Fourth Industrial Revolution is about bringing multiple technologies together to create smarter experiences and interactions.

Business leaders must understand how to harness the power of mobile, big data, IoT and AI to stay competitive. In addition to technical skills, strong social skills such persuasion, emotional intelligence, and collaboration will be equally important.

“Particularly for technical skills that change often, online and on-demand learning is a way to keep skills current on an ongoing basis.”

Emphasizing knowledge

The World Economic Forum’s report on the future of jobs predicts the emergence of new roles which blend these technical and social skills together, such as specialized sales reps and senior managers who can successfully steer companies through the upcoming change and disruption.

The ability to learn and continually skill up is key. Particularly for technical skills that change often, online and on-demand learning is a way to keep skills current on an ongoing basis. New digital platforms that streamline learning are a great way to incorporate education as an ongoing practice and keep pace with the speed of innovation.