Five courses to take for skills development in 2019

Make it your best professional year ever

LinkedIn data has shown there are at least 50 000 professional skills in the world today. With so much variety, how do you decide what to study to make sure 2019 is your best professional year yet? In a time of rapid change, a good approach is to choose courses that equip you with the most in-demand skills for Industry 4.0. 

Both LinkedIn and the World Economic Forum (WEF) have published their top skills for 2019, and many correlations have emerged: most significantly, soft skills are equally – or more – important as hard skills, with creativity topping the list.

Our learnings

As an executive education specialist, we've used our own learnings from interactions with some of the continent's biggest corporates to assess the top courses that individuals should study to master the most in-demand skills of 2019.  

What we found is that, alongside soft skills, problem-solving is going to remain a sought-after skill, with digital disruption and rapid change demanding agile thinking and a 'fail forwards fast' approach.  Both the WEF and LinkedIn stress the importance of collaboration and strong people management skills. Adaptability is another big must-have for those wishing to thrive in the workplace of tomorrow. ​

For those who upskill themselves in these capabilities, the opportunities are endless. New collar jobs are a rising trend in the States, with some people earning six figure salaries for specialising in scarce skills. In a global and South African context, learning to work with machines will be a focus for workers hoping to win at 'tomorrow'.

"If SA could double how quickly its workforce accrues skills for successful human-machine collaboration, one-million jobs could be saved by 2025. It’s worth noting that cloud computing, analytical skills and AI are top hard skills for this year.”Staff Writer, Stellenbosch University

In fact, Stellenbosch University research shows that if SA could double how quickly its workforce accrues skills for successful human-machine collaboration, one-million jobs could be saved by 2025. It's worth noting that cloud computing, analytical skills and AI are top hard skills for this year. 

Our picks for top 5 courses in 2019

In line with the essential skills outlined in the WEF's Future of Jobs report, here are USB-ED's top 5 courses to study in 2019: ​

  • New Manager's Development Programme: WEF believes that people management will continue to be a sought-after skill in tomorrow's world of work. Get ahead by learning to be a transformational manager. 
  • Senior Management Development Programme: Experienced managers are becoming more valuable than ever before. Polish up your skills with new knowledge that focuses on strategic change management. In a time of digitisation, individuals skilled in managing change are highly in demand. 
  • Master Classes: USB-ED offers four Master Classes in strategydesign thinking and scenario planning. Take all four to be ready for any 2019 curveballs that come your way. These skills will be invaluable in upskilling you to be an integral asset in problem-solving and ingenuity. They'll also up your creativity game, further cementing your top-podium-position as a high-performer. 
  • Project Leadership and EQ: It can't be stressed enough how important emotional intelligence (EI) is. Analyse your own emotional quotient and up your EI to be the best possible project manager in the New Year. 
  • Customer-centricity Short Course: Understand your customers to know how to deliver experiences that'll turn them into loyal brand ambassadors. Globally, there's a huge focus on shifting consumer demands in 2019. With consumers becoming incredibly conscientious and demanding brands to not only deliver hybrid (online and physical) immersive experiences, but also to be shining examples of morality, now is the time to really get to granular-level-grips with what your clients want. By mastering a client-centric approach, you have every chance of making yourself incredibly valuable to your business. 

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