As technology infiltrates every area of work, many jobs are becoming hybridized. That means employers expect workers to become proficient in multiple disciplines, rather than focusing on just one set of skills. With unemployment at less than 4% in the U.S. today,1 companies have fewer applicants to choose from and are looking for agile employees who can shift between different tasks. One in eight job listings is highly hybridized, according to a recent study.2 That number represents a strong trend—but what are some of the drivers behind it?
As connected technologies grow to prominence, companies across every sector are gathering vast amounts of data through a combination of IoT sensors and online consumer data. They face a formidable problem: how to translate that data into insights that can aid their decision-making. Professionals who have the skills to operate analytics software, create models, and visualize the data are at a premium. They need to understand how to perform statistical analysis and how it applies to their specific field, such as consumer goods.
In general, digital tools are becoming mainstream across sectors, and they are contributing to job hybridization. Real estate professionals, for example, no longer rely solely on the telephone and paper documents to finalize a sale. They must also be proficient in using digital apps for listings, 3D home tours, and document signing. A high level of comfort with digital technology is now a requirement across almost every job category, and the more savvy a professional is with the latest technical tools, the more successful they are likely to be in their role.
As technology alters the job landscape, workers must diversify their abilities to include both hard and soft skills. Soft skills are often people-centric, focused around communication. Hard skills are more concrete abilities such as computer programming or language translation. According to a recent report, today’s most in-demand hard skills include people management, analytical reasoning, artificial user experience (UX) design, mobile app development, and scientific computing. And the most desirable soft skills are creativity, persuasion, collaboration, adaptability, and time management.3
People in positions that primarily rely on soft skills are wise to pursue hard skills that can demonstrate their agility and willingness to adapt. And professionals focused on hard skills, such as computer scientists or financial analysts, should work to develop soft skills that can make them stand out from their colleagues in the job market. As mentioned above, data analysts are in high demand, but statisticians who can translate their findings to plain language and communicate clearly with C-level executives are even more valuable.
To learn more about the hybrid job trend and other factors impacting your HR career, consider pursuing a master’s in human resource management. Programs typically focus on skills such as conflict management, personal leadership, and aligning human resources to the specific needs of the organization. When you choose Walden University’s MS in Human Resource Management, you will be able to select from two tracks—one for those with an HR professional certification, and one for those newer to the field.
Walden University’s online MS in Human Resource Management program allows you to earn your degree from an accredited institution using a flexible platform, without interrupting your career.
Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission, www.hlcommission.org.