7 skill sets essential for the Fourth Industrial Revolution

7 skill sets essential for the Fourth Industrial Revolution

7 skill sets essential for the Fourth Industrial Revolution
 Picture: Getty Images

White Paper Media


If industry experts and educationists are correct, the future of work will belong to those who can successfully blend creative, technical and social skills.

This was the broader message shared during the discussion on the topic “new skills for the creative class in the Fourth Industrial Revolution” at the Global Islamic Economy Summit 2018. In addition, IT services and consulting firm Cognizant Technology Solutions Corp. announced last year that, even as skills and jobs become obsolete over time, at least 21 new job categories may emerge from technological and other societal changes.

Here are some of the new skills that the creative class will have to adopt to remain relevant in the new industrial revolution.


Siddiqa Juma, a contemporary Islamic artist in the UAE, told My Salaam, “The mind is a very funny thing, but the idea is to teach ourselves and store the information in a box in our mind and then put it to use when creating anything. Unlocking the visual database of what we observe will help build creativity.”


Reem Hantoush, Associate, Department of Urban Planning, Abu Dhabi Municipality, said, “The UAE has a big, ambitious education agenda. To make education and training flexible, we need to widen the application of online learning tools and platforms and introduce a video game style to learning.”

She added that there is a need to reform the whole education system so that the younger generation can master soft skills, communication skills and social skills.


As the Islamic digital economy is a big part of the Islamic economy initiative, digital skills will play a significant role in dealing with the Fourth Industrial Revolution, according to Dr. Paul J. Hopkinson, Associate Head of School for the School of Social Sciences, Heriot-Watt University Dubai Campus.

“The most popular of our programmes have a digital element to them, and as an institution, we are quite keen on developing that. We are working on it as one of our proposed portfolios for the future, and so these things will hopefully come to the market in the next two to three years.”


The private sector should be transparent when it comes to informing the world about the skill sets required in different institutions, Abdulla Al Awar, Chief Executive Officer, Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre, told My Salaam.

“The Islamic economy sectors are very diverse, so when diversity happens from a talent acquisition standpoint, it is important to diversify the talent. That is why a lot of academic institutions and training companies are also involved in running programmes across the spectrum,” he said.


“Resilience, adaptability, flexibility and collaboration are the skills of the future,” said Arfah Farooq, Creative Business Strategist, Reluctantly Brave. She supports hands-on training and spoke of her company’s initiative, which matches young people with brands, allowing the former to earn some money and get have access to opportunities while the latter gain access to innovation and new ideas.


So far, the Islamic economy has been focusing on food, travel and hospitality, but the creative side of it is emerging very quickly, said contemporary Islamic artist Siddiqa Juma. “We are going to need to teach creative people how to take their skills and monetise or commercialise them.”


Cooperation is central to Islamic culture, Thomas Steele-Maley, Director of Foresight Research and Design, GEMS Education, told My Salaam. “The ability to think in indigenous ways for Islamic culture versus Western ways is actually going to be a critical piece that will allow for more rapid growth. We are very close to the punctuated equilibrium of creativity within systems and structures, and when that happens, you will have to cultivate kids who will be successful in the 21st century and will be able to really make that difference.”

(Reporting by White Paper Media; Editing by Seban Scaria

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