My thoughts for Q1 2020

Skills! Skills! Skills!

In this short piece, I wanted to share my thoughts on skill identification, skill prioritization, skill acquisition, and re-skilling. Enjoy!

List the skills you currently have and prioritize them: over the years, you have acquired some relevant hard and soft skills. These could include teamwork, problem-solving, coding, machine learning, etc. It is time to itemize and prioritize these skills; some of the things you were best at doing might no longer be in demand. For example, if you won an award for using the typewriter some few years back, this skill might now be obsolete. But you can still transfer speed typing to more modern careers like copy-writing in digital marketing.

– Create a plan to improve existing relevant skills – when you have identified relevant skills based on what is in demand and what you enjoy doing, it is time to become an expert (an ongoing process) in these skills! Get books, take training, meet like-minded people and find a mentor that will help you hone these skills. As Malcolm Gladwell puts it, “Incompetence is certainty in the absence of expertise. Overconfidence is certainty in the presence of expertise”. The market still pays for deep expertise!

– Re-skill – as AI becomes ubiquitous over time and automation expands into more industries, there will be a need for retraining. Some manual and repeatable tasks will be automated by machines and codes! You need to take stock of your skillsets and identify new skills you can add to your arsenal. AI will not replace all jobs but it will certainly replace some or at less make them less lucrative. As this CNBC article writes, these kinds of jobs will still be in demand – creatives jobs, complex and strategic jobs, empathetic jobs, and As-yet-unknown jobs – I personally think that the demand for Data, AI and programming skills will increase as we produce more data, digitize more processes, and build more machine learning models and robots.

Some relevant links for your reference –


Thanks and do have an awesome 2020!

Ikenna Uzoh