Vast developments in technology, the workplace and the economy over the last few
decades has been incredible and such developments still continues today. Widespread use
of technology, the Internet and global competition have shown that the economy of the 21st
century has arrived even earlier than expected. This has, in turn, created a new avenue for
careers and a new breed of Professionals has emerged. With its new advent, new challenges for
employers and employees are also being observed.

This new global economy is also creating a labor force working in a high-performance workplace. Economic success in this new era requires organizational work systems, to allow employee teams to operate with
greater autonomy and accountability. These new forms of organization and management
cannot succeed without additional investments in the skills of employees. In the workplace
of the 21st century, the Nation’s employees will need to be better educated to fill new jobs
and more flexible to respond to the changing knowledge and skill requirements of existing
jobs. Meeting the challenge of employment and training will require not only the best efforts
of employers, educators and trainers, unions, and individual but also creating new forms of
cooperation and collaboration among these groups.

Lifelong skills development must become vital to the success of a new and transformative
economy. A set of new economic opportunities has ushered in competitiveness and
worker prosperity is tied tightly to the education and skill attainment of the workforce.
Involvement of everyone – employers, educators and trainers, unions, employees, and the
government, is being stressed to build aggressively and purposefully upon the Nation’s

Dynamic partnerships are essential to ensuring that all have affordable and convenient
access to acquiring skills for the 21st-century economy. .
Development in technology has led to careers which were once not even perceived.
Traditional Careers like doctors, engineers are still in demand but a new breed of careers
are more in vogue and are being more pursued by the young generation. Careers that have
emerged are in fields of biotechnology, laser, robotic, information technology,
telecommunications, information management, computer, aerospace, medical technology
and superconductivity technology. Self-employment and small business developments are
becoming a more often norm than big business. Career changes have become more
frequent because of rapidly changing organizations and industries.

Requirements of 21st Century Careers

Advanced Basic Skills:

 Basics of reading, writing and computation are now the new tools of Advanced
Basic Skills. These are needed in jobs of all kinds. Reading skills are essential as
most employees increasingly work with information on computer terminals, forms,
charts, instructions, manuals, and other information displays. Computation skills are
needed to organize data for analysis and problem-solving. Writing is an essential
part of communications, conveying guidance to others, and in establishing a
permanent base of information.

Skills of Technical Nature: 

Computer skills have already become baseline requirements for many jobs. A variety
of advanced information, telecommunications, and manufacturing technologies are
being used by the Work Force. Employers utilize technology more than ever to boost
productivity and efficiency, and to deliver services to customers in new ways. This
further has led to the constant advancement of skills. Information technology
changes rapidly, requiring workers to frequently upgrade their skills for competency
in successive generations of technology.

 Improved Organizational Skills:

New systems of management and organization, as well as employee/customer
interactions, require a portfolio of skills in addition to academic and technical skills.
These include communication skills, analytical skills, problem-solving and creative
thinking, interpersonal skills, the ability to negotiate and influence, and self-
management. More than half of non-managerial employees participated in regularly
scheduled meetings to discuss work-related problems, indicating the need for these

 Company Specific Skills: 

New technology, market changes, and competition fuels innovation, constant
upgrade of products and services and focus on continuous improvement of work
processes. As a result, employees must frequently acquire new knowledge and skills
specifically relevant to the company’s products and services and their production
processes or service delivery modes.

Most Sought-After Careers in the 21st Century

More and more jobs are being exported overseas and the workplace is becoming fiercely
competitive. Choosing a career that will be in high demand in the future and afford you the
lifestyle you want without creating credit and debt problems, is very vital.