Today’s workforce, as nearly everyone knows, is increasingly global. And with that global nature comes fierce competition–students will need an arsenal of workforce skills in order to stand out from their peers.

According to a recent McGraw-Hill Education survey, just 40 percent of college seniors said they felt their college experience was helpful in preparing for a career. Alarmingly, that percentage plummeted to 19 percent for women answering the same question.

That same survey also found that students in STEM majors were the most likely out of any group to report that they are optimistic about their career prospects (73 percent).

According to data from the nonprofit Institute for the Future, there are 6 drivers of change in today’s workforce:

1. Extreme longevity: People are living longer–by 2025 the number of Americans older than 60 will increase by 70 percent
2. The rise of smart machines and systems: Technology can augment and extend our own capabilities, and workplace automation is killing repetitive jobs
3. Computational world: Increases in sensors and processing makes the world a programmable system; data will give us the ability to see things on a scale that has never been possible
4. New media ecology: New communication tools require media literacies beyond text; visual communication media is becoming a new vernacular
5. Superstructured organizations: Social technologies drive new forms of production and value creation, and social tools are allowing organizations to work at extreme scales
6. Globally connected world: Diversity and adaptability are at the center of operations–the U.S. and Europe no longer hold a monopoly on job creation, innovation, and political power

(Next page: An infographic illustrates today’s in-demand workforce skills)


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