Recent national reports, including the APS Workforce Strategy 2025 and the AISC’s National Skills Overview, show that the Australian skills shortage is especially apparent in leadership roles. Studying an MBA can give you a place as a leader in this changing workplace and gives you qualifications that will be favoured now and in the future of work.

The future of work is now

The Australian workforce has undergone significant changes in the last few years, ushering in the future of work sooner than expected.

A few factors have contributed to this shift, including the COVID pandemic and a greater reliance on technology in business. These influence the professional environment differently, but they’ve all exposed the skills shortage that Australia is witnessing right now.

Good leadership and why it matters

Good leaders have always been in high demand. In Australia, we’re now experiencing a lack of managers and leaders equipped to deal with this changing scenery. These gaps will only become more detrimental to organisations in the years to come.

The new and emerging professional landscape is seeking staff with a modern take on leadership and management skills — leaders who can successfully navigate these changes and guide their organisations through unchartered territory. This climate is also in need of leaders who can adapt to the next wave of change that inevitably occurs as the world of work transforms again. With this world will come new anxieties around automation and shifting to remote workspaces.

What you can do to get noticed

Skills like active learning, problem-solving, managing remote teams and critical thinking will be highly prized. Undertaking an online MBA program can equip you with these tools and more, helping with career advancement and preparing you to lead an organisation successfully in the future.

By taking this step, you’ll also come to understand the development areas for leaders, and therefore, the attributes that are required in order to lead.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at these specific skills and explore why they’re now in demand in Australia.

Australia’s in-demand leadership skills

What are leadership skills and which ones are employers looking for in their emerging staff?

The Australian Industry and Skills Committee (AISC) has listed some key development areas for employees and employers in their recent National Skills Overview. These areas include people management, performance management and leadership capabilities. They also include a range of soft skills such as:

  • Guidance — ensuring the welfare of others during times of uncertainty.
  • Social influence — developing strong relationships that engender trust.
  • Resilience — overcoming difficulties while remaining optimistic.
  • Strategic planning — identifying business goals and objectives and then implementing steps to see them through.
  • Remote management — mobilising geographically diverse teams.
  • Compassion — acknowledging mental health concerns and supporting the wellbeing of employees.
  • Mentoring — coaching staff and resolving matters related to performance.
  • Conflict management — de-escalating personal and professional tensions.
  • Communication — engaging with the team as well as multiple stakeholders.
  • Decision-making — resolving current and legacy issues.

These reflect long-established leadership skills, like strategic planning and problem-solving, as well as new ones, like managing remote teams and prioritising mental health.

A combination of these abilities will enable a leader to navigate future changes in the new landscape of work, giving their organisation the best chance of success.

By 2025, the core leadership capabilities outlined by the AISC and other national reports will be highly regarded, so it’s worth considering where upskilling with an online MBA program might take you.

The importance of upskilling

The World Economic Forum recently published its Future of Jobs Report 2020, outlining areas where upskilling was needed in the lead-up to 2025. Their findings echo those of the National Skills Overview and assert that upskilling is critical for employers and employees to keep up with the future of work and the digitalisation of working processes.

So, what are today’s employers looking for in their employees, and what do employees expect of their leaders?

The skill sets you’ll need for today’s jobs

The Forum found skills gaps to be high within the context of a changing work landscape. It went on to note some of the most important skills employers were looking for.

These skills include problem-solving, critical thinking and analysis, as well as self-management abilities like resilience, stress tolerance and active learning. These are within the usual scope of a leader’s responsibilities and something you can learn when undertaking an online MBA.

Another important reason for developing these business leadership skills is to take advantage of new and emerging opportunities when they arise. Abilities like strategic planning and financial skills have proven valuable in the changing work landscape and will serve those in managerial roles well.

Further findings about the Australian skills shortage

The World Economic Forum also reported that businesses estimate that around 40% of workers will require reskilling in the next six months. Most employers expect their employees to pick up these skills on the job.

Online learning and training are also seeing growth, with four times as many individuals enrolling in learning opportunities through their own initiatives. In addition to this, the rate of employed people seeking out personal development courses has grown by 88%.

Upskilling with an online MBA allows you to fit study around your existing work schedule, so it’s a flexible way to ensure you’re balancing work, life and study.

Speak to a Student Enrolment Advisor

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