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If it wasn’t already clear that advances in the modern workforce including Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), Automation and Data Science were “essential” to business, it is certainly apparent now. Covid-19 disrupted work as we know it today, but data science and analytics have been disrupting hiring efforts long before the pandemic.

If getting a job unrelated to your degree is a goal for you, consider these 3 things:

1. Tech-pertise is in demand.

Perhaps now more than ever, employment hinges on technology know-how. As the demand for all things tech continues to increase at a rapid pace, data-driven organizations are seeking candidates with business analytics and automation know-how. Meaning that companies are seeking competencies–and not necessarily experience when it comes to filling data science and analytics roles. This labor landscape offers a great deal of opportunity for job seekers with astute business acumen and strong analytical skills.

2. Development depends on soft skills.

Workforce development depends on soft skills such as communication, creative thinking, persuasiveness, and problem solving. These skills help employers identify high potential performers. When it comes to talent, companies are searching for highly adept interpersonal skills. Individuals with demonstrated success communicating and collaborating within team environments are thriving in today’s talent market.

3. The talent market has shifted.

While getting a job unrelated to your degree may be more immediately obtainable, furthering your executive education can be a valuable investment in your career for the long-term. And, in the talent marketplace, there are more job seekers than opportunities. This is a dramatic shift from the previous talent-driven landscape. More important than the type of degree you have is ensuring that your expertise is relevant. Modern technology and innovation programs offer certifications and advanced degrees that can help set you apart from the competition.

One thing we can all agree on is that when it comes to getting a job unrelated to your degree, skills matter. Finding the perfect balance between a candidate’s skill set, education and experience is how true hiring success is achieved. But, it’s no easy balancing act. As to which is one is more important to employers–that is open for interpretation.