Gestão de Projetos (Teoria)

1. Top skills in the new industrial revolution

New industrial revolution, new market needs


We live in the era of the fourth industrial revolution, which is characterized by extended digitization. The digital economy, also referred to as ‘industry 4.0’, is characterized by a range of new technologies. According to Klaus Schwab, the founder of the World Economic Forum, this is the time of ‘fusing the physical, digital and biological worlds, impacting all disciplines, economies, and industries, and even challenging ideas about what it means to be human’. In such an environment, to keep up with the changes is unavoidable for both individuals and enterprises to learn continuously. Businessman and entrepreneurs don't need ‘superpowers’ to succeed in the new era but need to be more efficient in time and project management, as well in self-management, then maybe ever before.

Let’s see what skills and competences should future entrepreneurs be armed with? As the rhythm of work life got faster, companies and entrepreneurs tend to think more and more in project bases – project teams focus on smaller and more complex goals, enabling more rapid and flexible adaptation to the changes and involving an interdisciplinary approach. Widespread disruption is foreseen in the labor markets over the next years according to the Future of Jobs report published by the World Economic Forum in 2016. This predicts changes in the basic skill sets needed on the job market.  Within the coming few years it is estimated that critical thinking and creativity will gain more importance before, and emotional intelligence and cognitive flexibility will become part of the top 10 skills. Most of these skills are key competences for effective project management as well!


SME experts’ opinion is in line with the forecast; according to the president of the Portuguese Institute for Support to Small, and Medium-sized Enterprises and Innovation (IAPMEI), there is a growing labor market demand for skills based on personal and relational characteristics. Most of these are essential entrepreneurial skills, e.g. the ability to take risks, to negotiate, to communicate effectively, to manage priorities, to adapt to new contexts and realities, to hold critical and positive attitude, and to establish interpersonal relationships effectively. 

Both entrepreneurs and employees need to keep up with the changing world. It is important for future entrepreneurs and labor market actors to understand, that these competences represent a key element for entrepreneurial and business success in the industry 4.0.