Dec 30, 2019 / 17:29

Vietnam Gen-Zers believe soft skills more important than technical skills

The absolute majority of Gen-Zers foresee themselves becoming the best leaders who create a greater impact on Vietnam than previous generations.

Up to 66.7% Generation-Zers in Vietnam believe soft skills will be more important than technical skills and 70% agreed CEOs in 2050 still need to be university qualified, reflecting the importance of formal education, according to a survey by Adecco Vietnam.

In Vietnam, Gen-Zers make up one-seventh of the country’s population. Born between 1995 and 2015, they exist in a world where the line of the physical and digital world is blurry at best. They start to emerge and become leaders in the future.

Focusing on Generation Z – the main labor workforce in the future, Adecco’s first edition of CEOs in 2050 Survey aims to better understand how Gen Z thinks about their role as CEOs in 2050. It investigates the top skills and qualities future CEOs need to lead, and how they prepare to take the leap.

Essential CEO skills: People Management and Leadership

Gen Z believes People Management and Leadership are the two most important skills current CEOs need to work on. Additionally, one third think CEOs must possess Emotional Intelligence (28.8%), followed by Creativity (24,3%) and Self-awareness (24.3%).

 Essential CEO skills in 2050

Looking forward to 2050, Gen Z-ers characterized future CEOs as strong leaders, excellent communicators, and data-driven decision makers. However, data-driven decision making is the skill that Gen Z feels underprepared. Additionally, more than one third think their current education should help them build up skillset in Negotiation, Agile project management, and Emotional Intelligence.

“Globalization and technology advancement demand a new leadership style, which requires data-driven decision-making skills and effective people management. Gen Z is a remarkable generation. They are self-conscious about who they are, what they want and which traits they need to enhance for success. Curiosity and fast learning agility are the key drivers for Gen Z to adapt to the ever-changing environment and will bring innovative solutions to the workforce,” said Andree Mangels, general director, Adecco Malaysia & Vietnam.

Experiential learning is the future

More than half of the future leaders prefer apprenticeships or work-based learning courses to master the above skills.  Other non-traditional education options such as training boot camps or e-learning courses also gain popularity (25%). While acknowledging that a university degree is very important for a C-Suite leader in 2050, only 2.7% think focusing on the study at University is beneficial for their soft skills development.

  Experiential learning is the future. Source: Adecco Vietnam

Ha Nguyen, director of Hanoi Office, Adecco Vietnam comments: “Gone are the days of traditional, professor-led study courses in University. Gen Z appreciates the flexibility and experiential learning programs that offer real work opportunities during learning period. Flexible digital training tools or online education also allow Gen Z to customize their learning experiences based on individual preferences and schedules, as well as enable them to embrace the up-to-date skills which cannot be found in textbooks.”

Gen Z is aware of the impact of technological change, political issues and environmental damage

When asked to rate their concerns about external threats to their organization’s growth prospects in 2050, “Speed of technological change” is the number-one issue identified by 45% Gen Z-ers. The Adecco market updates reveal a remarkable rising demand in the technology industry, especially in Artificial Intelligence, Business Intelligence and Fintech. This trend is forecasted to continue in the future, and 20 million of future manufacturing jobs will be replaced by robots in 2030, cited by Oxford Economics.

Thanh Le, director of Ho Chi Minh City Office, Adecco Vietnam notes: “Gen Z-ers – as digital natives, have a deep understanding of how technology can transform the way we work and live. This era of automation presents significant opportunities for high-skilled laborers, generating a more equitable work environment and boosting higher productivity. Instead of fearing robots taking over their jobs, future workers need to adapt to the upheaval it will bring and invest in reskilling and upskilling.”

43% Gen-Zers believe that worldwide climate change and environmental damage will vary, hence generating negative impact on sustainable business growth. Besides, there is growing anxiety among these young leaders on the uncertainty of politics and regulation (37.8%), followed by high-skilled labor insufficiency (34.2%) and Bribery and Corruption (31.5%) (Figure 2).

The survey also pointed out that 96% of Gen-Zers foresee themselves becoming the best leaders who create a greater impact on Vietnam than previous generations.