Our world is being changed. And it's being changed every day.

An interesting event invited students to creatively think about how digital skills are critical to career progression in the 21st Century.

Richard Potter, Chief Technology Officer of Microsoft, was direct and authentic in his own awareness for the need to be curious in his role as the world experiences spontaneous innovations. This mindset was effectively translated over to the students: artificial intelligence will become more integrated into our social and working lives. This is something which should not be seen as a threat, instead only as a vehicle for us to experiment and innovate further.

As Richard states it comes down to the desire to:

  • Modernise
  • Build
  • Innovate

Because the people who do follow such a routine are:

  • Intelligent
  • Ambitious
  • Entrepreneurial

These are skills that corporations such as Microsoft desire, meaning that people who possess these skills will have exciting careers.

Richard explored the prospect of AI and its impact: looking into how it can aid development with greater decentralisation, automation, trust and immersion.

One of AI's greatest assets is the capacity to generate rational ideas. However, this can be highlighted as an aspect that humans can take advantage of. This is because humans can generate irrational thoughts too and more importantly are able to use emotional intelligence, not just intellectual intelligence - something that 'digital' is not fully effective with.

As people continue to be curious and alert to innovations, the need for digital skills increases.

This notion was followed up in the panel discussion featuring Bonita Samuels, MediaCom and Carol Rene, Shell.

Both ladies were incredibly inspirational and truly showed what can be achieved if you have the drive and passion to grasp every opportunity available, especially with the growing significance of internships. These internships have been made easier to apply for through LinkedIn, where students can evidence their experience.

Bonita and Carol conclusively agreed that soft skills remain critical in the working environment, however more essential is how you fuse these skills with digital skills that separates the exceptional candidates from the ordinary.

Following the motivational panel, students engaged in digital workshops presented by Braingraph, and Oracle. These workshops were highly informative and useful in exploring how digital skills will increase in corporations as customers look for more immersive experiences to gain better customer experience. This idea is one that Fiona Davies explored in her amazing speech about the role of the modern day High Street.

Conclusively, it is significantly important that students do not forget their digital skills, as networking is important both offline - with soft skills - however it is equally important online using digital skills. There is a continual need to innovate and the willingness to engage with new inventions should be a key priority in our lives.

Thank you for all representatives at this event, it was highly resourceful for the students of Pearson Business School.

Richard Potter: Microsoft
Bonita Samuels: MediaCom
Carol Rene: (Retired) Shell

For more information visit the Pearson College London website.