ASEAN youth give more value to soft skills over hard skills even in this age of new technologies, according to a survey by the World Economic Forum and ASEAN tech company Sea Group. Young people aged 15 to 35 from Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam said creativity and innovation, language skills and the ability to use technology, such as social media and e-commerce, are the skills they consider to be the most important, while data analytics, math and science are the least valued.
However, about 52.4% of the 56,000 ASEAN young people surveyed also saw the need to upgrade and invest in their skills to stay relevant. The survey also found that young people change jobs to seek better opportunities to learn and develop, and to obtain a better salary. The study suggested that organizations and HR leaders must increase their investment in human capital development to ensure high-quality workers, and to gain advantage in attracting and retaining workers. Investments must be geared toward on-the-job training, internships and overseas job rotations, the study said.