A big portion of the MENA region is undergoing a technological transformation, throwing countries right into the middle of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. The rapid change has created job opportunities that require a different set of talents, giving birth to a "skills gap" that has yet to dissolve. 

Initiatives and organizations have been putting effort into rectifying this gap by providing the necessary education to the future workforce. Some of the main skills needed include not only hard technical skills but soft ones as well.

According to the World Economic Forum's "The Digital Arab World: Understanding and embracing regional changes in the Fourth Industrial Revolution" 2018 research, the Arab world had been a "consumer technologies" region up until recently. 

"Although numerous Arab entrepreneurs had helped shape those technologies, they had to do so from outside the region. Currently, the convergence of several technologies – connectivity, access to information, softwarization and virtualization, cloud and development in computing – has leveled the technology development field."

Individuals must focus on acquiring a certain set of skills to fully transform the digital sphere in the MENA region. Here's a look at a few of those skills as well as some tools that may help in the process:  

1. Data Analytics

Data analytics is a kind of business intelligence defined as the qualitative and quantitative techniques and processes used to enhance productivity and business gain.

This process allows businesses to gain profits through the better use of resources, by defining the exact trends, patterns, and useful information needed to reach a target market.  

2. SEO/SEM Marketing

SEO/SEM Marketing also known as digital marketing is the promotion of a business, product, or service online.

According to the Arabic SEO company Istizada, "Search behavior in the Middle East varies greatly compared to search behavior in other regions of the world.  If a company does not understand the differences in behavior in this region marketing dollars can be wasted on targeting the wrong audiences or keywords."

3. Flexibility and Adaptability

A digital transformation in any part of the world and for any business may not always go as smoothly as planned. Therefore, companies must plan ahead, making sure their employees are able to deal with a sudden change in plan and adapt to it. This allows the company to focus directly on fixing what went wrong rather than having to change the workforce first.

4. Complex Communication

Complex Communication is another soft skill that must be developed among employees in order for them to be able to successfully share technical terms with others inside and outside the organization — through visual, digital, verbal as well as non-verbal means.

5. Project Management Tools

"One role, one employee" is no longer the way businesses operate. With the technological advancements, it's become the norm for individuals to take on more responsibility than what's listed in their job description. It's not easy, but project management tools are definitely helping employees manage their time more efficiently. 

These tools allow for accurate estimations, resource optimization, progress management, and proper risk assessment. Some of these tools include Gantt chart, PERT chart, calendar, and timeline, to name a few.

6. Team Collaboration Tools

Businesses today strive to be present in more than one country. Considering not all budgets and processes allow for employees to be situated in one place, team members must accommodate their means of communication. 

To ensure interaction and productivity, certain collaboration tools become vital to the success of team growth. Tools such as Slack and Zoom allow for team members to communicate with one another on the go. Tools such as Asana and Trello allow individuals to view tasks of team members and track that progress. Google Docs, for example, even allows employees to create something together. 

There's nothing that can't be done online these days. So why not take advantage of the advancements? 

Attend "STEP Next" in the UAE

STEP Next is MENA's exclusive tech talent summit designed to match the best talent with the top tech companies and startups. The event's first edition, set to take place Dec. 8 at in5 Tech, will have more than 30 participating companies, talks, workshops, and activities. 

More than 300 job seekers and working professionals are invited to take part in the summit for a potential opportunity in a working environment that best suits their career goals. 

Read more about the summit here and make sure to register ASAP.

*Disclaimer: STEP Next is a brand owned by STEP Group, the parent company of StepFeed.