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Don't feel threatened by tech, get the skills you need: Prudential Financial vice chair

Sarah Paynter

Robots aren’t coming for your job, but someone better trained to work with technology may also be a threat.

A survey by Prudential Financial showed that half of employees think they do not have the skills they need to compete in the coming five to 10 years, said Robert Falzon, vice chairman of Prudential Financial, Inc. at Yahoo Finance’s All Market Summit in New York City.

Employees “don't necessarily feel threatened by technology. Most of them are pretty comfortable that their jobs are going to be around. Their concern is they may not have the skills to do the job,” he said.

Accenture found that about 75% of executives believe that their workers will not be ready for artificial intelligence, but only 3% were investing in training, added Paul Daugherty, Accenture’s chief technology and innovation officer. “I mean, a striking gap,” he said.

The gap could lead to high turnover and inefficiency if companies fail to close it.

“That skills gap exists in the marketplace. And so you're not going to solve it simply by saying, well, that's fine. If our employees have that insecurity, we'll just go hire a bunch of people that have those skills,” said Falzon.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - OCTOBER 10: Vice chairman of Prudential Financial Robert Falzon (L) and Paul Daugherty attend the Yahoo Finance All Markets Summit at Union West Events on October 10, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Jim Spellman/Getty Images)

Falzon and Daugherty said that continuous training will supersede the conventional wisdom of a four-year college degree, or even skill development, for the future of sustainable employment.

“Degrees are important… What’s more important — that you have this attitude of, you know what? I have to continuously reinvent myself, because the cycle of learning is compressed from decades into a handful of years that you need to go about this reinvention,” said Falzon.

Sarah Paynter is a reporter at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter @sarahapaynter

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