Jobs of the future – 5 important things to know
As the labour market rapidly changes, new data and metrics give a better insight than ever before into what the jobs of the future will look like. The kinds of jobs emerging in the global economy span a wide range of professions and skills, reflecting the opportunities for workers of all backgrounds and educational levels to take advantage of emerging jobs and the new economy. What the data shows:
Tech skills will continue to dominate the jobs of tomorrow;
Human skills and your network are still important;
There’s an imbalance in those acquiring the necessary skills for future jobs – especially between men and women.
Here are 5 things we can learn from this new data.
1. It’s no surprise, but tech skills dominate
Not every emerging job requires hard tech skills, but every emerging job does require basic tech skills such as digital literacy, web development or graphic design. Three of the jobs in the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) ‘Jobs of the future’, report – cloud, engineering and data clusters, which are also among the fastest-growing overall – require disruptive tech skills like artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, or cloud computing. Because technologies like AI are so pervasive, many roles in areas like sales and marketing will require a basic understanding of AI.
These disruptive tech skills are in high demand across the board. Blockchain, cloud computing, analytical reasoning and AI are among the most in demand tech skills as seen on LinkedIn.
2. Roles requiring more human-centric skills are just as important
While they aren’t growing as quickly as tech-dominated jobs, new sales, content production and HR roles are also emerging as a complement to the rapidly growing tech industry. Our research shows talent acquisition specialists, customer success specialists and social media assistants among the fastest growing professions – all roles that rely on more diverse skills sets, especially soft skills.
The latest reports of WEF shows that HR professionals are identifying the demand for soft skills as the most important trend globally. Skills like creativity, persuasion, and collaboration – which all top the list of most in-demand soft skills– are all virtually impossible to automate, which means if you have these skills you’ll be even more valuable to organizations in the future.
3. With the rapid evolution of jobs, many women are locked out
While the data reflects a diversity of opportunities for workers of all backgrounds and educational levels, further analysis shows a worrying imbalance in those obtaining the latest skills. In the ongoing research on gender with WEF, shows that the largest gender gaps among emerging jobs are in roles that rely heavily on disruptive tech skills, with the share of women represented across cloud, engineering and data jobs below 30% (for cloud computing it’s as low as 12%).
While there is certainly room to improve gender parity by embracing greater diversity in hiring and more inclusive managerial practices, the data suggests that those gains, while important, will not be sufficient to achieve parity.
4. There’s untapped talent to fill the gaps in emerging jobs
We have to think creatively about ways to fill these emerging skills and roles so that we prevent these gaps from intensifying in the future. Our research to understand these issues has uncovered some very achievable, scalable solutions. Firstly, taking advantage of existing and adjacent talent can make a massive contribution to the rapid expansion of talent pipelines. The research reveals that training and up-skilling ‘near AI talent’ could double the pipeline of AI talent in Europe.
Taking a similar approach with the gender gap, we’ve found that sub-groups of disruptive tech skills where women have higher representation – genetic engineering, data science, nanotechnology and human-computer interaction – could expand the pipeline of talent for the broader set of tech roles that rely heavily on disruptive tech skills.
5. Who you know – your network – still matters
While both of these approaches can help us make meaningful progress, closing the skills and gender gaps depends on a lot more than just making sure talent has the right skills. It’s a simple truth that who you know matters, so we also have to close the “network gap” – the advantage some people have over others based purely on who they know.
The research shows that living in a high-income neighborhood, going to a top school and working at a top company can lead to a 12x advantage in accessing opportunities. This means that two people with the exact same skills, but who were born into different neighborhoods, may be worlds apart when it comes to the opportunities afforded to them.
All of these new metrics and insights can help in pinpointing the skills and jobs of the future, but it’s going to take more than data to ensure that the Fourth Industrial Revolution is an equitable one.
Source: World Economic Forum