How will jobs evolve over the next few years?
Technology, digitalisation, sustainability and the holistic well-being of workers will play a key role in shaping many jobs in the next five years. Analytical and creative thinking will continue to be the most important skills for employees in this evolving workplace.
The World Economic Forum’s latest Future of Jobs Report analyses how socio-economic and technology trends will shape the workplace of the near future. It brings together the perspectives of 803 companies employing more than 11.3 million people across 45 countries throughout the world.
The pandemic spurred a transformation of the workplace through teleworking, remote team management, migration of information to the cloud, implementation of new cybersecurity measures and online sales and customer service. Changing worker and consumer expectations and the urgent need for a green and energy transition are also reshaping the composition of the workforce and stimulating demand for new occupations and skills.
IT and technology professionals have led the change over the past three years. Job profiles within the ecosystem of Big Data, machine learning and the constant implementation of new digital solutions are assured to be in demand.
Regardless, one of the main conclusions of the study is that while the adoption of new technologies will continue to be the key driver of business transformation over the next five years, any investment in technology made by companies needs to be matched by an equivalent investment in people.
Macrotrends and technology adoption
The fastest-growing jobs will continue to be those related to new technologies. Specifically, artificial intelligence and machine learning experts top the list, followed by sustainability specialists, business intelligence analysts and information security analysts.
The sustainability sector will also play a prominent role. Jobs in renewable energy engineering and solar energy systems installations will continue to experience relatively rapid growth as economies accelerate their transformation to renewable energy.
On the other hand, the evolution of new technologies and digitalisation will negatively affect some office jobs, such as secretarial jobs, bank tellers, postal services, ticket agents and data entry jobs. Relatively repetitive jobs that require little creativity and can be replaced by artificial intelligence.
Analytical and creative thinking
Analytical thinking is considered a core competency by more companies than any other competency and constitutes, on average, 9% of the core competencies desired by companies. It is followed by creative thinking, ahead of personal performance-related skills such as resilience, flexibility and agility.
Reliability and attention to detail come in seventh place, behind technological literacy. Finally, the list is completed by skills related to working as a team; empathy, listening to others, leadership and social influence.
In this context, the majority of companies surveyed agree that investment in on-the-job learning and training and process automation are the most common people strategies they will adopt to achieve their organisations’ business goals.
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