There are two great forces that are revolutionizing the world of work: automation and the COVID-19 Pandemic. This is what is known as the “double alteration” of jobs, a concept that includes transformations in the short term due to the global economic crisis and those that will be more profound over time, according to research by the Economic Forum International (WEF). The study projects that more jobs will be created by 2025 than will disappear.
Unlike catastrophic theories that anticipate a world dominated by machines where human beings will be completely displaced, the WEF’s findings point to the opportunities that open up for those who have the option to study and adapt to new demands.
“This has happened in each of the industrial revolutions,” says Vesselina Stefanova Ratcheva, researcher at the Center for the New Economy and Society of the WEF. “There are many opportunities that will be created with emerging jobs, but investments are required so that workers can train and move to new jobs,” she says. Investments that companies and governments themselves should make, she adds, to develop a more qualified workforce.
These are five keys to the future of jobs, according to the vision of the WEF:
1. Workforce automation is growing at an unprecedented rate:
As the workforce is automating faster than experts expected, the organization projects that 85 million jobs will disappear in the next five years. The adoption of new technologies by companies will transform the tasks, jobs and skills that companies will need by 2025. A surprising fact from the study: Five years from now, employers will split work between humans and machines roughly equally.
2. The technological revolution will create 97 million new jobs by 2025:
Just as jobs will disappear, so will new opportunities. The acceleration of technological change will create 97 million jobs. “Every time we see the data on new jobs it is quite surprising,” says Vesselina Stefanova.
Emerging professions span a wide range of sectors such as the green economy, data analytics, or artificial intelligence. The statistics analyzed by the organization also record a growing increase in jobs in engineering, cloud computing and product development.
Sectors such as the people care economy, marketing, sales, content creation (such as social media management), software and application development, as well as tasks focused on digital transformation will also continue to expand. Recently there has been an appetite on the part of employers to hire process automation specialists, information security analysts and specialists in the Internet of Things.
10 jobs on the rise:
Analysts and data scientists
Artificial intelligence and machine learning specialists
Specialists in handling large volumes of data
Marketing specialists and digital strategies
Automation process specialists
Professionals dedicated to business development
Digital transformation specialists
Digital security analysts
Software and application developers
Internet of things specialists
3. The three most required skills in the world of work in 2025
Analytical thinking, creativity and flexibility will be among the most sought after skills in 2025. Added to them is the ability to think critically and to solve problems, characteristics that cross different professional profiles and that will become increasingly important in the future.
Research indicates that the need for skills such as self-management, active learning, resilience and stress tolerance has also been detected. The data available through the conjugation of metrics with the firm LinkedIn and Coursera, allowed the WEF to delve more deeply into the types of specialized skills that the labor market will require.
4.The most competitive companies will improve the skills of their employees:
Those companies that stand out for being more competitive will focus on improving the skills of their workers. Projections suggest that nearly half of workers will need retraining to update their skills in the coming years.
The so-called «lifelong learning» is a concept that is rapidly expanding in the industries, in such a way that constant training will be a fundamental piece of the productive gear. However, this task will not only be in the hands of the private sector, since governments will have to support those groups of workers who will be displaced by the gigantic changes in the labor market. Currently, according to the research, only 21% of companies globally indicate that they can use public funds to support their employees through job retraining initiatives.
5. Remote work is here to stay:
The COVID-19 Pandemic installed more flexible ways of working. One of them, remote work, which is here to stay in some companies, says the study. About 84% of employers surveyed by the WEF said they were prepared to rapidly digitize work processes, including a significant expansion of teleworking.
However, 78% of business leaders anticipate some negative impact on worker productivity.
These changes will impact a large majority of the workforce that can perform their duties by connecting through the Internet.
Many workers, especially in less developed countries, will remain completely outside the new paradigm of telework. That is why the WEF analysis warns that inequality is likely to be exacerbated by the double impact of the technological revolution and the Pandemic recession, which is hitting low-income people, women and the poor the hardest.