The Fourth Industrial Revolution is not only producing innovations that improve human lives, it is also creating new jobs.
A shift in demand and priorities are creating a space for new kinds of problem solvers, in other words, new jobs. These new jobs, consequently, require new skill sets.
What are these new priorities? What are these new skill sets?
World Economic Forum’s white paper, Jobs of Tomorrow: Mapping Opportunity in the New Economy tackles this in detail. Let’s take a look.
A shift in focus
According to the Forum, the adoption of new technologies is one key reason why there is a surge in new jobs. Apart from technology, there also remains a high premium placed on human interactions in the future economy.
With this, the growth of the new professions are driven by two factors: digital and human.
WEF goes on to say that the future of work will demand excellence from both of these factors, not just the one or the other.
What are these new professions? Clearly, there are myriads of new careers. As a matter of fact, WEF identified at least 96 new jobs that the future will need. However, their analysis also revealed that these careers can be clumped together into seven professional clusters:
01. Care Economy
– Medical Transcriptionists
– Physical Therapist Aides
– Radiation Therapists
02. Data and AI
– Artificial Intelligence Specialists
– Data Scientists
– Data Engineers
03. Engineering and Cloud Computing
– Site Reliability Engineers
– Python Developers
– Full-Stack Engineers
04. Green Economy
– Methane/Landfill Gas Generation System Technicians
– Wind Turbine Service Technicians
– Green Marketers
05. People and Culture
– Information Technology Recruiters
– Human Resources Partners
– Talent Acquisition Specialists
06. Product Development
– Product Owners
– Quality Assurance Testers
– Agile Coaches
07. Sales Marketing and Content
– Social Media Assistants
– Growth Hacker
– Customer Success Specialists
We can see that the emerging jobs of the future cater to the rich amount of data that is available to us. At the same, there is an increase in demand for jobs that promote sustainability as shown the formation of a Green Economy cluster.
Apart from technological growth and development, the formation of People and Culture and the Care Economy clusters reveal that a considerable amount of jobs in the future are set apart for human interactions and development.
The highest-demand skills
Of course, these seven domains will each require a unique set of skills. However, WEF’s analysis also revealed that all these skills can be clustered into just five categories:
01. Business Skills, referring to the skills needed in order to operate or start an enterprise. Examples include:
- Project Management
- Business Development
02. Specialized Industry Skills, the set of skills that are uniquely needed in a field in order for a person to perform their job. As an example, WEF mentioned that someone in Cloud Computing is expected to know how to properly document their services or interfaces.
03. General and Soft Skills, in contrast to specialized industry skills, these are non-cognitive skills that are needed across all professions. Some examples cited by the Forum include:
04. Tech Baseline Skills, these are basic and industry-specific technical skills. Some examples mentioned by the Forum are:
- The ability to use the Microsoft Productivity Suite
- The ability to use industry-specific software or applications
05. Tech Disruptive Skills, which refer to the skills that allow someone to design technologies that will disrupt business and labour market models. WEF’s analysis binned these skills under this category:
- Data Science
- Natural Language Processing
- Cloud Computing
Needless to say, the skills deemed as disruptive will change from one period to another. The skills specified above are applicable for the upcoming years.
In spite of how technology-driven our current world may appear to be, we can see that the future does not need a horde of workers who can simply keep up with the developments.
The future also demands people who have concern for other people and the world. With this, we can see that the growth of the Fourth Industrial Revolution demands from us is multidimensional.
Practically speaking such a demand, while ultimately beneficial, will entail a lot of learning on our end. Yet this learning might be just what we need to shape a sustainable, equitable, and inclusive world.