The introduction and rapid rise of automation have led to the popular debate about the state of future jobs. We have seen the impact technology can have on our day-to-day work activities and the labour market, thus, it’s not difficult to understand why few people are confident about their long-term career plans. The young generation of would-be workers isn’t immune to the fear of automation either. Nearly 40% of young people in developed nations are concerned that their jobs will fall into the hands of automation by 2026.
Oxford University’s popular research article, The Future of Employment, indicates that several occupations will be exposed to automation, but this won’t necessarily lead to job loss. Luckily, the upcoming generation of workers has gained early exposure to the advanced technology set to revolutionise the labour market, and we’ll help by illustrating ways the landscape of employment will change in the future.
- 1. More Skills Needed
The future of employment will bring about significant changes driven by a need to redefine how we view work rather than the elimination of jobs. Working in the age of automation would, therefore, introduce the labour market to new jobs and existing occupations that require advanced skill sets. To adapt to these future scenarios, current and future workers are likely to need extensive training in order to not fall behind the curve.
While it’s easy for us to think that more technical skills will be needed in the future, skills such as team management, communication, and creativity will be at the forefront of human-driven skills. Outside of that, we’ll leave it to the robots to take on the tasks which are repetitive and predictable.
Fortunately, a McKinsey Global Institute 2016 study found that it will take at least two decades before automation reaches 50% of job activities. That puts the upcoming generation of workers at a slight advantage as they will have ample time to seek out new skills in preparation for the future.
- 2. Artificial Intelligence (AI) to Soar
AI has been the culprit behind much of the debate surrounding the future of employment thanks to the numerous roles that are subject to automation or are automatable. Jobs such as telemarketers, cashiers, fast food cooks, and loan officers are just some of the positions that are the least safe in the coming years. However, it doesn’t mean that machines will take over and that will be the end of the job market as we know it.
Humans, especially those in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) field are still responsible for AI creation and training of these machines. Worry not, because remember that jobs such as data analysts weren’t around before the digital disruption era. Thus, we can expect the emergence of new roles as the labour market further integrates with AI.
- 3. The Growth of Remote Work
While societies in emerging economies are familiar with independent work for extra cash, it’s probable that down the line, more workers can benefit from this job style. Should automated jobs take precedence, people would have more time to focus on self-employment as well as remote work.
The labour market is seeing a new occupation – digital nomads – that benefits from a borderless world during the digital age where travelling, earning a living, and freedom become the perks. Platforms such as Uber, Etsy, and Zalora have opened the gateway to self-employment in many countries, thus shifting what we typically consider a traditional job.
Considering that the next generation of workers is increasingly inclined to ditch the conventional job structure, digitally enabled jobs may just be the most exciting trend set to happen in the years to come.
- 4. Job Search Precision
Technological adoption is set to lead the way when it comes to the recruitment process where job searching will be conducted online. LinkedIn has taken the lead in this trend by tapping into the global workforce and allowing its platform to fulfil an employer’s hiring needs. Job boards are bound to become increasingly irrelevant as more social networking sites provide an interactive and attractive way of showcasing one’s professional credentials.
The use of social networking websites will essentially enable greater precision in the recruitment process for both the employer and potential candidate. The benefit of this is simple – a better match between the job skills and talent would enhance the labour market through higher productivity level and greater efficiency.
In the same way that today’s recruitment process has become dynamic, so will the future of employment. It’s nearly impossible to escape or slow down the pace at which technology is being implemented in our daily activities. We have entered an era where there is more to gain by embracing a fast-moving and ever-changing society, thus, the homework for future workers is to adapt and assimilate before the future arrives.