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The Future of Jobs

FutureJobs 01

Our CEO tackles the latest from the World Economic Forum.

Interested in understanding how artificial intelligence, machine learning, robotics, nanotechnology, 3-D printing, and genetics and biotechnology will impact our existing labor markets and business models? I am! In January, the World Economic Forum released The Future of Jobs, a must-read report that positions us at the beginning of nothing less than the Fourth Industrial Revolution, examining the significant impact that rapid advances in technology will have on the world economy over the next five years. The report is based on an extensive survey of senior talent and strategy executives of 371 leading global employers across nine broad industry sectors, and considers socioeconomic, geopolitical and demographic developments in its findings.

Since a primary focus of our talent practice is serving as a valued career coach to our clients – as the many technologists we have helped over the last five years can attest – I thought I would summarize a few of their findings.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, according to their groupings, the report sees continued growth in the Computer and Mathematical and Architecture and Engineering fields – to the tune of two million new jobs over the next five years. Unfortunately, survey respondents also see a loss of approximately seven million positions in the Office and Administrative field. The number one technology driver of such workforce changes? The mobile internet and cloud technologies. For example, we are now seeing the rapid commoditization of IT skills, as virtualization, load balancers, and databases are just a few clicks away. 

Two particular job types stood out in the survey. In the coming years, companies will place a premium on data analysts who can help make sense of the “torrent of data” generated by new technologies, and on specialized sales representatives who can thoroughly explain their innovative and increasingly technical products. The report also sees an increasingly competitive market for recruiting computer, strategic, and other specialist talent over the next five years.

I’ll leave you with two standout recommendations from the report that I want our candidates – and all potential candidates – to take to heart. First, fully one-third of the skills you will need in five years are not yet critical for your job. Think about that! Truly a sign of the sheer velocity of change throughout the industry. Take time to continually invest in learning new and emerging technologies – the pace of change will not let up, and you don’t want to be left behind. Secondly, classical social skills like teaching, persuading, communicating, and teamwork will continue to grow in importance – so hone those interpersonal skills to increase your value in the marketplace. Drop us a line today and we can start a career conversation!

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