A shift in the division of labor between humans and machines could displace an estimated 85 million jobs by 2025. But there’s an upside: the transformation will also give rise to 97 million new roles.
That’s according to the World Economic Forum’s newly released Future of Jobs Report, which maps the jobs and skills of the future.
Jobs likely on the chopping block include administrative assistants, bookkeepers, and payroll clerks. Positions in growing demand include roles at the forefront of data and artificial intelligence, as well as new jobs in engineering, cloud computing, and product development.
There’s an expected increase in marketing, sales, and content production jobs, as well as roles requiring soft skills for working with people from diverse backgrounds which “showcase the continuing importance of human interaction in the new economy,” said the report.
Top 10 skills
As Industry 4.0 takes hold, greater adoption of technology will mean in-demand skills across jobs change over the next five years, and skills gaps will continue to be high.
Half of the workforce will need to reskill by 2025, as the “double whammy” of the economic fallout of COVID-19 and increasing automation already transforming jobs takes hold.
Some workers whose jobs are vulnerable may be able to move into new careers. The report revealed that 94% of businesses surveyed expect employees to pick up new skills on the job, a sharp increase from 65% in 2018.
Critical thinking and problem-solving top the list of skills that employers believe will grow in prominence in the next five years. These have been consistent since the first report in 2016.
“We have the means to reskill and upskill individuals in unprecedented numbers, to deploy precision safety nets which protect displaced workers from destitution, and to create bespoke maps which orient displaced workers towards the jobs of tomorrow where they will be able to thrive,” said the World Economic Forum’s Founder and Executive Chairman Klaus Schwab.
Newly emerging this year are soft skills in self-management such as active learning, resilience, stress tolerance, and flexibility.
“My personal view is that we can never close skills gaps because we’re chasing after something that’s evolving all the time,” said Soon Joo Gog, Chief Skills Officer of SkillsFutureSG.
“It’s not just about policymakers releasing news that you’ve got to train this, you’ve got to train that,” said Soon Joo. “Individuals’ antennas will be up to say, ‘Hey, I think my job is going to change. And how can I quickly reskill myself ahead of time?'”
Microlearning will be the key to rapid upskilling and reskilling, as learning in small bites will match the needs of a workforce that needs to pivot quickly.
The top 10 skills of the future are grouped in four categories:
- Analytical thinking and innovation
- Complex problem solving
- Critical thinking and analysis
- Creativity, originality, and initiative
- Reasoning, problem solving, and ideation
- Active learning and learning strategies
- Resilience, stress tolerance, flexibility
Working with People
- Leadership and social influence
Technology Use and Development
- Technology use, monitoring, and control
- Technology design and programming
How long will reskilling take?
The Future of Jobs Survey revealed that around 40% of workers will need six months or less of reskilling. The time period required for reskilling will be higher for those in the consumer industry and healthcare industry.
It could take two to three months for learners to expand their skills in product development and data and AI. While a four-month learning program could help people move into roles in cloud and engineering.
Training will be delivered internally, according to 39% of employers surveyed. But this will be supplemented by online learning platforms and external consultants, according to the report.
Employers providing online learning opportunities for their workers increased fivefold and there was a ninefold enrolment increase for learners accessing online resources through government programs.
Support for upskilling and reskilling
Learning a new skill set is becoming more accessible through digital technologies, individuals will also need the time and funding to be able to pursue new opportunities, the report notes.
But the very technological disruption that is transforming jobs can also provide the key to creating them – and help with the acquisition of new skills.
EdTech players in the Asia-Pacific region have identified opportunities to support the need for rapid training and reskilling to meet a workforce looking to remain relevant and employable.
To support this, LEARNTech Asia launched the Access to Jobs webinar series to provide job market insights and opportunities from industry leaders in key growth areas.