Jobs of Tomorrow: Mapping Opportunity in the New Economy  

What does the jobs of the future look like? A new WEF report is trying to find out by taking a deep dive into the “black box” of new job creation. What are the results of that?

Dionysis Skandalos At 16 March 2020 Avg. readingtime 3 minx read
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Jobs of Tomorrow: Mapping Opportunity in the New Economy   

The new labor market, spurred by advances in technologies such as Data Sciences and AI, is changing at a rapid pace. At the same time, new data and metrics can simultaneously reveal its composition and evolution with unprecedented detail, depth and dynamism. The approach to these issues outlined in the report is intended to contribute to the WEF’s platform to create a “Reskilling Revolution” and new opportunities for as many as 1 billion people in the global labor market over the next 10 years.

The new labor market, spurred by advances in technologies such as Data Sciences and AI, is changing at a rapid pace.

In this report, the WEF for the first time takes an in-depth look into the “black box” of new job creation, reviewing the shifting focus of employment to emerging professional clusters, the jobs of tomorrow, and to what fuels this growth and what skills will be required by these professions.

The key professional clusters which appear are seven. They reflect the adoption of new technologies-giving rise to greater demand for green economy jobs, roles at the forefront of the data and AI economy, as well as new roles in Engineering, Cloud Computing and Product Development. They also reflect the continuing importance of human interaction in the new economy, giving rise to greater demand for Care Economy jobs, roles in Marketing, Sales and Content Production, as well as roles at the forefront of People and Culture.

Yet, the threat of unequal opportunity, job displacement and widening income inequality seem ever more present. With social unrest on the rise across much of the industrialised and emerging world, collaboration between the public and private sectors is imperative. The new opportunities will only materialize if they both implement pragmatic and effective mechanisms.

Emerging Professions and Job Churn

Nowadays, labor market dynamism mainly results from the changes and churns of economic output and job shifts – from less to more successful firms, from shrinking to growing economic sectors and from declining to emerging occupations. Over the next decade, a non-negligible share of newly created jobs will be entirely new roles, or existing roles undergoing significant change, in terms of job content and skill requirements.

The rate of emergence of these newly created jobs is only set to accelerate as a result of the advancing Fourth Industrial Revolution. According to an estimate of the WEF’s 2018 future of jobs report, globally, the labor market transformation brought about by the 4th Industrial Revolution may lead to the creation of 133 million new jobs and the simultaneous displacement of 75 million jobs over the 2018-2022 period.

The report estimates that in 2018, wholly new roles accounted for 60% of all jobs – a share that will rise to 72% by 2022.

Out of this total “job churn”, the report estimates that in 2018, wholly new roles accounted for 60% of all jobs – a share that will rise to 72% by 2022. Further, this net positive job outlook will be concentrated in a set of newly emerging professional clusters.

Mapping Emerging Occupations

The Fourth Industrial Revolution, the demographic change, industrial transitions and changing consumer needs are creating demands for millions of new jobs, with vast new opportunities for fulfilling people’s potential and aspiration. Undoubtedly, this transformation will affect all segments of the workforce. For this reason, during the past five years, the World Economic Forum has tracked this unfolding transformation, identifying the potential scale of worker displacement, alongside strategies for empowering job transitions from declining to emerging roles.

The demographic change, industrial transitions and changing consumer needs are creating demands for millions of new jobs.

To complement these earlier efforts, this report highlights an innovative approach to understanding the emergence of new, in-demand professions, as well as their accompanying skills requirements. This approach was constructed by the collaboration of two firms that hold unique data about the opportunities in the new economy: LinkedIn and Burning Glass Technologies. It is built on recent historic trend data from online job postings, hiring rates and LinkedIn’s Economic Graph Research.

In this approach, the companies identified 20 sets of professions that have seen the most growth over the past five years in 20 major economies. This analysis resulted in a shortlist of 99 emerging roles, which were then aggregated into 7 professional clusters by linkedIn through the use of Skills Genome Metrics. Through further aggregation this report came up with 7 unique professional clusters that represent the set of jobs of tomorrow. These are: Data and AI, Engineering and Cloud Computing, People and Culture, Product development, Sales, Marketing and Content, Care Economy and Green Economy.

Quantifying the jobs of Tomorrow    

According to the Future of Jobs Report, the emerging jobs of the future will account for 6.1 million vacancies over the course of 2020-2022. Based on these projections we will have 2.4 million new jobs in 2022 alone. The cluster of jobs that will be mostly in demand is the Care Economy, followed by Sales, Marketing and Content, as well as by Data and AI ( 37%, 17%, 16% and 12% respectively) . The clusters exhibiting the highest growth rate are the Data and AI and Green Economy with growth rates of 41% and 35% respectively.

Unpredictable shifts in government legislation and business practices will have the greatest impact in the number of new jobs in the Green Economy and Care Economy clusters. More specifically, new government regulations or investment programs in the Green Economy, such as a wholesale update of the utilities infrastructure for renewable energy, may have a drastic impact on the absolute number of Green Economy roles.

The ongoing transition of women into the labor market will certainly be a driver of demand for the Care Economy.

Various social and demographic trends may impact the number of emerging jobs in the Care Economy cluster. The ongoing transition of women into the labor market will certainly be a driver of demand for the Care Economy. Changing demographic stractures might expand the demand for eldercare, while changing socio-cultural norms might expand demand for leisure activity workers.

In the Data Science and AI cluster, the role of Artificial Intelligence Specialist is the fastest-growing new economy role. The Data Scientist positions have slower annual growth rates but form the third-largest opportunity among the set of growing professions. In Sales, Marketing and Content, the critical new opportunities include Digital Marketing Specialists, Content Specialists and Customer Success Specialists. In Engineering and Cloud Computing, they include DevOps Engineers and Full Stack Engineers.

Identifying Rising Demand for Skill Sets

New data gathered by LinkedIn and Burning Glass Technologies demonstrates that the skills demanded for the newly emerging jobs span a diverse set of competencies. Referencing previous research conducted by linkedIn and the World Bank, this report groups these skills into skills clusters. These are the following: Business Skills, Specialised Industry Skills, General and Soft Skills, Tech Baseline Skills and Tech Disruptive Skills.

  • Business Skills are the set of skills required to operate or start an enterprise. In this cluster, they are included skills like Marketing and Project Management.
  • Specialised Industry Skills are contingent to the field of the professions in question. They include skills such as Documentation in Cloud Computing and Video and Editing in Marketing.
  • General skills are typically non-cognitive capabilities that are required in a wide range of professions. These include Leadership, Communication, Negotiation etc.
  • Tech Baseline Skills refer to basic computer literacy, such as the ability to use the Microsoft productivity suits and other applications such as Web Design and Online Marketing.
  • Finally, Tech Disruptive Skills refer to those skills that allow individuals to use and design technologies that can impact the business models and the labor market in significant ways. These Include Data Science, Natural Language Processing Automation, Robotics, Cloud Computing and Cybersecurity.

Very interesting here is a close examination of the demand for technical expertise. While some professional clusters like Data and AI and Engineering and Cloud Computing, primarily require strong expertise in digital technologies and Tech Disruptive Skills, other high growth roles require Business Skills or Specialised Industry Skills. Tech Baseline Skills is least demanded in People and Culture, Care Economy and Green Economy professions. The Care Economy Cluster demands distinctive technical skills in Medical billing and Clinical informatics Software. For the Care Economy cluster, technical skills are demanded in Drafting and Engineering Design and Georgraphic Engineering Systems.

Mapping Distinctive Learning Trajectories and Skills Capabilities

When one tracks in aggregate the learning activities of employees in these emerging professions, one can reveal the distinctive priorities for upskilling in those fields. In Care Economy roles, employees are focused on courses such as Patient Safety and skills within that domain such as problem-solving and design thinking. For the Data and AI cluster, a course on Deep Learning comes first in the preferences of employees.

Employees in Green Economy roles try to expand their skills in Geographic Information Systems.

The same applies in the Engineering and Cloud Computing cluster. Marketing, Sales and Content professionals try to update their skills in areas such as Digital Marketing and Strategies for Content Management. People and Culture professionals aim to acquire new skills in People Analytics. Finally, employees in Green Economy roles try to expand their skills in Geographic Information Systems.

Up until now, employees in the People and Culture as well as the Care Economy roles seem to be more poorly qualified for the jobs of the future.

Data Scientists in Coursera aimed to develop a Global Skills Index that evaluates learners across a common set of critical future-oriented skills. This Global Skills Index is organised into three skills clusters: Business, Computer Science and Data Science. Employees in each of the seven professional clusters can now be evaluated on these skills. Up until now, employees in the People and Culture as well as the Care Economy roles seem to be more poorly qualified for the jobs of the future.

Professions of the Future in Focus

This report provides a very nice synopsis of the top roles in each of the seven professional clusters and the required skills in these roles. Data and AI professions demand skills in Artificial Intelligence and Data Storage technologies and include small scale roles such as Big Data Developers and large scale roles such as Data Scientists. Engineering and Cloud Computing roles ask for Technology Baseline skills and Technology disruptive skills.

The Green Economy cluster requires Industry Specialised skills such as Wind Turbines and Business Skills such as e-mail marketing across roles such as Solar Photoboltaic Installers and Green Marketeers. The Product Development cluster requires Tech Baseline skills such as Software Testing as well as Business Skills such as Manufacturing Operations. Roles in this cluster include Agile Coaches, Product Owners and Product Analysts. Finally, the Sales, Marketing and Content cluster require Tech Baseline skills such as social media and Soft Skills like Leadership and include roles such as the Digital Marketing Specialists.

dionysisAbout the author

Dionysios Skandalos is a blogger for ToTalent on actual issues of HR.

 

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