COVID-19 has forced a shift in how jobs are done and how companies are run. Technological progress has further reshaped the future of work as new jobs are created while others are made redundant. In The Future of Jobs 2020 report, the World Economic Forum provides an interesting analysis of how different technologies are going to reshape different jobs.
The report aggregates the views of business leaders from the largest companies around the globe on the changing nature of work. The 2020 future of jobs survey is based on the projections of senior leaders involved in decision making to share their companies’ planning for workforce transformation within a time horizon of up to 2024. The report findings provide unique and timely insights on the trends affecting the labor market, the rate of technological adoption in firms, the shifting job landscape and associated changes in skills needs as well as planning for appropriate upskilling and reskilling to meet demand.
The Fourth Industrial Revolution has been characterized by the potential scale of worker displacement through emerging technologies. By 2025, industries will employ the capabilities of machines and algorithms following acceleration by the COVID-19 pandemic. In the next few years, employers will divide work between machines and humans. Technological integration in several industries will result in reduction of the workforce. Industries such as advanced manufacturing, automotive, financial services, education, mining & metals are at 14.0%, 19.1%, 20.8%, 13.9%, and 19.9% respectively, risk of workers’ displacement. The WEF findings suggest an average 15% risk of disruption of a company’s workforce while 6% of workers are expected to be phased out completely.
The report further highlights several technologies adopted across various industries that are redefining the future of work. As a result, profession clusters are also emerging reflecting the new technologies. Each industry has its own share of technology adoption depending on the industry needs. These technologies include cloud computing, IOT, AI, cyber security, 3D & 4D printing, and Big data. The adoption of these technologies accelerates demand for green economy jobs as well as roles in data and AI innovation. The future of work has potential for a growing demand for various skills to match these professional opportunities. The skillset includes disruptive technical skills, specialized industry skills and core business skills whose demand vary across industries. The top emerging skills include; technology use, monitoring and control, emotional intelligence, complex problem solving, resilience, stress tolerance & flexibility, critical thinking & analysis. From the report, companies are targeting to upskill and reskill majority of their staff aware of the fact that by 2025, the skills needed to achieve productivity will change.