Every year, the World Economic Forum (WEF) shares insights into the future of jobs around the world. The most recent edition states that, due to digitization, almost everyone will have to expand their existing skills (up-skill) – or develop entirely new skills (re-skill) – if they want a favorable future perspective.
Innovation drives revolution
The fact that the world of work changes is quite natural. Many jobs that used to be valued have become obsolete. Think of blacksmiths, toga makers, and lamplighters. Once these skills were no longer needed, these professions ceased to exist. But it’s happened more recently, too. One-hour photo developing shops used to be everywhere, and people would bring in rolls of film to be developed. Now, all you need to print photos is a digital printer.
Today’s world of work will change even more rapidly due to automation and digitization. This phenomenon is sometimes called the ‘robot revolution’. Basically, this means that tasks that can be automated and digitized will no longer require people to do them, and those jobs will disappear. People have been talking for a long time about the big changes that are going to come, but those changes are getting closer and closer now.
The robot revolution is pretty comparable to the industrial revolution. At that time, people moved from manual work to large-scale, machine production. As a result, many craftsmen had to rapidly up-skill or re-skill. At the time, without retraining or further training, you had a poor future prospects. After all, it was no longer lucrative to make goods by hand.
According to the WEF, very few people currently have the skills that will be in high demand in the next five years. The gap between what companies will expect in the near future and the skills that people now possess can only be closed by up-skilling or re-skilling. So, for a good future perspective, it’s a good idea to think about further or retraining opportunities. This is the only way will you have the qualities that will soon be expected of you. Because let's face it, who wants a similar future perspective as a lamplighter or toga maker?
Let’s explore some numbers from the research. On average, companies expect that about 40 percent of their employees will have to retrain. And as many as 94 percent of managers say they expect their employees to take on additional training in addition to their day-to-day work. This is a sharp increase of 29 percent compared to 2018. In short, this WEF study indicates that acquiring new skills, up-skilling and/or re-skilling is considered a must.
As previously mentioned, the robot revolution will cause a lot of jobs to disappear. An estimated 85 million jobs worldwide. At the same time, a lot of new jobs are being created. In fact, a total of approximately 97 million new jobs. So, more jobs are being created than will disappear. That’s good news!
Not entirely unexpectedly, almost all jobs with a good future perspective fall into the IT category. In the image below, you can see the Top 20 jobs with a very favorable future perspective in the left column, and the Top 20 jobs that are likely to disappear in the right column. Do you see your current job in the right-hand column? Then it might be wise to think about retraining or further training to make your future job prospects a little more positive.
Employees are increasingly expected to have a variety of digital skills. The skills that will become very important in different jobs in the next five years are: Data and AI, Product Development, Cloud Computing and Engineering. The big question is: can everyone whose job is likely disappear acquire the right skills, and acquire them fast enough, through up-skilling or re-skilling? Do you have one or more skills listed in the image below? Then you are completely ready for the future.
Working from home and video conferencing aren’t the only things that became everyday occurrences in the past couple of years. Four times as many people started an online course last year, according to the WEF survey. Not surprising, given that there is a considerable knowledge gap to close.
Fortunately, it is no longer necessary to sit in school for several years to learn a new skill. Learning has become much more modular than before. This makes flexible re-skilling or up-skilling easier and more accessible. In the past, you were obliged to attend school for eight consecutive hours. But today, you can now study wherever and whenever you want. Whether on the train, in a coffee house or at the kitchen table. The choice is yours. And this flexible study structure makes it possible to re-skill and become eligible for a new kind of job within a few months. It also makes it easier to start a career path with better future prospects.
Want to read about someone who re-skilled for the future? Check out Lin Ny’s testimonial.