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The Future is Here

The prospect of future job market trends is as fascinating as it is complex. It remains speculative as to what kind of jobs will be available in the next two decades, and the necessary qualifications and skills that go with the transition. Core hard skill jobs that are repetitive and tiresome today will be done by machines. This will leave humans in these career brackets seeking opportunities elsewhere, or have time to sit back and relax!

The fact is, future job roles will come reloaded for those fully prepared and will cast aside the unprepared workforce. The future generation of adults will have to contend with advanced automation and work side by side with robotics in what will become a machine age. Much of the gadgets we interact with today and tomorrow will run on the backbone of AI (Artificial Intelligence) innovations.

In a 2017 report by McKinsey Global Institute  robotics will

take 800 million jobs by 2030

According to the report, new opportunities will avail themselves even as the tech landscape evolves. Still, it remains speculative as to what jobs will become obsolete in the same time frame.

For example, shall we have a driver take us to the workplace or shall cars drive us themselves? Will it be necessary to have human tellers in the banking sector or shall the ATM machines upgrade and replace them? Better still, will anyone have to walk to the bank in the first place? Money is becoming smarter as years move on and will not have to be confined.

The above and many other questions are now popular topics for discussion as the innovation and transformation in technology is steadily shaping the job market of tomorrow. Nothing will probably be the same in just 10 years to come.

Other factors such as advanced globalization and consumer preferences will play very important roles in shaping how job trends and careers continue to evolve.

So What Now?

These futuristic prospects continue to spark debates around the world as to what kind of parenting and education are well suited to prepare the largely Alpha and Z  generation kids for future job markets.  Of course, the scale of global implementation will vary regionally, but still, preparedness will create opportunities for employability anywhere.

Those that educate themselves and their children correctly today, stand to gain in the future, while those who choose to remain indifferent, may pay heavily.

According to Jack Ma, founder of Alibaba Group,

If we do not change the way we teach, 30 years from now, we’re going to be in trouble

Just in case the above predictions come to pass, how then do we prepare the current children to prevent a situation of misfits in the next world? Besides the children, how do we prepare the now young adults who hope to continue working through and beyond the middle of this Century?

Below are just a few of the options we all have to kickstart our employability tomorrow:

1. The Prepared Tech Mindset

It all starts with the preparedness of parents, communities, educators, and governments today to see the future career skills through the eyes of technology and the whole array of Internet of Things (IoT). While robotics and AI may seem distant for now (they are not), these will become commonplace just like mobile devices and personal computers are ubiquitous today.

Only 20 years ago we could not imagine cell phones would be as useful today. They are now ubiquitous and helping us accomplish office tasks on the road. Also true is that employers are hiring for jobs that were non-existent only ten years ago. A case in point is the Social Media Influencer job skill, which is helping drive online businesses.

There probably has never been a better opportunity for the concerned stakeholders mentioned above to talk loud and discuss workable strategies for the current young and future generations. Then we can forge out workable employability implementations as the years go by.

2. New Career Skills for the Future

Parents, educators and planners face an uphill task to prepare the children for job markets we are yet to fully comprehend. Education systems must evolve to accommodate robotics, artificial intelligence and job flexibility. Yes, flexibility.

The current predictable employability pattern of education, employment and retirement may lose meaning as dynamism by employers, automation and AI take charge of the workplace.

There is a need to move away from prioritizing one career and instead embrace career-based education that prepares learners for multiple career opportunities. The concept of studying one profession over a period of 2 to 4 years may not carry much merit anymore. Except for special cases of course. Rather, students must try to become a jack of all trade to make themselves potent for evolving opportunities that arise. Most of these opportunities may come in short stints.

Employers today and tomorrow will prefer hiring on part-time rather than full-time basis based on evolving employability dynamics. One obvious clue is in the employability forms taking shape online. Many people are increasingly working online on both part-time and full-term hiring. This is leading to job restructuring and income diversification for employers and employees respectively.

3. Enhance Soft Skills

When computers compete for jobs with humans they largely target the hard skill tasks rather than the soft ones. Hard skill jobs such as construction and automobile assembly remain important but are increasingly being shared with robotics. Robots will continue to excel in these fields and others because they are manually teachable, measurable. As a bonus, robots do not suffer from the tire and boredom side effects.

Soft skills, on the other hand, are interpersonal skills only exhibited by humans. They include,

  • socialization excellence
  • relational habits
  • positivity
  • interpersonal communication
  • problem-solving
  • flexibility
  • adaptability
  • self-confidence etc.

Robots do not exhibit such characteristics and therefore will not become a threat in related skill fields, at least in the 21st Century.

By maximizing our abilities and that of your children in soft skills we will remain relevant for many decades to come.

4. Follow & Learn the Evolving Digital Landscape

As technology evolves new job skill and careers become available every passing day. The need to stay ahead of ourselves and the game has never been paramount. We should watch out for these opportunities as they arise and lay down strategies to grab them when they appear.

Those planning to work through to the next few decades, need to get employed in dynamic corporations and institutions which value skill development in technology. Workplaces that operate on this framework prepare them for emerging skill gaps and jobs.

Enhanced skill development can lead to the following benefits:

As employees broaden their skills, they are strategically placed to get new opportunities which arise from related skills becoming relevant and gaps showing up. With many institutions staying rooted in static skills, opportunity gaps will always arise.

In the same vein, the education received can used as guidelines to equip children in line with the jobs to come. A parent with an attuned mindset and preparedness will provide the right guidance for future employability.