The outlook of the future job market is fascinating just as it is complex. It remains speculative as to what kinds of jobs will be available only a few decades to come, and the necessary skill-sets that go with the transition.
Core hard-skill jobs that are repetitive and tiresome, and a handful of desk jobs will be taken over by machines and automated bots. Nothing will probably be the same again.
The outbreak of COVID-19 in 2020 and its consequences on manufacturing and other labor-intensive jobs only sensitized CEOs and other employers to think even deeper about how fast they can embrace robotics.
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 the much-hyped 4th Industrial Revolution.
- We shall probably have to go to the workplace without the need of a driver.
- Human tellers in the banking sector will soon be history.
Other factors such as globalization, urbanization, competitiveness, consumer preferences, and speed, will be crucial in shaping how job trends and careers evolve.
In a 2017 report by McKinsey Global Institute, robotics will
take 800 million jobs by 2030
According to the report, however, new opportunities will avail themselves even as the digital landscape evolves. This will depend on the preparedness of learners today to master and harness 21st-century learning skills.
So what now for parents?
These futuristic prospects continue to spark debates around the world as to what kind of parenting strategies and education are relevant in preparing the largely Generation Alpha and Z kids for future job markets.
Of course, the scale at which they will be implemented will vary regionally, but still, preparedness will create opportunities for employability anywhere in the world.
According to Jack Ma, founder of Alibaba Group in 2018,
If we do not change the way we teach, 30 years from now, we’re going to be in trouble
Below are just a few of the options we may have to harness to kickstart future employability:
1. The futuristic tech-mindset
It all starts with the preparedness by parents, communities, educators, and governments to see future career skills through the eyes of technology.
While robotics and AI may seem distant for now (they are not), these will become commonplace just like mobile devices, and personal computers have become ubiquitous today.
Only 20 years ago, not many imagined that cell phones would be so personal today.
They now help us accomplish office tasks on the road and have demonetized numerous skill-sets from the past, such as photography, phone operation, and teller roles.
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.
Perhaps it is also important to take a snapshot of what the future will look like.
Here is the thing, as the world goes away from the first wave of digitalization and ambiently welcoming the second wave, it is worth noting what is expected at home and in the workplace.
- we all expect to receive faster delivery of services, away from the lackluster habits existing today
- we also plan to move away from the complex implementation of technology, in preference for simplification of interaction with computers and other tech installations
- intelligent automation is to become the norm to ensure predictive productivity designed to satisfy client needs on-demand other than mass production and unnecessary services
There probably has never been a better opportunity for concerned stakeholders 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 job market
Parents, educators, and planners face an uphill task to prepare children for job markets we are yet to fully comprehend. Education systems must evolve to accommodate futuristic skills that embrace robotics, artificial intelligence, and job flexibility/adaptability.
Yes, flexibility and adaptability.
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 career-based education that prioritizes one career and instead promotes multiple career opportunities.
The concept of studying one profession over a period of 2 to 4 years may not carry much merit in the near future. Except for special cases of course.
Rather, every student must try to become a jack of all trades to become eligible for as many opportunities that arise.
Employers today and tomorrow will want to hire on part-time rather than full-time arrangements based on employability dynamics.
One obvious clue is in the employability forms taking shape online. Many people are increasingly working online on a part-time basis because employability in those areas is not deemed to last for long, and will evolve with time.
This is a sign of extensive job restructuring and income diversification for employers and employees respectively.
3. Enhancement of soft skills
When computers compete for jobs with humans they largely target hard skills and repetitive tasks rather than human careered soft skills.
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, and inexpensive in the long run.
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
- interpersonal communication
- 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 our children in soft skills we shall probably remain relevant for decades to come.
4. The need to follow trends & learn
As technology evolves new job skills and careers become available every passing day. The need to stay ahead of ourselves and the game has never been paramount.
We all need to boost our knowledge base and always stay ahead of the information curve. This involves reading wide and watching out for related opportunities that arise.
Elsewhere, 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 the workforce for emerging skill gaps and jobs.
Benefits of enhanced skill development for future job market preparedness
As employees broaden their skillsets and general knowledge, they are strategically placing themselves to tap into new opportunities that arise in the areas they have excelled in.
With many learning institutions staying rooted in static knowledge and skills, opportunity gaps will always present themselves.
In the same vein, the same knowledge can be used as guidelines for children in line with the future job market.