In the age of social media it’s hard to pay attention to more than 2 paragraphs of text at a time. It’s highly unlikely that you will find the time, interest and initiative to read 167 pages of the ominous sounding “Future of Jobs” report from World Economic Forum (WEF). So we did for you, subtracted all the fluff and abridged the report into this lucid post. First a few bullet points.
- Advances in genetics, artificial intelligence, robotics, nanotechnology, 3D printing and biotechnology are laying a foundation for a revolution.
- Most occupations are undergoing fundamental transformation. Some jobs are threatened by redundancy, other growing rapidly and existing jobs require change in skill sets.
- The worst case scenario could be talent shortages coupled with mass unemployment and growing inequality,
- 65% of children entering primary school today will end up doing job types that do not exist today
The top 5 drivers of change are
- Changing nature of work and flexible work
- Mobile, Internet and Cloud technologies
- Increasing processing power and big data
- Middle class in emerging markets
- Climate change
Most of the drivers support job growth. A few, including geopolitical volatility, artificial intelligence, could lead to job losses.
Computing, mathematical and engineering job types will see the highest growth prospects, while office/administrative and manufacturing/production job types will see contraction.
The authors of the report themselves admit that the report does not offer any prognosis for the largest segment of job type in the world, especially in developing economies; Farming, Fishing and Forestry.
Two new job types that were most frequently mentioned are data analysts and specialized sales representatives.
The report highlights core work-related skills (Figure 9 – Page 21) that seemed to have come out of a Common Core evaluation form.
It was surprising to see that women make between 30-40% less than men in many industries. The top 3 barriers to gender parity are
- Unconscious bias among managers
- Lack of work-life balance
- Lack of role models
The report has a lot more information on above topics, different regions of the world and industries. It is a worthy effort to understand how HR departments in large companies perceive the jobs conundrum. The report would be lot more comprehensive if it had covered the crystal ball for the vast majority of people that work in the informal sector in the developing world and emerging economies.