By Nico Strydom
Traditional careers and work practices are changing rapidly or are even falling by the wayside as the world and companies are moving increasingly towards automation of a multitude of functions.
Companies are increasingly employing technology that will significantly change certain tasks, jobs and skills by 2025.
According to the World Economic Forum’s latest The Future of Jobs Report, automation, coupled with the Covid-19 recession, creates a ‘double disruption’ scenario for workers. Many companies intend to reduce their workforce as a result of technological integration, while many also want to make more use of contractors for task-specific work. Furthermore, many companies also intend to make changes to their location, value chains and the size of their workforce.
“As the world and companies increasingly move towards the automation of a multitude of functions, more and more traditional careers are already disappearing,” says Desiree Hugo, academic head at the private schools’ group ADvTECH. “This means that educators must ensure that their students are able to navigate what lies ahead, rather than what exists at the moment. It necessitates the development of skills that enable young people to navigate their environment smartly, no matter what that environment may look like”.
Therefore, the focus must now be on developing skills that are in high demand and that will be needed for success in the future.
The World Economic Forum’s latest The Future of Jobs Report lists the 15 top skills for 2025. They are: analytical thinking and innovation; active learning and learning strategies; complex problem solving; critical thinking and analysis; creativity, originality and initiative; leadership and social influence; the use, monitoring and control of technology; technology design and programming; resilience, stress tolerance and flexibility; reasoning, problem solving and the formation of ideas; emotional intelligence; problem solving and user experiences; a service-oriented attitude; systems analysis and assessment; persuasion and negotiation.
According to the report, there is a worldwide decline in the demand for careers related to data entries, certain administrative jobs, accounting and bookkeeping jobs and auditors as well as factory workers. On the other hand, there is an increased demand for data analysts and artificial intelligence, digital and marketing strategy and process automation specialists.
“It is clear that our already competitive job market will become even more competitive in the future with more people competing for fewer opportunities. It is therefore crucial that students are helped to become as competitive as possible by equipping themselves with those skills that will set them apart in the future. Although technical knowledge will remain important to be competitive, it is essential that young people develop their ability to think and to solve problems, rather than merely relaying the information they were taught,” Hugo said.
World Economic Forum – The Future of Jobs Report: https://www.weforum.org/reports/the-future-of-jobs-report-2020