What skills do I need to develop to adapt to the new economy?
Preparing for a career tomorrow means anticipating what the future will look like and what capabilities will be needed. Some of the predictions could well be underway and are likely to continue in the next few years.
Here are our 6 predictions about the future of work.
1. Talent shortages
As baby boomers exit the job market and there are fewer workers to replace them, good talent will be hard to find and harder to retain. Research shows that more than 60 million Baby Boomers will exit the workforce by 2025, and only 40 million new workers will enter. Reasons for the increasing talent shortage include the demand for complex skills set as industries embrace automation, lack of leadership development and workforce retirement. To attract talent, organisations have to look within themselves and offer increasingly flexible packages and options for employees. In fact, many companies are already rethinking the way they view learning and changing their mindset about investing in their employees.
2. Businesses are becoming virtual
Brick and mortar operations are on the decline. Not only are high rentals killing retail outlets, the ease and convenience of purchasing stuff online is moving businesses online. What used to be a chore in the past is now as simple as a click on your mobile device. Shopping for groceries, buying movie tickets and ordering food are the new normal for us. In addition, businesses are setting up online presence on various platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn. Today, we google for anything we need, hence companies are making it easier to showcase their products and services and build relationships with customers.
3. Rise of the gig economy
The term gig economy refers to an increasing number of people working as freelancers or on project basis as opposed to working on traditional nine-to-five employment terms. Advances in technology has given people the opportunity to work from anywhere in the world and connect them with the right skills and knowledge to the various job roles. There are clear benefits for being independent workers, such as better work-life balance, autonomy in the projects taken on and flexibility of working hours and location.
4. Competing with robots for jobs
Cashiers have been replaced by self-checkout counters at grocery stores. Factory workers have been replaced by smart machines who can take on repetitive heavy labor. Drones and self-driving vehicles are starting to take over the jobs of delivery riders. There is a lot of talk these days on how robots and artificial intelligence is taking away our jobs. While it is true that most of the menial and time-consuming jobs are overtaken by robots, machines can also replace journalists, lawyers and radiologists. Thus, the challenge now will be to invest in education, training and skills.
5. Governments will spend more on training
With the possibility of jobs being displaced and decreasing job security, there will be economical and social consequences. Investing in human capital is crucial to producing skills that are complementary to technology. There will be a need for the government to spend time and money on retraining and re-skilling workers in every sector and industry. The main effect of automation is forcing us to learn new skills to work alongside smart machines. There will be some jobs that machines can do better than humans and humans will be need to learn new skills to do higher-value jobs.
6. Universities are being disrupted
10 years ago, a university was typically thought of as a place for a student between the ages of 18 to 25. Nowadays universities have evolved to expand their courses and facilities for lifelong learning upon graduation. They are catering to the learning needs of working professionals and those in search of new skills and knowledge for better job prospects. Some universities are also staying connected with alumni by offering free access to online courses, access to private webinars with experts in different fields and partnering with companies to provide job placement services for those keen to explore careers covering the latest technologies and trends. Universities may also face the challenge of anticipating jobs of the future and providing access to lifelong learning while working alongside stakeholders such as corporations and educators.
These are our 6 predictions about the future of work.
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