The Future Of Employment – 3 Trends That Might Shape Job Demand

Maja Nawloka

13th of August 2020

Whilst wondering about your future employment you cannot forget about the market dynamics. Keeping up with the labor demand will make your career pursuit a lot easier. It is important to understand not only the specifics of your employment but also the upcoming shifts in the industries of your interest.  

However, it is possible to point out patterns that are persistent in the whole labor market partially as an effect of the 4th industrial revolution. While some sectors can thrive and evolve in this electronic era the others are being deterred and shrink. It might be caused by the rapid shift of task division between humans and machines. The rate of automation based on the future of jobs report by world economic forum is forecasting an almost equal spread of labor hours between humans and machines by 2025. It is important to remember that in 2018 it was still 70 % human-based.  

It is understandable that people with the outlook on their first job should take into account possible major changes affecting the labor market. They are not only altering the job offered on the market but also the skills required by the employers.

Here are some of the current trends that you might want to consider while creating your career plan.

1. Increase in automation rate – “3A”

Entering a job market in 2020 means facing the fast changes caused by digitalization.

According to OECD, almost 15% of jobs are very likely to be automated and 32% are probable to face partial automation. So it means that 1 in 2 people can be somehow affected by the so-called 3A trend – AI, Automation, and Analytics. The pace of this progression can be a threat to a lot of employees. Cloud technology, big data, or AI are trending in more and more industries replacing human skills with automated processes. The question is then What skills will be of a great value in those times?

The labor market will now require people a decent level of digital literacy, which might have been a "special" skill before. All the jobs based on the use of technology such as data analysts, e-commerce specialists, and data engineers will be on a raise. On the other hand, all the particular ‘human’ features will be still highly valued, as they are simply irreplaceable by the machine. Creative thinking, complex problem solving, or leadership will be some of those traits. It means that positions in sales, customer service, or managerial ones will not be doomed by the tech era. It is important to understand what the direction of the industry development is and try to work your way in it. Think about automation, as a driving force to extraordinary business opportunities and innovation.

Photo by Andy Kelly

2. Fast pace of market development – constant learning

The Internet has opened a new door for self-taught skills. Websites such as Udemy offer hundreds of online training in a wide spectrum of interests. Do you want to start coding? Or maybe just learn a new language without leaving your house? It has never been so easy. However, the accessibility of all the resources is setting a fast pace for most of the workforce. Now you can broaden your knowledge constantly. The companies are aware of those possibilities and will seek for people eager to further develop their skills. Therefore, landing a job is only the beginning of your journey. Don’t stop there, as your possibilities to learn are opening up now.

Whilst looking for a job in 2020 your approach should be altered. How do you imagine your future office days? If you think about consistency and stagnation you might be wrong.

Constant learning should be your top objective as an employee. Instead of figuring out a list of skills that will get you a dream job think about ways how you can learn faster and start today. Expand your knowledge with all the resources you can access within one click and show that you are able to adjust to the fast market changes.

In a survey conducted by PWC in 2018, CEOs claimed that lack of "availability of key skills" is among the top 5 threats when it comes to their business future growth. It shows the so-called emerging skills gap, which will need to be covered by additional training and upskilling programs. According to the World Economic Forum On average, employees will need 101 days of retraining and upskilling in the period up to 2022.

You should be ready to become a constant learner.

Photo Matt Ragland

3. Home office era - COVID aftermath

Digitalization as a major threat for some job placements was put aside, as the pandemic has shaken the labor market. We were smashed with an unprecedented challenge. It changed the future job demand, as we will probably need to learn to "live with the virus". The working reality will be based on remote tasks and online meetings. The question here is whether this digital era persists after we forget what a lockdown is. However, it sheds the light on the possible shift from your office to, basically, wherever you have a stable wifi connection. An IBM survey showed a trend towards favoring the home office – 83% of participants claimed that they want to keep up working remotely at least to some extent.

It might be a turning point for bigger companies’ cost allocation. Expanding on the remote work idea would be a huge expense cut, as the office will become abundant. Does it mean we will hear the sentence “you are on mute” way longer than we thought? One thing is certain, as an employee in 2020 you must put flexibility on top of all your skills. It will be valued especially in times of such high uncertainty.

Photo by Tina Witherspoon

Career counselling is just as complex as taking into account all the present market trends. It makes creating your career plan quite a challenge. Kibo, as a first digital career advisor can be a huge value for anyone making their first steps in the labor market. If you are one of those people who feel lost and need accessible counselling you should check the Kibo page as well as our Instagram for a daily dose of career related content.

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