Information from Future of Jobs Report 2018, World Economic Forum.

As we begin 2021, we are nearing the end of the period of time covered by this report by the World Economic Forum detailing the future of jobs. What trends were correctly predicted, and what fell short?

With the onset of the Coronavirus pandemic in 2020, we saw huge shifts. For instance, more people are now permanently working from home, and a substantial number of women left the workforce.

Below I review some highlights some highlights from the report.

Skills in Decline:

  1. Manual dexterity, endurance, and precision
  2. Memory, verbal, auditory, and spatial abilities
  3. Management of financial and material resources
  4. Technology installation and maintenance
  5. Reading, writing, math, and active listening
  6. Management of personnel
  7. Quality control and safety awareness
  8. Coordination and time management
  9. Visual, auditory, and speech abilities
  10. Technology use, monitoring and control

Needed Skills:

  1. Analytical thinking and innovation
  2. Active learning and learning strategies
  3. Creativity, originality, and initiative
  4. Technology design and programming
  5. Critical thinking and analysis
  6. Leadership and social influence
  7. Emotional intelligence
  8. Reasoning, problem-solving, and ideation
  9. Systems analysis and evaluation
  10. Complex problem-solving

The 4th Industrial Revolution is interacting with other socio-economic and demographic factors to create a perfect storm of business model change in all industries, resulting in major disruptions to labor markets. New categories of jobs will emerge, partly or wholly displacing others. The skill sets required in both old and new occupations will change in most industries and transform how and where people work. It may also affect female and male workers differently and transform the dynamics of the industry gender gap.

Drivers of Change

Four specific technological advances…

  1. Ubiquitous high-speed mobile internet
  2. Artificial Intelligence
  3. Widespread adoption of big data analytics
  4. Cloud technology

…are set to dominate the 2018-2022 period as drivers positively affecting business growth.

They are flanked by a range of socio-economic trends driving business opportunities in tandem with the spread of new technologies, such as national economic growth trajectories, expansion of education and the middle class, in particular in developing economies, and the move toward a greener global economy through advances in new energy technologies.

Lifelong Learning is Key

Workers will need to have the appropriate skills enabling them to thrive in the workplace of the future and the ability to continue to retrain throughout their lives. Crafting a sound in-company lifelong learning system, investing in human capital and collaborating with other stakeholders on workforce strategy should thus be key business imperatives, critical to companies’ medium to long-term growth, as well as an important contribution to society and social stability.

Skills for Success

An education and career in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) positions enables you to thrive across a variety of workplaces; however, technical skills are not the only skills needed for future jobs. The STEM Thrive Guides online courses fill the gap in STEM education and training by teaching how to navigate difficult workplace situations like bias, harassment, and discrimination. Lessons include how to develop emotional intelligence and self-care practices so that you can be your most creative self and thrive at work!