Workforce of the future: How job roles will evolve

Job roles that are traditionally held by humans will face automation, given the development of AI and other technology.

By U2B Staff 

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In the age of digital transformation, traditional careers are already being taken over by automation and the increasingly popular gig economy, which in turn creates new and exciting job roles.

If you are currently seeking employment, or are already part of the workforce, it is important to be aware of these employment market changes and then adapt accordingly to become a part of a newly transformed talent pool.

In an article by Carnegie Mellon University President Farnam Jahanian, it was mentioned that 32% percent of job roles across the globe are highly automatable.

While a separate study conducted prior to this by the Brooking’s Institution states that creative and technical positions may be spared from this new wave of automation, at the rate of growth in artificial intelligence and machine learning, this may not be the case for very long.


What do future job roles look like?

Emphasis on digital skills is inevitable in the future job market – more and more job roles require basic digital literacy skills.

This is shift occurs across sectors and across industries, whether the job entails any level of technical skills or knowledge.

As technology takes over most industries, even roles that are predominantly in charge of recruitment and hiring, which are traditionally controlled by humans will face automation, given the development of AI and other technology.

These AI-based chatbots are expected to initiate preliminary interviews and shortlist applicants according to specified requirements. But that is only the tip of the iceberg.

The nature of a job itself will also face some rapid transformation with the emergence of new technology. Traditional desk jobs are currently being overthrown by more flexible remote work opportunities found in the growing gig economy.

More and more digital natives are opting for this mode of working.

Thanks to the development of mobile productivity apps, more young adults are seeking gig-based employment that allows more flexibility in terms of work-life balance and a more transparent way to manage their income.

No longer dependent on long-term contracts and commitments, the gig economy will surely disrupt traditional job market conventions.


Future jobs will require human skills

The emergence of industry 4.0 will give way to the birth of new industries and the expansion of existing ones through technology.

In fact, human-skills, something humans are inherently better at than their robot-counterparts, should be given more emphasis. These include developing the right skills to approach problems from various perspectives, cultivate and exploit creativity, be active and fluent communicators, and exhibit high levels of critical thinking.

These ‘human’ skills will eventually become valuable assets for new entrants into a future workforce and will set them apart from the rest in industries that are increasingly being taken over by automated technology.

In his article for the WEF 2020, Professor Farnam Jahanian highlighted the need for businesses to explore more pathways to allow access to higher education and relative skills for fresh talent.

“For example, the private sector could rethink human capital development as a long-term investment, and focus on leadership development and vocational programme design,” he explained.

It is equally important for businesses to upskill their existing talent pool to ensure employees can build up relevant skill sets to allow them to adapt to the evolving job market.

Businesses can take advantage of the digitisation of further education to attain this. As more and more online micro-courses are becoming available, companies and employees can pick and choose the skills most relevant to them and pursue these courses according to their own time.