Preparing for Post-Pandemic Jobs

10 Feb 2021 12:55 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

The rise of new technologies was already bringing remarkable changes to the world of work when the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated our reliance on technology. Even without the pandemic, people's jobs were bound to change dramatically due to technological advances and changing business models.

Based on data from 15 industries and 26 countries, the World Economic Forum (WEF) estimates that by 2025, a shift in the human/machine division of labor could mean the end of 85 million jobs. However, the report also notes that 97 million roles that fit in with a new human/machine/ algorithms division of labor could emerge in the same period.

What job roles are on the rise?

The WEF's Future of Jobs Report 2020 notes: "Over the coming decade, a non-negligible share of newly created jobs will be in wholly new occupations, or existing occupations undergoing significant transformations in terms of their content and skills requirements."

The report, which reflects data the WEF gathered together with LinkedIn and Coursera, indicates that:

  • Demand for data analysts and scientists, as well as robotics engineers and AI and machine learning specialists, are already growing. Other promising fields include software and application development, digital transformation, big data, business development, and digital marketing.
  • Although technical roles seem most on the rise, jobs that require a lot of human interaction -- in marketing, sales, and content production, for instance – will be, too.
  • The need for workers is receding in fields such as data entry, administration, accounting, bookkeeping, and machinery repair.
  • Generally, new jobs will reflect the changing division of labor among humans, machines, and algorithms.
  • The share of core skills for workers who keep their current roles will change in the next five years by 40%, and one out of two employees will need reskilling.
  • For some burgeoning professions, such as data and AI, individuals may be able to enter jobs without knowing all the skills required. For instance, those who have not yet mastered statistical programming or other essential data science skills can learn them within months after landing a job. Product development and cloud computing are other fields that offer some flexibility in hiring.
  • However, emerging Engineering and HR jobs will demand closer matches between a person's position and the one they want.

What skills will employers seek?

No doubt technical skills will be in high demand, but so will the personal attributes that make for effective collaboration and communication.

Eric Shepherd and Joan Phaup point out in Talent Transformation: Develop Today's Team for Tomorrow's World of Work that "working successfully in a complex environment involving complicated process and multiple technologies will require effective teamwork and collaboration. Employers will look for adaptability, creativity, and emotional intelligence: the ability to be aware of, control, and express one's emotions; empathize with other people; and sensitively handle interpersonal relationships." 

The WEF lists of the top 10 skills of 2025 reflect the need for personal as well as technical skills:

How will workers gain the skills they need?

The new world of work calls for adaptable learning systems that enable workers to keep pace with the changing demands of their current jobs or prepare for new opportunities.

As the half-life of skills reduces and individuals and teams take on more creative roles to achieve organizational goals, learning experiences should become more flexible and individualized. When linked to job roles and competency models, online learning systems can provide pathways that help individuals develop the competencies they need to qualify for new jobs. Documentation of customized learning experiences will follow this pattern, offering portable credentials that reflect each person's unique learning and achievement path.

Data analysis, machine learning, and AI will enable online learning system to provide meaningful and insightful recommendations to help someone manage their education and career.

Education providers are using new technology tools to monitor learning progress—rather than seat time—toward credentials. They are customizing learning experiences to place individuals in those environments where they learn best and can focus more easily on content. These adjustments include even the time of day when an individual best absorbs information. As educational institutions become more intricately connected with industry, they will increasingly alter their programming to serve industry's growing need for competencies and micro-credentials.

How will people stay ahead of changing job requirements?

The need for lifelong learning in an ever-shifting employment landscape has brought competencies to the fore. An academic degree reflects someone's interest in a subject and possibly their preparation for a particular career. However, their skills and knowledge need to keep pace with dramatic changes in job roles and careers. To do so, they must pursue competencies in essential skills for their current or desired job.

With technology accelerating at breakneck rates and technical skills becoming more specialized, some university coursework might be outdated before the student graduates. All job seekers, including graduates, will need to develop new skills and submit proof of their achievements. Micro-credentials, supported by blockchain technology and digital badging, register competencies acquired through formal or informal learning experiences in the workplace or academic institutions.

Digital badges for each credential offer a verifiable way to document an individual's competencies, making it easy for job seekers to prove that their learning is up to date. Blockchain has made it possible to create digital ledgers of learning and qualifications that generate trustworthy, transparent credentials as an alternative to traditional transcripts and certificates.

The loss of some jobs and the advent of new ones present daunting challenges to employers and workers alike. For individuals who want to move with the times, whether they are employed or out of work, ongoing education will be essential to their progress.

About the Talent Transformation Guild

The Talent Transformation Guild provides resources for professionals that are preparing for upskilling being triggered by 4th industrial revolution and accelerated by Covid-19. Members include c-level executives, human resource professionals, consultants, and coaches. As a member-driven organization it promotes best practices via webcasts, webinars, podcasts, articles, white papers, research and conversations to improve and make the best of the talents of individuals for the benefit of themselves and the organisations they work for.

The Guild enable stimulating and meaningful discussions to help professionals prepare for talent transformations at individual, team and organizational levels. The Guild supports the Talent Transformation Pyramid, an open source model, designed specifically to recognize the widest possible range of talent influencers and skills. To date many decision-makers are caught in traditional, linear thinking and immediate concerns to consider this. The Talent Transformation Pyramid enables you to address the challenge by promoting more strategic thinking with a focus on an organization’s readiness to perform.

About the Future of Work

According to the World Economic Forum, new and emerging technologies are affecting our lives in ways that indicate we are at the beginning of a Fourth Industrial Revolution. This new era will build and extend the impact of digitization in new and unimaginable ways. The Fourth Industrial Revolution can be described as the advent of “cyber-physical systems” involving new capabilities for people and machines. This will see new ways for technology to become embedded within societies and even our bodies.

With process automation, robotic automation, the internet of things the nature of work will change. Some analysts predict that more than 40% of tasks currently performed by humans will be delegated to machines. This does not mean that 40% of people will be put out of work but it does mean that most workers will have to upskill. HR experts are predicting this will dramatically change the landscape of our workforce.

About the Guild's Founders

Eric Shepherd an accomplished leader of international businesses and associations focused on talent, assessments, and success. Eric recently stepped away from a CEO role where he worked to build a SaaS company into a multi-million-dollar international assessment software business. Eric has also led industry and standards initiatives to promote best practices for assessments, learning, and interoperability. He currently serves as Chair of the IEEE P1484.20.2 working group developing Recommended Practice for Defining Competencies. Eric has previously served on Boards and working groups for:

  • HR Open Standards that defines interoperability standards for HR technology.
  • Association of Test Publishers and the European Association of Test Publishers that represents providers of tests and assessment tools.
  • The IEEE P1484.20.1 Standard for Learning Technology—Data Model for Reusable Competency Definitions working group.
  • IMS which defines interoperability standards for educational technology. 

Eric was instrumental in developing the IMS QTI interoperability standard and assisted with the US Department of Defense Advanced Distributed Learning (ADL) initiative to define the Sharable Content Object Reference Model (SCORM) and the Aviation Industry Computer-Based Training Committee (AICC) to define launch and track standards for Learning Management Systems.

Martin Belton has provided marketing solutions to organizations supplying HR and Learning solutions throughout Europe. After working with some of the UK’s leading PR Consultancies, he joined Questionmark where he was Sales and Marketing Director working alongside Talent Transformation’s co-founder Eric Shepherd. He was also Sales & Marketing Director at Kallidus (formerly e2train) for seven years before working as a marketing consultant to organizations supplying talent and learning systems including Netex and Saba. Most recently Martin has organized the eLearning Network Annual conference and exhibition.

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