The World Economic Forum’s (WEF) 2016 report, The Future of Jobs, estimates that five million jobs will be lost to computers by 2020, and that the number will keep growing.
Jobs that once seemed like “safe bets” – office workers and administrative personnel, manufacturing, and even law – will be hit hardest, the report estimates.
So what do you need to work on to be marketable in 2025? Here are six skill areas that the experts recommend, as well as some of the strongest job-growth categories.
Technology And Computational Thinking
It’s no surprise that tech skills will be in hot demand. But “computational thinking” – the ability to manage the massive amounts of data we process individually each day, spot patterns, and make sense out of all of it – will also be highly valued.
Related jobs: Software developer, computer systems analyst, market research analyst, marketing specialist.
As more people live longer, every aspect of the health care sector is poised for growth. And while telemedicine, robotic surgical equipment, and other forms of automation are changing how some health care is delivered, demand for caregivers is going to increase as we commit to providing health care for more of the population.
Related jobs: Medical technicians, home health aid, medical secretaries, medical assistants, physical therapists, workplace ergonomics experts, and veterinarians.
Social Intelligence And New Media Literacy
It’s going to take a long time for robots to be good at soft skills, like social and emotional intelligence and cross-cultural competency.
In addition, new media literacy – understanding various media platforms and how to best communicate effectively in them – are valuable skills that robots won’t be likely to match any time soon.
Related jobs: Sales and related jobs are one of the top five growth areas worldwide, according to the WEF report.
With the world moving as fast as it is, we need to become a society of people who are always learning new things, says Julie Friedman Steele, board chair of the World Future Society, a membership organisation for futurists. Antonia Cusumano, people & organisation leader at consulting giant PwC says that we’ll also need to turn to more dynamic resources. “You’re going to have 10 minutes on your bus ride home when you’re commuting. You’re going to pull up an app from one of the many businesses out there that are doing these mini-clips of video learning. I’d like to learn 10 minutes on C++ so that I can brush up on my coding. You’re going to see learning shift to these little mini bite-sized chunks of information that you can get on the go,” she says.
Related jobs: Education and training is number six on the WEF report’s list of growth sectors.
Adaptability And Business Acumen
With opportunities in innovation and entrepreneurship and the rise of the “gig economy”, understanding how businesses work is essential. Even if you’re working for a company, you have to have a better understanding than ever of how the business operates.
Related jobs: Management analysts, accountants and auditors will experience double-digit growth through 2024.