Workers at computers

A look at the workforce of 2020

What will your job look like in the future?

Markedly different, according to the World Economy Forum’s recent report, The Future of Jobs and Skills, which claims the world is entering a fourth industrial revolution spurred by demographic changes and technological advances in genetics, smart systems and nanotechnology.

The report asked hundreds of executives, across nine different industries in 15 major global economies, how they believe jobs will change by 2020. Results from the analysis show rapid changes in the employment landscape that could lead to a loss of over 5 million jobs to automation, the majority of which will be administrative and office jobs. A gain of 2 million jobs is projected for the Computer, Mathematics, Architecture and Engineering fields – as well as a high demand for data analysts and specialized sales representatives.

In fact, new technology is changing the way we work so fast that the report predicts that 65 per cent of today’s primary school children will end up working in jobs that don’t even exist yet.

So what can businesses and governments do now to make sure they retain a skilled workforce for the future?

The report highlights that businesses need to start investing in re-skilling current employees (old and new) and really focus on talent diversity. Above all, the report emphasizes that governments and businesses need to work together to restructure the current education system to better reflect the economic needs of the 21st century.

This post first appeared in TINAN 70. Subscribe to TINAN for the latest economic development news and resources.