By | Abhijit Bhaduri |Keynote speaker, Author and Columnist
New Career Options in 2020
When the world of work changes, the workers need to change and as a result the workplace has to change. When electricity was used for work, it created the assembly line method. That needed workers with new skills and the workplace changed. People could work round the clock because of electric bulbs.
Exponential technologies shape jobs
Exponential technologies include artificial intelligence (AI), augmented and virtual reality (AR, VR), data science, digital biology and biotech, medicine, nanotech and digital fabrication, networks and computing systems, robotics, and autonomous vehicles. When two or more of these technologies are combined, they change how we live and work. The mobile phone and internet when combined means the workplace is now anyplace where the mobile phone has connectivity. What is the implication of these for jobs in 2020s?
Jobs as we knew it are disappearing
The lifespan of organizations is dropping sharply. Organizations will be increasingly using technology to raise productivity and innovation. That will mean less number of jobs and certainly lifetime employment will be the exception and not the norm. Freelancers will be the dominant workforce.
Upskilling and reskilling will determine employability
Employers care more about the skills and employability of a person rather than credentials. There are exceptions like doctor, accountant, lawyer etc. Everyone will need to upskill and reskill themselves continuously. The three stage model of learn, earn and retire will disappear.
Rule-based, repetitive and at scale jobs will disappear
Think about a calculator. The rules of math calculations are fixed. If there is one single path to doing something it is going to be automated. Complex cognitive tasks are going to be done by machines.
Expertise gets commoditized by technology
Any person can take reasonably good photographs without knowing a thing about shutter speed, lenses, light conditions and filters. The apps on your phone have replaced many physical products and jobs. That pace will continue
What kind of jobs will humans do?
Technology will create new jobs: Every new technology will create jobs and as they are applied to different sectors they will create new jobs. AI has created jobs in areas such as Machine Learning and Customer Experience. Drones need Drone Engineers and it creates Drone Photographers as a new category. Sensors generate Zettabytes of data. These need Data Scientists. Hackers and Cybercriminals give rise to cybersecurity experts. Algorithms give rise to Cryptocurrency and that creates new jobs. Training the algorithms to recognize objects will create new jobs like the million person strong data-annotators worldwide. Social Media has created jobs like Social Media Influencer. The trend will continue.
Human Skills will create new jobs: Any job that does not have a predictable outcome will be done by humans. Human contact and relationship based jobs will become prized. Customer service, copywriters, program managers, and other roles that require skills such as empathy, ethical judgement, and creativity. Jobs that have the ability to inspire, make people happy or jobs that help people learn new skills will grow. Being able to simplify complex technology and make it usable by lay persons will create jobs. Microsoft has an AI Ethicist to make sure its algorithms are fair and unbiased.
Hybrid Jobs: The highest growth will be in jobs that require tech skills and understanding of human emotions. They are called Hybrid Jobs. A Marketing manager with fluency in a database program, or a Data Scientist who knows data visualization or an Engineer who knows Sales qualifies as a Hybrid Job. These jobs will grow at twice the pace of any other job and are less likely to get automated. If you are a Techie, adding social or creative skills can make you a “purple squirrel” – a term recruiters use to describe people with these rare combinations.
Even as technology destroys some jobs, even traditional jobs will get augmented by emerging technology. Surgeons will increasingly use 5G technology and Robotics to perform surgery in different countries. And new jobs will be created, many that do not currently exist. One thing is clear, the life long learner will never be short of opportunities.