Where are the jobs of the future likely to be? How can our children be best prepared for future jobs?
We are all becoming aware of the changing nature of work and what that means for our jobs in the future. In Australia, there has been a growing trend in part-time work in response to needs of business to be more flexible.
Another trend is a change in the industries where employment is growing. Healthcare and social assistance, professional services and education as well as construction have all grown. So knowledge workers have been in demand, but particularly growth in health and services, in response to changing age profiles. Manufacturing and agriculture have been employing fewer people.
Some of the hardest jobs to fill currently are data scientist, data analyst, and software engineer. This emergence of jobs where the skills are interacting with intelligent machines are currently in demand.
However, many are predicting a ‘digital disruption’ meaning that the amount of digital information and its manipulation will forever change the face of employment.
This disruption is predicted to be as great, or greater, than the last great era of change – the Industrial Revolution.
In this future, change will be so rapid that not even knowledge workers or those skilled in interacting with intelligent machines will be future proof. Driverless vehicles on land or unmanned aerial vehicles – drones – in the sky will take over many delivery tasks. Many medical operations will be performed by robots. Predictive algorithms using artificial intelligence will deliver desired products or services without any advertising or salespeople.
How can children be future proofed? What skills will be useful in adapting to this future?
One part of the answer to this lies in developing the ability to be adaptive, creative and to ‘create your own job,’ rather than simply ‘teaching everyone to code’.
Having the ability to see new possibilities and combinations can be fostered from a young age and being entrepreneurial can create confidence by providing an adaptive skill set. There is increasing interest by educators and governments in seeing these skills widely developed.
Combining this ability to create your own job with higher levels of empathy / emotional intelligence may strengthen the skills that remain unique to human nature, and are more difficult for machines, no matter how intelligent, to successfully emulate. Combining high levels of the social and the entrepreneurial also provides the outcome of strengthening social bonds and increasing social capital, the sort of wealth to be found in strong, well-functioning societies.