Judging by the skills companies are prioritizing over the next five years, the next wave of workers should be thinking about learning all they can about AI, cloud computing, and big data, according to the Future of Jobs Report for 2023. What jobs will move to the back burner? Secretarial pools, cashiers, bank tellers, and clerical workers.
These were some of the key findings of the 2023 Future of Jobs Report released by the World Economic Forum. While 69 million jobs will be created globally between 2023 and 2027, 89 million jobs will be lost, the study found.
The report, which has been produced annually since 2016, traditionally identified roles in the labor market, jobs that are in decline, and those that are emerging. Results were culled by surveying 803 companies with a total of 11.3 million workers across 27 industries and 45 economies. For 2023 and beyond, not surprisingly, artificial intelligence will play a critical role in companies’ hiring strategies, driving a need for skilled AI and learning machine specialists. Second to that will be a demand for specialists in sustainability, as a greater number of corporations around the world continue to broaden their application of Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) standards within their organizations.
Overall, said Saadia Zahidi, Managing Director of the World Economic Forum, the previous three years during which jobs were impacted by the COVID pandemic and other factors, should have equipped “workers, businesses, governments, educators and civil society for the disruptions and opportunities to come, and empowered them to navigate these social, environmental and technological transitions.”
The report listed the top 10 jobs of the future, with at least one raising an eyebrow (agricultural equipment operators ranked number eight), while others seem obvious (FinTech engineers came in at five). As young people enter college and think about their futures, they should be looking at careers in robotics, business intelligence, and information security, according to the report. As world economies switch to renewable energy, there will also be a need for engineers in that space, as well as solar energy installers. Which is not to say that all traditional jobs will be a thing of the past: the report anticipates job growth in education, agriculture, and digital commerce, with a need for another three million teachers, and at least four million workers to fill jobs in e-commerce, digital marketing, and strategy.
The strides made in diversity hiring over the past couple of years will continue, according to the report, while close to 80% of companies surveyed said that they will prioritize hiring women, workers under the age of 25, and those with disabilities. A smaller group of companies will hire people from a disadvantaged religious, ethnic or racial background, workers over the age of 55, those who identify as LGBTQI+, and those from low-income communities.
Interestingly, there is a skill set that ranks higher than ever on the list of traits that employers are seeking: analytical thinking, creative thinking, resilience, flexibility, and an interest in lifelong learning.
Characteristics AI (thankfully) may never be able to master.