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Will your jobs and skills be required in the future?

Although there could be sufficient work to sustain full employment until 2030, transitions to the jobs of the future are going to be quite difficult: McKinsey

Numerous routine-based white-collar roles are going to become automated and redundant Highly specialised new and emerging occupations are being created, some of which are highly paid professions Crucial skills such as adaptive thinking, social intelligence, virtual collaborations, and design mindsets are essential

The global jobs landscape is changing rapidly with the dawn of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. The rampant adoption of technological advancements, digitization of data, ease of commercialization, and evolving laws focused on innovation are accelerating transformations in jobs of the future as well as the workforce of tomorrow

From outdoor vendors to telemarketers, cashiers, accountants, and auditors, numerous routine-based white-collar roles are going to become automated and redundant. However, with the growth of new technologies come new opportunities. Governments and private companies are now talking about using innovation to augment people’s abilities so that employees can focus on higher-order work in the future. A number of highly specialized new and emerging occupations are also being created, some of which are highly paid professions.

“As countries in the Middle East work to diversify sources of national income in a bid for economic diversification, the financial services profession is emerging as one of the strongest drivers of regional economic growth. In H1 2019, the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) welcomed an additional 250 companies, an increase of 14%, bringing the total number of DIFC companies to 2,289. This has positively impacted the profession, generating 660 new jobs, which has resulted to a total number of professionals to 24,000,” Matthew Cowan, Chartered MCSI, Regional Director Middle East at the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment told AMEinfo.

Top ten most emerging and declining roles (Source: LinkedIn and World Economic Forum)

According to the McKinsey Global Institute’s latest report, Jobs lost, jobs gained: Workforce transitions in a time of automation, the scale of shifts brought forth by the Fourth Industrial Revolution is going to be game-changing. Although there could be sufficient work to sustain full employment until 2030, transitions to the jobs of the future are going to be quite difficult. The report estimates that 250 million to 280 million new jobs could be created from the impact of rising incomes on consumer goods alone, with up to an additional 50 million to 85 million jobs generated from higher health and education spending. Also, healthcare and related jobs from aging could grow by 50 million to 85 million by 2030 due to increasingly aging populations.

New investments into infrastructure, renewable energy, climate adaptation, and artificial intelligence are also creating new fields of education, and new jobs for the workforce of the future. Seventy-five million to 375 million workers may need to switch occupational categories and learn new skills, the McKinsey report states.

“Nowadays companies and governments are increasingly relying on systems, networks, and devices. Big Data, Artificial Intelligence, Cybersecurity, and Connectivity appear to be some of the fastest-growing industries today. The four are connected and are the disruptive life-force behind technological advancement in every industry. These technologies are a unification of all STEM fields. I strongly believe that people should be multi-skilled as opposed to pursuing one particular field. This is what will ensure they remain adaptable in a fast-evolving industry. These technologies affect everyone and every industry, and I am a believer that it is essential to be embedded in curriculums from an early stage,” Bernard Roux, CEO, Thales in the UAE, told AMEinfo.

Former Group President of World Bank Jim Yong Kim famously said that the greatest challenge of the future was to prepare the younger generations with skills irrespective of future jobs. These skills include problem-solving, critical thinking, and interpersonal skills such as empathy and collaboration.

The Future Work Skills 2020 report states that in the highly connected, computational future driven by longevity, smart machines and a New Media ecology, there will be a need for crucial skills such as adaptive thinking, social intelligence, virtual collaborations, cross-cultural competencies, and design mindsets, in order to stay competitive.

The UAE’s National Employment Strategy 2031 emphasizes empowering labor productivity by focusing on the development of research, promoting lifelong learning programs, encouraging entrepreneurship, and training the workforce to inculcate future skills. The country’s National Program for Artificial Intelligence, ICT Fund, Ibtekr Platform, Emirates Skills Program and the UAE Hackathon are fine examples of how the nation is preparing to stay ahead of the curve.