What are the jobs of the future, and what skills will we need?

Picture by: Drew Beamer

We often hear the terms artificial intelligence, robotization, and the new labor market said within the media, but what do they really mean?  

29th of June, 2007. Does this date ring a bell? No, not my birthday!  This was the date Steve Jobs’ launched the very first iPhone, marking a global technological shift that has revolutionized our daily lives. It introduced us to a new era: that of the digital. 
As technology has risen and excelled rapidly over the past ten years, our society has also changed with it. More and more jobs that were once carried out by humans have now been replaced with AI, and this has understandably started to raise questions. In five, ten, even fifty years’ time, what will the job market look like?

In this article, we will explore the impact of automation, how this will affect the future job market and what skills you need to help future proof your career.

Will automation pose a threat to our jobs? 

It’s no secret that automation is going to increase in the upcoming years. The ratio of tasks performed by humans and those performed by machines will be reversed.
A statistic shows that currently 71% of tasks in the workplace are performed by humans. However, by 2022 this figure will drop, with only 48% of tasks being performed by humans. 

Source : Future of Jobs Report :World Economic Forum

Nonetheless, just because more jobs will be automated, it doesn’t necessarily mean there will be less work. 

The progress of technology will call for the creation of new types of jobs, as shown by the World Economic Forum. 

Source : Future of Jobs Report :World Economic Forum

The World economic forum states  “In purely quantitative terms, 75 million current job roles may be displaced by the shift in the division of labor between humans, machines, and algorithms, while 133 million new job roles may emerge at the same time.”

John Oliver, presenter of the talk show “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver”, describes the impact and long term effects of automation on his show. He says how machines won’t necessarily replace jobs, but instead replace tasks, in particular repetitive tasks that may seem tedious to humans. He goes onto further explain that the rise of AI and smart technology will bring with it a whole new line of work. 

Jobs of the future

The title of this section may be a little misleading. How can we really talk about the future job market, when according to the Institute for the Future, 85% of jobs available in 2030 don’t exist today? 
However, when you consider that twelve years ago jobs such as a data analyst, social media manager, and mobile app developer didn’t even exist, this statistic doesn’t feel as daunting.

To help us get an idea of what the job market will look like in upcoming years, here is the predicted most in-demand job roles of the future:  

  • Professions related to ecology and sustainable development
  • Professions related to IT, social networks and artificial intelligence
  • Profession related to medicine and personal care 
  • Profession related to sales and marketing 

And if you read this and think, “but I’m not interested in these fields at all!” Don’t worry. 

Just because these types of jobs will be in high demand, doesn’t mean you have to work in these fields. However, to ensure your career is future-proofed, it’s a good idea to develop some desirable future skills. 

What skills are gonna be needed in the future? 

Flexibility is a skill that is sought after by companies, and as time goes on, it will become essential for anyone looking to progress in the professional world. 

In John Oliver’s video, children ask  “What can I do later?” And his answer summarizes everything perfectly. He explains that certain human skills can’t be replaced by a machine.  

You can do a series of non-routine tasks that requires social intelligence, complex critical thinking and creative problem solving”

According to the World Economic Forum, “Human skills such as creativity, originality and initiative, critical thinking, persuasion, and negotiation will likewise retain or increase their value.” Mckinsey’s report stated that the value of social and emotional skills, alongside advanced cognitive capabilities such as logical reasoning and creativity, are set to see a particular increase. 

These are the three main types of skills that will be valued in the future, and can help ensure your future success:

  • Soft skills  
  • Cognitive skills 
  • Technological skills 

So, do we have to learn every single skill to be successful in the future? Not exactly. 

What can I do to ensure my future? 

For many of us, the rise of automation and artificial intelligence raises a lot of questions.
The fear of the unknown can be stressful, but it’s important to remember that change can also bring new opportunities. The rise of technology and AI will result in an influx of new job roles, creating new and exciting career paths for everyone. So be sure to educate yourself, take online courses, and be prepared for the upcoming shift in the job market. You don’t need to become a superhero to ensure your future career, however by continuing to develop, learn and enhance your skillset, you will have a much better chance of standing out amongst the crowd.

Beyond individuals, it is also essential that society support people towards this new reality and prepare future generations for this paradigm shift.


In conclusion, I think in order to embrace the workplace of the future, we must first accept that adapting to the unknown comes with a sense of humility by accepting to question ourselves and keep learning throughout our life.

Even though humility isn’t mentioned in the reports of Mckinsey or the World Economic Forum, it is, in my opinion, an essential quality needed if we want to keep up with the rise of technology and the professional world of tomorrow.

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