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  • Britt Konnander

The Future of Work – Will Your Children Be Prepared?

Labour markets are under pressure from the combined effects of several megatrends. Technological progress and greater integration of our economies along global supply chains have been a bonus for many workers equipped with high skills and in expanding occupations, but a challenge for others with low or outdated skills in declining areas of employment.

The good news is that so far the megatrends have not led to structural unemployment – quite the contrary. The overall employment rate has been rising in most OECD countries. Experts at the World Economic Forum forecast 133 million new jobs will be created globally by 2022 as a result of technology and automation. At the same time, 75 million jobs will be lost as lower-tech jobs are eliminated.

Experts at Kiplinger, a Washington D.C.-based business forecasting website, analysized 773 popular occupations and identified the best (and worst) jobs for the future. Jobs requiring education and tech savvy tended to be the most promising, while anachronistic careers that can be replaced by machinery were considered the worst jobs for the future.

This chart illustrates the projected job growth for the five best - and five worst - positions for the future, with tech expertise and health care leading the way forward.

  • App developers, physician's assistants and marketing research analysts are among top jobs of the future, with high salaries and major projected job growth

  • Meanwhile, projectionists, factory workers and watch repairers are on the way out of favor with low pay and projected job losses over the next decade.

Future jobs will have professions that bridge technology, but it will be the technology that is the primary job generator, not the profession.

What are the best careers for the future? How will everything change?

Is it possible to prepare for the jobs of tomorrow—today? Here's one thing we know: Change will keep happening. Some of these changes can be foreseen (such as the likely impact of climate change). But many of them can't be predicted. Many of tomorrow's jobs will likely result from today's scientific and technological advances. But most jobs of the future probably don't exist yet, and a lot of them haven't even been imagined. In fact, according to one estimate, almost two-thirds of today's kindergarten students will eventually have occupations that don't currently exist.

New occupations will likely emerge based on what explorers and fun-minded visionaries imagine as being part of humanity's best future. Jobs that arise from these factors will be some of the coolest occupations that have ever existed.

What would be the best career advice for the future? How can we prepare our children?

The ‘jobs of the future’, and the exact skills required to perform these jobs, are constantly changing. One thing you can be certain of, however, is that you will need to develop an adaptable and inquisitive attitude if you want to remain employable.

  • We need to act and engage in lifelong learning, so that we are adaptable when the changes happen. The lifespan for any given skill set is shrinking, so it will be imperative for individuals to continue to invest in acquiring new skills.

  • We need to shape our own career path. Gone are the days when a career trajectory is outlined at one company with predictable climbs up the corporate ladder.

  • We need to begin to think of work as more than a paycheck.

  • Employers need to think differently about how they recruit and hire new employees. Companies need to review a prospective employee’s potential and assess skills including emotional intelligence, critical thinking, creativity, and problem-solving skills.

What better to conclude this article than to use the quote from Denis Waitley

"Expect the best, plan for the worst, and prepare to be surprised."

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