What does the future hold for your job?

A recent report shows how global labour markets are being rapidly reshaped.

According to the World Economic Forum (WEF), the future looks bright for data analysts, information security professionals and specialists in digital transformation. However, administrators, accountants and traditional sales reps are among the employees likely to be faced with rapidly decreasing demand.

This comes from WEF’s 2020 Future of Jobs Report. It shows how Covid-19 has led to a double-whammy on the employment front: a jump in jobless figures, coupled with an acceleration in automation, putting lots of traditional roles in further jeopardy.

So where will you be in five years’ time? Here’s a closer look at the trends highlighted in the report, and at why training and skill-proofing is going to be more important than ever…

Covid-19 is speeding up digital transformation

What the report says

  • 84% of organizations are accelerating their digitalization efforts.
  • 83% are scaling up their remote work capabilities.

What it means

When the first lockdowns hit, many companies found themselves coping with remote working for the very first time. By the end of last year however, the pandemic “had shown that a new hybrid way of working is possible at greater scale than imagined in previous years…”. This ‘blended’ approach, where staff are partly home and partly office-based, looks set to be a lasting legacy of the pandemic.

One of the biggest long-term challenges is going to involve managing and securing these new dispersed workplaces. Are companies able to secure and monitor all the endpoints in use? Do companies understand the threat landscape, and how to close the security gaps linked to remote working?

Now that working from home is the new normal, security specialists with expertise in managing dispersed networks are likely to find themselves in especially high demand.

Automation: it’s moving rapidly into white-collar areas

What the report says

  • By 2025, around 85 million roles are set to be displaced by automation.

What it means

This is another trend that has been accelerated by Covid-19. Companies are under pressure to do more with less. As such, they are doubling down on efforts to replace human input with machine-based solutions. 

There’s nothing new about this. However, something’s changing: it isn’t just manual, repetitive work that’s being automated, but also white collar roles. Take a look at the WEF’s list of top five technologies that companies are planning to adopt by 2025:

  • Cloud computing 
  • Big data analytics
  • Internet of things and connected devices
  • Encryption and security
  • Artificial intelligence

A couple of things are happening here. Many businesses will no longer need an army of clerks and bookkeepers; these will be replaced by a small team of tech-savvy decision makers. At the same time, those businesses will be seeking to delve deeper into their data, to interpret vast amounts of information, and to unearth new insights.

We’re not surprised that ‘Encryption and security’ features so highly on this list. As businesses seek to automate key processes and introduce new AI-based technologies, it’s going to mean massive changes to their data architecture and IT infrastructure. It also means new security risks. Having the right skills on board is going to be essential for addressing those risks.

Which roles are at risk by 2025?

Top 10 job roles in INCREASING demand across industries

  1. Data analysts and scientists 
  2. AI and machine learning specialists
  3. Big data specialists 
  4. Digital marketing and strategy specialists 
  5. Process automation specialists 
  6. Business development professionals
  7. Digital transformation specialists 
  8. Information security analysts 
  9. Software and application developers 
  10. Internet of things specialists

Top 10 job roles in DECREASING demand across industries

  1. Data entry clerks 
  2. Administrative and executive secretaries 
  3. Accounting, bookkeeping and payroll clerks 
  4. Accountants and auditors 
  5. Assembly and factory workers 
  6. Business services and administration managers 
  7. Client information and customer service workers 
  8. General and operations managers 
  9. Mechanics and machinery repairers 
  10. Material-recording and stock-keeping clerks  

Training: it’s in your hands

What the report says

  • According to their employers, 50% of employees will have to reskill in the next five years

What it means
It comes as no surprise that the WEF has identified online learning as the preferred method of choice for reskilling. 

It’s cost-effective, practical, it gives you the flexibility to pick up knowledge at your own pace and in bite-size chunks (and, of course, it’s Covid-safe!). 

Let’s say you’re currently in a job role that’s in risk of becoming obsolete very soon. You definitely need to reskill, so who’s going to supply the new knowledge you need? 

It’s encouraging to see that there’s been a five-fold increase in employers providing online learning opportunities to their staff. Likewise, there’s been a nine-fold increase in individuals accessing learning programmes through government programmes. 

But of course, not everyone is fortunate enough to have an employer willing to take the steps necessary to future-proof their career development. In fact, for most workplaces, it’s the exception rather than the rule. 

And when it comes to government reskilling initiatives, it’s often very basic stuff: hardly the type of detailed, up-to-date know-how you need to impress potential employers. 

In short, the future is in your hands. What skills do I have already? Are these competencies in danger of becoming obsolete? How do I build on what I know already to stay in demand? What’s the best way to update my skillset? These are the questions you should be asking in 2021. 

Our Cyber Security Career Development Platform is designed to deliver everything you need to grow your skills and advance your career. Start exploring now to put the future of work firmly in your hands… Explore     

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  • Nathan House

    Nathan House is the founder and CEO of StationX. He has over 25 years of experience in cyber security, where he has advised some of the largest companies in the world. Nathan is the author of the popular "The Complete Cyber Security Course", which has been taken by over half a million students in 195 countries. He is the winner of the AI "Cyber Security Educator of the Year 2020" award and finalist for Influencer of the year 2022.

  • Carl Tambeau says:

    Excellent read Nathan – thank you for the information. Scary yet interesting how things are looking for the future and how Covid-19 has changed the landscape for us all – online and offline.

  • Rahul Bharti says:

    Thank u Sir

  • Sib Breeuwsma says:

    Great information in this article ! I am very happy with taking the cyber security courses from StationX !

  • Ian says:

    This report is encouraging for someone like me who is trying to get a foot in the door in the ITsec field. I am interested to see how NIST800-213 will affect the landscape as well.

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