Four top jobs of the future

four future jobs


The Covid-19 pandemic impacted the world economy when it was already going through structural changes and technology-driven disruption was reshaping labour markets. With the addition of the remote working trend, both competition and new opportunities have arisen in the job market. More broadly, every worker’s skills have a so-called ‘half-life’, after which they lose relevance within a job. In 2017, Deloitte measured this half-life of skills at five years, which means that modern workers need to completely re-skill or up-skill during every five year period to stay relevant in their line of work. The rate of change in the work place is fast, and certain professional skills are likely to be in higher demand than others in the future. 

Digitisation: The driving force 

A shortage of relevant skills is an important factor which may be hindering the faster adoption of digital technologies by global firms. The World Economic Forum published the Future of Jobs Report in 2020, in collaboration with data scientists from popular platforms LinkedIn and Coursera. The research sheds light on the importance of up-skilling for future in-demand jobs. It also uses real time labour market data to track the emergence of new jobs and favoured skill sets. According to the report, 84% of employers surveyed planned on digitising working processes and expanding remote work. However, the two most common barriers they faced in hiring for these roles remained a skills gap in the local labour market and the ability to attract specialised talent.

The report then goes on to highlight the job roles that will be most in demand across different industries. In particular, the following are likely to be the most crucial for any technology-enabled business in the coming years, owing primarily to the increase in job automation and remote working. 

Data Science

With digital transformation occurring at a phenomenal scale today, businesses churn out huge amounts of data that can be leveraged to generate business insights. The ability to glean such insights and present them in palatable visualisations is a coveted skill in today’s job market, and will only increase in value as data analytics becomes more and more important. In June 2022, Preply analyzed Google Trends data using 572 keywords to gauge interest in different skills by American workers. The hottest trending job role was found to be data science and visualisation, which saw a 76% increase in interest over the previous year, the highest amongst all categories. 

Some of the most important data analysis skills and tools are: SQL, statistical programming, machine learning, probability and statistics, data management, statistical visualisation, and econometric

Digital Marketing

The ability to effectively connect with customers and other external stakeholders will always remain important, especially over digital mediums. This can probably never be done entirely by machines due to the creativity and human touch that is required, which is why digital marketing ranks high in the list of future business functions. Unsurprisingly, it was a close second in the analyses run by Preply, seeing a 35% year-on-year increase in interest during 2022. Furthermore, according to LinkedIn insights, there was a whopping 121% year-on-year increase in remote digital marketing jobs in 2022.

The typical skills necessary to have in this domain are: marketing automation, video production, content marketing, SEO, copywriting, email marketing, and PPC/Google ads.

Cyber Security

Data is a double-edged sword. While its production in today’s economy creates great opportunities, it also generates vulnerabilities. Data losses or breaches are damaging for any company, but the consequences for entities like banks or credit card processors can be truly devastating. As the technological abilities of would-be hackers continue to evolve, the knowledge and ability to protect against them will only become more valuable. With the constant introduction of new technologies and increasing integration of different data sources onto companies’ platforms, new risks will emerge and information security expertise will be essential. According to HRForecast, cyber security is currently one of the highest paying careers in the technology space, witnessing a 30% annual growth rate.

The key cyber security skills are: networking and system administration, knowledge of operating systems and virtual machines, network security control, coding, cloud security, blockchain security, IoT, and AI.

Software Development

Last but certainly not the least, software development is that all-encompassing domain within technology that will probably be the most popular and valuable in the longer term, particularly as it suits the shift to remote work perfectly. In June 2022, CompTIA’s monthly Tech Jobs Report analysed data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics and EMSI Burning Glass (a database of job postings across the country). The analysis listed the top technology related job postings for remote work, with software developers and engineers outpacing other positions by a wide margin. 

Although software development is a large and diverse domain, some of the major skills and technologies are: cloud computing, data structure and algorithms, Containers (Docker and Kubernetes), database and SQL, Object-Oriented Programming, computer networks, and scripting.

Staying ahead of the curve 

Some jobs will remain difficult to be carried out remotely, such as in the transportation and hospitality industries. But for most of the ones that can be, roles in data science, digital marketing, cyber security, and software development will remain in-demand as each one of them will continue to serve a core business need in the future. So, if you are an early career professional or someone who simply wants to stay relevant in the evolving global job market, it might be a good idea to explore these areas to ensure you stay equipped with the skills of tomorrow.

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