Every day seems to present a new study on the impact of technology on the future of work. Some predict widespread job loss, some predict little impact, but the general consensus is that the effects of artificial intelligence and automation on work will be mixed.
“This is a revolution,” Stephen Brobst, Chief Technology Officer of business analytics provider Teradata told Verdict. “And in all revolutions, whether it’s the industrial revolution, the agriculture revolution, jobs will be destroyed and new jobs will be created.”
“AI doesn’t put people out of business, it puts skill sets out of business,” Brobst said.
So with the workforce set for a radical overhaul, what are the jobs of the future and the new skill sets that businesses should be investing in?
The jobs of the future
To track the emergence of new jobs and changes in the current workforce, IT services provider Cognizant has created the Jobs of the Future Index, a quarterly index that measures changes in demand for 50 jobs that are either set to experience growth in demand in the future.
Included in the index are five proxy jobs, which Cognizant expects to be vital parts of their respective industries in the future. These jobs are:
Master of Edge Computing: Evaluates technical requirements and feasibility of establishing an edge processing unit.
Cyber Calamity Forecaster: Forecasts, monitors and detects cyber threats and predicts their impact.
AR Journey Builder: Collaborates with engineers and artists to create customer-focused augmented reality experiences.
Tidewater Architect: Plans and executes projects that work with nature in urban environments, requiring hydro-engineering, civil engineering and architectural design skills.
Fitness Commitment Counsellor: Provides one-on-one remote coaching and counselling session to patients.
These jobs are already starting to show promise. In the third quarter of 2018, Cognizant recorded more than 44,000 available jobs in those fields, while the number of jobs available is growing by more than 37% annually.
Surprisingly, while businesses are increasingly investing in new technologies such as artificial intelligence, Internet of Things and blockchain, many of the job types experiencing the most growth are traditional jobs.
Demand for caregivers, for example, grew by almost 300% in the past 12 months. Transportation supervisors (222%), fashion designers (148%), and video game designers (102%) also placed in the top five.
The fitness and wellness industry has seen job opportunities increase by 61% over the past year, which, according to Cognizant, reflects the increasingly digitalisation of the industry. New services such as telemedicine, and products such as fitness trackers provide the public with the ease of paying closer attention to their health and seeking support from health workers when necessary.
Surprisingly, while caregivers experienced the greatest increase in demand, home health providers experienced one of the sharpest declines. Demand for at-home healthcare providers fell by 37% over the past 12 months. This could suggest an increased use in remote, digital healthcare services, which would supply a 36% increase in demand for fitness commitment counsellors, who provide remote health and fitness services.
Trailing caregivers were genetic counsellor positions. While just 29 new jobs were posted in Q3 2018, the field has seen numbers grow by 222% in the past year as demand for targeted healthcare increases. Genetic counsellors provide guidance to patients based on genetic factors, offering advice and support on the probability and treatment of inherited disorders.
Tough times for the environmental industry
Renewables remain a promising area for future innovation. Businesses have been increasingly looking for sustainability specialists and environmental engineers in the past 12 months. However, it seems that demand for solar energy has fallen in the same period.
Just 55 new jobs were posted seeking solar installers, those paid to fit solar energy systems in homes and office buildings, representing a fall in demand of more than 55% over the year.
Alternative Energy Management positions saw the second greatest fall, with demand dropping by 48% throughout 2018.