The Fourth Industrial Revolution is creating demand for millions of new jobs, with vast new opportunities for fulfilling people’s potential and aspirations. However, in order to turn these opportunities into reality, new sources of data and innovative approaches to understand emerging jobs and skills, as well as to empower effective and coordinated large-scale action are urgently needed across the globe. This report, Jobs of Tomorrow: Mapping Opportunity in the New Economy, takes an in-depth look into the ‘black box’ of new job creation, reviewing the shifting focus of employment to emerging professions of the future, the reasons behind it and what skills will be required by these professions.
The analysis presented in this report is based on innovative metrics authored in partnership between the World Economic Forum’s New Metrics CoLab in its Platform for the New Economy and Society, and data scientists at three partner companies: Burning Glass Technologies, Coursera and LinkedIn. Through these collaborations, the report provides insights into emerging opportunities for employment across the global economy as well as unique detail regarding the skill sets needed to leverage those opportunities.
Key findings include:
- Demand for both “digital” and “human” factors is driving growth in the professions of the future. Seven key professional clusters are emerging in tandem. On the one hand, these reflect the adoption of new technologies—giving rise to greater demand for green economy jobs, roles at the forefront of the data and AI economy as well as new roles in engineering, cloud computing and product development. On the other hand, emerging professions also reflect the continuing importance of human interaction in the new economy, giving rise to greater demand for care economy jobs; roles in marketing, sales and content production; as well as roles at the forefront of people and culture. Indeed, the future of work shows demand for a broad variety of skills that match these professional opportunities, inclusive of both disruptive technical skills but also specialized industry skills and core business skills.
- There are seven emerging professional clusters and 96 jobs of tomorrow within them that vary in their individual rate of growth and in the scale of job opportunities they offer in the aggregate. As an innovative feature of this report, the ‘scale of job opportunities’ is measured as the number of job opportunities offered by the professional cluster for every 10,000 job opportunities offered across the global labour market. In other words, we are able to measure the growing prominence of our seven emerging professional clusters relative to the overall labour market. We estimate that, in 2020, the featured professional clusters will represent 506 out of every 10,000 job opportunities—by 2022, this share will have risen to 611 out of every 10,000 job opportunities.
- Growth in these clusters and jobs is largest among care roles and smallest among green professions. Building upon previous analysis from
the World Economic Forum’s 2018 Future of Jobs Report, which forecasts a figure of 133 million new jobs over the 2018–2022 period as the baseline, the emerging professions of the future analysed in this report will account for 6.1 million opportunities globally in 2020–2022. According to these assumptions,if current growth trends hold, these emerging professions will provide 1.7 million new jobs in 2020— and that figure will see a significant increase of 51% to 2.4 million opportunities by 2022. In the aggregate, over the coming three years 37% of projected job opportunities in emerging professions will be in the Care Economy; 17% in Sales, Marketing and Content; 16% in Data and AI; 12% in Engineering and Cloud Computing; and 8% in People and Culture. Current projections for Green professions remain low, with 117,200 openings (1.9%) projected for the period spanning 2020–2022.
- The highest-growth jobs of tomorrow span all seven profession clusters. The roles with the highest rate of growth within high-volume jobs include Artificial Intelligence Specialists, Medical Transcriptionists, Data Scientists, Customer Success Specialists and Full Stack Engineers. Within lower- volume jobs, the highest growth is in Landfill Biogas Generation System Technicians, Social Media Assistants, Wind Turbine Service Technicians, Green Marketers and Growth Hackers.
- The highest-demand skills required in these emerging professional clusters span both technical and cross-functional skills. Increasing demand for high-growth professions has further driven the value of a range of distinctive skill sets that underwrite these seven professional clusters and their promise of growth and prosperity in the new economy. These in-demand skills can be divided into five distinct skills clusters: Business Skills, Specialized Industry Skills, General and Soft Skills, Tech Baseline Skills and Tech Disruptive Skills. While some professional clusters—such as Data and AI and Engineering and Cloud Computing— require strong expertise in digital technologies, other high-growth professions place greater emphasis on Business Skills or Specialized Industry Skills.
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