12 trends impacting the future of data management jobs
Technologies such as artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things and augmented reality are changing how employees work and what skills employers need. Here are 12 top trends that will reshape the workforce over the next five years.
Emerging technologies and evolving jobs
The world Economic Forum has published its report "The Future of Jobs," making predictions on how new technologies will impact the workforce and skill needs. According to the report, "As technological breakthroughs rapidly shift the frontier between the work tasks performed by humans and those performed by machines and algorithms, global labor markets are undergoing major transformations. These transformations, if managed wisely, could lead to a new age of good work, good jobs and improved quality of life for all, but if managed poorly, pose the risk of widening skills gaps, greater inequality and broader polarization." Here are the top 12 trends the report says will impact data-related jobs over the next five years.
Drivers of change
“Four specific technological advances—ubiquitous high-speed mobile internet; artificial intelligence; widespread adoption of big data analytics; and cloud technology—are set to dominate the 2018–2022 period as drivers positively affecting business growth,” according to the report.
Accelerated technology adoption
“By 2022 … 85 percent of respondents are likely or very likely to have expanded their adoption of user and entity big data analytics. Similarly, large proportions of companies are likely or very likely to have expanded their adoption of technologies such as the internet of things and app- and web-enabled markets, and to make extensive use of cloud computing. Machine learning and augmented and virtual reality are poised to likewise receive considerable business investment,” the report predicts.
Trends in robotization
“A broader range of recent robotics technologies at or near commercialization—including stationary robots, non-humanoid land robots and fully automated aerial drones, in addition to machine learning algorithms and artificial intelligence—are attracting significant business interest in adoption. Companies across all sectors are most likely to adopt the use of stationary robots, in contrast to humanoid, aerial or underwater robots," the report explains.
Changing geography of production, distribution and value chains
“When determining job location decisions, companies overwhelmingly prioritize the availability of skilled local talent as their foremost consideration, with 74 percent of respondents providing this factor as their key consideration. In contrast, 64 percent of companies cite labor costs as their main concern,” the report says.
Changing employment types
“Nearly 50 percent of companies expect that automation will lead to some reduction in their full-time workforce by 2022, based on the job profiles of their employee base today. However, 38 percent of businesses surveyed expect to extend their workforce to new productivity-enhancing roles, and more than a quarter expect automation to lead to the creation of new roles in their enterprise,” according to the report.
A new human-machine frontier within existing tasks
"Companies expect a significant shift on the frontier between humans and machines when it comes to existing work tasks between 2018 and 2022. In 2018, an average of 71 percent of total task hours across the 12 industries covered in the report are performed by humans, compared to 29 percent by machines. By 2022 this average is expected to have shifted to 58 percent task hours performed by humans and 42 percent by machines," the report says.
A net positive outlook for jobs
"One set of estimates indicates that 75 million jobs may be displaced by a shift in the division of labor between humans and machines, while 133 million new roles may emerge that are more adapted to the new division of labor between humans, machines and algorithms," the report says.
Emerging in-demand roles
Among the range of established roles that are set to experience increasing demand in the period up to 2022 are data analysts and scientists, software and applications developers, and ecommerce and social media specialists, roles that are significantly based on and enhanced by the use of technology," the report explains.
Growing skills instability
"Given the wave of new technologies and trends disrupting business models and the changing division of labor between workers and machines transforming current job profiles, the vast majority of employers surveyed for this report expect that, by 2022, the skills required to perform most jobs will have shifted significantly," the report says.
A reskilling imperative
"Proficiency in new technologies is only one part of the 2022 skills equation, however, as ‘human’ skills such as creativity, originality and initiative, critical thinking, persuasion and negotiation will likewise retain or increase their value, as will attention to detail, resilience, flexibility and complex problem-solving. Emotional intelligence, leadership and social influence as well as service orientation also see an outsized increase in demand relative to their current prominence," the report explains.
Current strategies for addressing skills gaps
"Companies highlight three future strategies to manage the skills gaps widened by the adoption of new technologies. They expect to hire wholly new permanent staff already possessing skills relevant to new technologies; seek to automate the work tasks concerned completely; and retrain existing employees. The likelihood of hiring new permanent staff with relevant skills is nearly twice the likelihood of strategic redundancies of staff lagging behind in new skills adoption," according to the report.
Insufficient reskilling and upskilling
Workers will need to have the appropriate skills enabling them to thrive in the workplace of the future and the ability to continue to retrain throughout their lives. Crafting a sound in-company lifelong learning system, investing in human capital and collaborating with other stakeholders on workforce strategy should thus be key business imperatives, critical to companies’ medium to long-term growth, as well as an important contribution to society and social stability," the report concludes.